really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,307 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #19

Jul 252016


  • 64,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed; however, the vehicle moved very slowly. In addition, while the vehicle was in reverse, it accelerated forward independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #18

Jul 112011


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. While attempting to drive, the gear shifter seized without warning. The contact stated that the air bag and check engine warning lights illuminated randomly. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the vehicle was repaired. The contact also stated that the vehicle began to overheat randomly. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was approximately 77,000. Updated 01/11/2017

- Oakdale, CA, USA

problem #17

Sep 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to transmission replacement with low miles. * ld the cost to replace the transmission, was $2100.

- Avalon, PA, USA

problem #16

Jun 182014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Between approx 45 and 60 mph vehicle sounds as if driving over rumble strips. Will stop vibrating intermittently above 60 mph. Vibration is felt from front passenger side. The steering wheel does not sway. No trouble shifting. Between 3 mechanics have been given 3 different answers: Loose body part vibrating in wind, suspension, transmission. Had balance and alignment checked with no issues. Contacted GM dealer to check recalls and other known issues, none found. No previous symptoms, vehicle drove normally until 6/18. Do not currently drive vehicle out of fear of something breaking or falling apart. Am still trying to get diagnosed.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #15

Aug 312014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly stopped accelerating and would not respond when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle began vibrating and the contact heard a loud whining noise coming from the undercarriage. The contact was able to drive to the dealer after keeping the vehicle parked for approximately 30 minutes. In addition, once the air conditioning was activated to level three or higher, the vehicle would stall. It was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced and the master cylinder on the brakes was faulty. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 69,000. Updated 10/23/2014 updated 4/21/2015

- Athens, GA, USA

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problem #14

Aug 302014


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system), but the failure was not remedied. The dealer replaced the ignition switch and provided the contact with a new set of keys. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle jerked and stalled. The check engine and service traction indicators illuminated during the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Staten Island , NY, USA

problem #13

Mar 022013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle jerked intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who was not able to replicate or diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 09/05/14

- Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 022014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch and several other problems with vehicle. The consumer the vehicle was taken to the dealer, several times. Three times, for the ignition. The steering module, struts, and control arms were replace. The drive train was in the process of failing.

- Duncan Falls, OH, USA

problem #11

Mar 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch problems. The consumer stated she experienced several incidents, with the ignition switch sticking and not being able to turn the key, including the first day she brought the vehicle home. Over the years, the switch has failed, which left her stranded. The vehicle was taken to the dealer many times, but they never replaced any components regarding the lock cylinder or switch. Updated 05/14/14. The consumer stated she was unable to shift the vehicle into gear. Updated 06/26/14 the electric power steering motor was replaced. Updated 07/10/14 updated 07/30/14 the consumer stated the vehicle was fixed. Updated 09/02/14

- Eastpointe, MI, USA

problem #10

Mar 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Vehicle was being towed behind class a motorhome. Key was in the accessory position; transmission (automatic) was in the neutral position; fuse block:8 (ignition switch, pass-key III+) was removed to prevent battery drain; per vehicle manual for dinghy towing. Traveling on interstate 45; 95 miles South of dallas, tx. Nothing was hit when traveling. Both front tires blew out, subsequently ruining both front tires and wheels. There is no apparent reason why this happened. Was wondering if this may be connected with current safety recall on ignition problem on Chevrolet Cobalt. The key chain had three keys and the key fob attached.

- Lewistown, MT, USA

problem #9

Mar 022009


  • 15,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while traveling at any speed, the vehicle would intermittently become hesitant and was not able to change gears into reverse. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The contact had also experienced the vehicle stalling intermittently on multiple occasions. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id numbers:14V047000 (electrical), 14V171000 (electrical) or 09V073000 (power train) but stated that he had experienced the failure described in each recall on multiple occasions. The vehicle was scheduled for diagnosis and possible repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15000.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #8

