really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,767 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #15

Apr 162019


  • 47,942 miles
I can't drive my car because the transmission shifts hard and is dangerous because the speed is fast the slow plus it just about breaks my neck when it shifts. It was about a day or two when I finally noticed it. I only drove it about one mile. My car only has 47,942 mi. On it and GM isn't helping.

- Madera, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 012017


  • 191,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. While driving 60 mph with the cruise control activated, the contact depressed the accelerator pedal, but the vehicle failed to accelerate and remained in first gear. In addition, the air bag, traction control, and check engine indicators illuminated. The vehicle was serviced per manufacturer recall number: 08016. The vehicle was taken to an unknown dealer where it was diagnosed that there was an air bag failure. The vehicle was repaired, but the contact stated that the vehicle experienced the same symptoms. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 191,000.

- Paris, TX, USA

problem #13

May 162017


  • 99,600 miles
Check engine light. Reduced engine power. ESC off. This occurred on vehicle startup and while the vehicle was in motion. The vehicle goes into a low power mode and cannot be driven more than five miles per hour.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #12

May 102016


  • 79,000 miles
Vehicle while being taken through an automated car wash with me inside sitting behind the steering wheel, with the transmission in the neutral position, and both of my hands resting on my knee caps, with engine running the vehicle goes into reverse by itself.. the backup light are also turned on when this action occurs. This same action have happened three times at random during my last nine visits to the same automated car wash. None of the vehicles moving forward behind my vehicle have been damaged when this action occurs.

- Mira Loma, CA, USA

problem #11

Oct 102009


  • 54,285 miles
The contact owned a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the vehicle stalled and the steering wheel seized without warning. As a result, the contact crashed into a tree. The contact stated that the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained injuries to the head, a fractured arm, and a fractured femur that required medical attention. The contact also stated that on several occasions, the vehicle failed to start. The contact stated that the reverse gear failed to engage when the shift selector was placed into the reverse position. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 54,285.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #10

Mar 192015


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. While driving 40 mph around a curve, the vehicle shook violently and the ESC warning light illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed and failed to operate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 62,000.

- Manchester, TN, USA

problem #9

May 012014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
I have had 3 problems so far where my power steering went out. I have contacted two different Chevy dealers and they said that my VIN number is not on the recall list. On the GM website it says that there is a recall on the 2009 Chevy HHR electronic power steering. Because the dealer says my VIN is not included they refuse to honor the recall. I would like GM to step up and take responsibility to repair this issue. I am concerned that I could be involved in a accident because of this issue. media.GM.com/media/us/en/GM/news.detail.html/content/pages/news/us/en/2014/Oct/1007-recalls.html media.GM.com/media/us/en/GM/news.detail.html/content/pages/news/us/en/2014/Mar/0331-power-steering.html.

- St. Cloud, FL, USA

problem #8

May 192014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
The front end of my vehicle is ticking. It sounds like the timing chain....I purchased the car from [xxx] my powertrain warranty expired 7/27/14 [xxx] is charging me $135 an hour for the diagnosis this is not fair. May iplease receive some arbitration and not pay this charge second subject: [xxx] charged me $200 for replacing my steering column. They refused to refund me. Since this a recalled item I should had never been charged please refund me my money. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #7

Mar 052012


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle began to sputter without warning. The failure occurred continuously over a two year period. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #6

Jan 132014


  • 95,300 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the vehicle would hesitant to accelerate from a traffic stop. The contact was able to drive the vehicle in reverse but the vehicle would not respond when in drive. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,300. The VIN was not available.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #5

Jun 122013

HHR 4-cyl

  • 22,200 miles
Called the Chevy dealer, told me that it was Friday and to call first thing Monday morning. As I continued on freeway I realized that the ride was rougher, something was very wrong. To steer was harder, trip odometer both were not working, cruise control would not engage, speedometer was not working, transmission not shifting easily, pulled into Chevy dealer, found the service manager. Asked him to check the car, hours on sign stated that someone would available until 5:30. It was currently 4:50 pm. He assured me that is was safe to drive care: Pulled out of dealership, transmission would not shift at all. Engine light came on turned around, went back. He was just leaving to go home it was 5:10 at this time. When he saw me he got out of his car, came over, I told him the increased changes and why I turned around:I had my 80 year old aunt with me I live 14 miles outside of town it was Friday afternoon I did not want to make matters worse by driving this car say an accident or doing more damage to the repairs needed. He put it on the analysis scope he said he had mixed messages. One was it said power steering but with the wrong code. After that there was nothing that showed up. He again assured me that we would be fine! I pulled out of the dealership, drove 2 miles, then was coasting! had no transmission. Pulled over to side of road, turned off the engine sat for a few minutes, restarted continued down the highway with my flashers on. It would not shift higher than second gear.we limped to a friends house parked the car, they gave us a ride home. What would have happened if I had continued down that road. Please help.

- Ellensburg, WA, USA

problem #4

Jan 162013

HHR 4-cyl

  • 97,500 miles
I pulled in my driveway and put the car in park and could not turn off the key. I tried to everything, steering wheel, key, shifter, brakes, etc and I could not turn the car off or get the key out. I had to pull a fuse to get the car to shut down. This problem is similar, if not exactly, the same of other complaints on this type car. I will probably have to have it towed and repaired by a dealer at great expense. Not good for GM.

- Fayetteville, TN, USA

problem #3

Oct 272012


  • 60,000 miles
Buyers beware: On Saturday evening we put the HHR into park and went to turn off the key and the key got stuck in the ignition. Tried several times to reput the car into gear and turn they key but it was permanently stuck in the on position. Had to wind up pulling a fuse out of the engine to cut off the car. Just took it to the dealership and they are refusing to acknowledge a problem and are forcing us to pay hundreds of dollars to get the car fixed. They are also blaming us for pulling the fuse and it causing an indicator light to come on.

- Olar, SC, USA

problem #2

Sep 102012


  • 88,682 miles
The car won't shift down to reverse neutral or drive.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #1

Mar 242012


  • miles
Last night our 2009 HHR would not turn off, and the key was stuck in the ignition. After looking at all the correspondence online related to this problem, we tried everything to shut the car off. We attempted to depress the solenoid switch behind the square covering in the bottom of the steering column, disconnected the battery, and ended up pulling the fuel fuse. We were in a hospital garage, and placed in a compromising position with theft, and not knowing if the car was actually engaged in "park." It was Saturday night, and of course, it will be looked at by the Chevy dealer Monday morning. I truly hope this will be covered by a recall.

- Brandon, MS, USA