Apr 032014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Driving vehicle on highway when engine check light comes on and "reduced engine power" message appears on status bar of dashboard. Repaired at dealership by replacing throttle control body. Occurred twice more over next 3 days, repaired at different dealership saying first throttle control body was defective. Occurred again 2 days later, dealership replaced crankshaft position sensor. Occurred again 1 day later. Need to take in for more service. Basic internet research shows that this is common problem on Chevrolet Cobalts.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #7

Nov 162013


  • 154,000 miles
I just found out there was a recall on the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt due to failure with the electric power steering assist motor / system. As I looked it up I found 2 additional recalls which Chevrolet was supposed to contact me on all 3. I was not contacted, and do not know if my car has had the repairs done prior to me purchasing the vehicle in January 2011. The 2 other recalls are as follows. Shifter cable problem with car not in proper gear, clip on cable, if not installed properly, Chevrolet is supposed to replace the entire cable. Also, a fuel leakage can occur, causing a fire, due to a plastic supply and/or return port breakage on the fuel pump module.

- Liberty Twp., OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 052006


  • 10,765 miles
Why isn't there a recall for the 2005 Cobalt? this happened shortly after I purchased the vehicle! why do you have the recall only for 2009, it should be for 2005 and all models affected, regardless of the year! just picking one year is not accurate for this type of issue. This need to be fixed asap! please and thank you! "transmission shift position sequence, starter interlock, and transmission braking effect", and FMVSS 114, "theft protection and rollaway prevention". on some of these vehicles, the transmission shift cable adjustment clip may not be fully engaged. If the clip is not fully engaged, the shift lever and the actual position of the transmission gear may not match. With this condition, the drive could move the shifter to "park" and remove the ignition key, but the transmission gear may not be in "park".

- Forest, VA, USA

problem #5

Oct 112012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The contact was able to continue driving normally after turning the ignition off and then restarting. In addition, the gear lever did not shift from drive into neutral unless the brake pedal was engaged. The failure occurred two times. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the malfunction. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000.

- Dresden, OH, USA

problem #4

Apr 272012


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle and removing the key from the ignition, a passenger haphazardly struck the automatic gear shifter into reverse. The vehicle rolled backward from the residential driveway and crashed into another vehicle. A police report was not filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who advised that they would contact her at a later date to resolve the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 62,000. Updated 6/12/12

- Palmyra, PA, USA

problem #3

Feb 142011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 85,564 miles
I parked the car for the night with no indications of any problems and when attempting to drive the next day, the key would not turn in the ignition. Tried moved the steering column and it would not turn to start. Talked with a locksmith and was told that it wasn't the ignition but the power train column shift since neither of the keys worked. I spoke with the Chevrolet consumer hot line (1-800-630-2438) and was told that there was not a recall on my VIN. I assured them that I have a vehicle with 85,546 miles that I can't started with the first 11 numbers of the VIN recall.

- Rougemont, NC, USA

problem #2

Mar 012011


  • 46,995 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 60 mph when the vehicle began to decelerate independently. The contact applied the accelerator but the vehicle would not respond. The brakes were unresponsive and the steering wheel locked abnormally. The contact pulled over and the vehicle was parked at that location. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The current mileage was 47,000 and the failure mileage was 46,995.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #1

Nov 192009


  • 31,509 miles
Chevy Cobalt 2009. Two incidents involving the same model but different cars. Both rented from enterprise. Don't know what category to put the complaint in. Steering" braking? or something else" this model handles terribly on wet pavement. Doesn't brake well on wet pavement, and tires spin when starting from a stopped position. Incident 1. changing lanes on I270 md. Going about 50 mph. And slowed down to move one lane to the right. Going from a less used wetter lane to lane to the right, which wasn't quite as wet. Car spun out twice and hit the jersey wall twice. Then I was able to stop the car. Fairly heavy traffic, and no other vehicles involved, thank god. State police were on the shoulder for traffic going in the other direction across from me but did not come to the car. Incident 2. rented another of the same model. Whenever the street was wet, the car did not brake well. Seemed to be very short periods of not braking. When slowly starting from a stopped position, the wheels spun and then took hold. Could have easily been another situation for spinning out. Enterprise said there were no recalls. Insurance company raised my rates from $103 to $167 per month!

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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