really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,506 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Apr 162012


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the key would not release from the ignition, therefore the engine could not be shut off. The contact had to disconnect the battery wires and the fuel pump fuse to shut the engine off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the dealer stated that the failure was located at the ignition lock cylinder. The dealer replaced the ignition lock cylinder. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN information was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 60,000.

- Rimrock , AZ, USA

problem #42

Dec 232011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shut off and the key would not remove from the ignition. The contact disconnected the fuel pump in order to shut off the vehicle. The failure recurred whenever the contact operated the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the ignition switch failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #41

Apr 092012


  • 41,000 miles
After parking in the drive way around 11:30 pm the ignition key would not turn off. I tried to use the release plunger but ended up removing the lower steering column cover and forcing it over the key. Then I pulled the wire harness off which shut off the engine. I was able to start the car by putting the wire back on and twisting the key. The dealer said the key was bent and charged me $400 to replace the switch. They obviously used pliers to remove the key. While in their waiting room I read an article in a March issue of motor magazine that said this is a common problem for several cars including HHR's and they are not sure why. I feel this should have been on recall and not be charged to us. The keys may be too soft or it was a manufacturers defect in the first place.

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #40

Apr 102012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
I have two issues going on with my HHR. Last evening I pull into my driveway and my key would not turn off engine and release. I have read hundreds of complaints with the same issues while I was trying to research how to turn off my car. My car ran in my driveway for 2 hours wasting gas until we figured out how to turn off car. The manual states that you can push a tumbler and turn the key to release it. The manual is not clear on what the tumbler is but the only movable piece inside steering wheel base did not help to release the key. We finally figured out how to pull the fuse to shut down the entire car. The dealership was closing around the time I started calling and their option to come leave the car without other transportation was not a good option for me with kids. Once fuse was out the car is sitting in my driveway with the key in it which is causing a whole other level of stress for me. I have to put fuse back in this morning and take to dealership to get my car fixed. From other complaints the fix should be the same. I don't understand if this is such a big issue why there is no recall on this. I also would like to know will we as loyal customers get a refund when they actually do decide to recall this apparent defective car. My other issue is the air bag light pops on for unspecified periods of time and says it needs serviced. It can go off for days and weeks at a time and then decide to pop back on. I have also been reading about this issue in the complaints and wondering why there is no recall on this issue as well.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #39

Apr 052012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 32,643 miles
I pulled into the gas station to get gas. I could not shut the car off nor remove the key. My 2009 cobalt had the same problem and was fixed due to a vehicle recall. However, my 2009 HHR had no recall on it even though it uses the exact same defective parts as the cobalt did. I am also concerned about the steering on the HHR since it shares the exact same mechanicals as the cobalt. The cobalt had a recall due to steering, however the HHR did not. A search for complaints on=line yielded many results. It appears that the HHR's are having the exact same problems yet the consumers are left with paying for the repairs. My GM dealer confirmed that the HHR uses the exact same faulty parts as the cobalt and he could not explain why the HHR was not covered in the recall either. He stated that they have had to fix just as many HHR's as they have cobalts... the only difference is that cobalt owners do not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses and HHR owners do. This is ridiculous.

- Sainte Genevieve, MO, USA

problem #38

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

problem #37

Mar 162012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
2009 Chevy HHR - key stuck in ignition with engine running. Had to pull negative battery cable and ignition fuse to shut car off. Called dealer and they told me to bring it in. Reconnected battery cable and replaced fuse and car started up so I could drive to dealer. Chevy dealer stated ignition lock syl binding, removed and replaced cyl. I had to pay $300+ to have this fixed and since this is a known issue with HHR's, I feel GM should definitely do a recall as this is a serious safety issue. Also the service air bag light comes on randomly and can stay on the entire trip or go back out in a few minutes, only to come back on a few minutes later.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #36

Mar 182012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The key is stuck in the ignition. The release button under the steering wheel does not release the keys. Fuses were taken out and the negative battery cable was disconnected to shut off the car. The dealer advised that this is a common problem and the ignition lock cylinder needs to be replaced. The dealer advised that repair would not be covered as the vehicle is well outside of the 36,000 mile warranty. The manufacturer was notified and also advised that the repair would not be covered. The vehicle has not been repaired.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #35

Mar 142012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact was unable to turn the key in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the ignition housing and ignition switch had to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000. Updated 04/19/12 the consumer stated the repairs cost $450. Updated 04/25/12

- Kinsman, OH, USA

problem #34

Mar 062012


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the ignition switch failed. The engine could not be turned off and the key would not eject from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the ignition tumbler. The dealer informed the contact that there were no recalls for the failure. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #33

Mar 042012


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that when inserting the key in the ignition, it would not turn. The vehicle was later towed to the dealer where they advised her that the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 79,000.

- Cheboygan, MI, USA

problem #32

Jul 282010

HHR 4-cyl

  • 25,104 miles
7/10 - center console lights inop. Dealer replaced internally shorted relay. Warranty 11/10 - engine would not crank/service airbag & power steering msg on dic. Dealer towed in, replaced starter and found loss of comm w/ BCM due to internal short. Dealer replaced BCM. Warranty 12/10 - engine turns over wont start. Dealer towed in, found power train relay open. Replaced relay. Warranty 4/11 - service airbag light. Dealer found open circuit at passenger front airbag. Reconnector connector added dielectrical grease. Stabilitrack light does not come on (ever). Was told system is okay, some models don't have warning lights. (go figure, will not return to that dealer) warranty 2/12 - service airbag light. Comes on and goes out 3 - 4 times during first 15 minutes of driving first trip of the day. Happens 90% of the time. If I can find a dealer I can trust I will have them check this and the stabilitrack problem. Mileage is now 63,000.

- Cedar Lake, IN, USA

problem #31

Apr 272011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 45,773 miles
Unable to turn engine off and remove the key. The key is stuck in the running position and will not move. Had to remove fuel pump fuse and disconnect battery to turn off engine and lights. This has happened twice, had to have it towed and pay for repair the first time and waiting for tow truck to come get it the second time in less than a year, which I'm sure I'll have to pay for again.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #30

Jan 142012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Key stuck in ignition after parking. Could not turn car off and could not remove key from ignition. More specifically, pulled into driveway, put vehicle in park and could not turn off vehicle or remove key from ignition switch opening. The key was stuck in the ignition and I could not pull it out of the ignition switch. Had to drive the car to the dealership where they removed gas pump fuse and car stopped running. Dealership today (1-15-2012) confirms there was a failure in the ignition switch and it needs to be replaced. I have a Chevy cobalt 2009 which has a recall on the ignition switch for this exact problem. These are basically the same kinds of car and so there should also be a recall on the HHR ignition switch, but apparently there is not one. Dealership says there is no recall on the HHR ignition switch, but there is on the cobalt ignition switch.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #29

Jan 012012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 54,255 miles
I put the transmission into park and attempted to turn off the car and remove the key to go into a store. I could not turn the ignition switch to off or remove the key. I drove the car home and parked. I could still not turn the ignition switch to off or remove the key. Numerous attempts of putting car into reverse, or drive and into park did not solve the problem. The key was trapped in the ignition switch! called onstar and was forwarded to customer service; tow truck was called. Tow truck delivered car to dealership with engine still running. Problem diagnosed in ignition key cylinder which was replaced.

- Chapin, SC, USA

problem #28

Dec 132011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
The HHR won't start. Came out from work and the key won't turn in the ignition and the steering wheel is locked. Everything is locked up.......I can't get the car to start.

- Wentzville, MO, USA

problem #27

Feb 152010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact attempted numerous times to turn the ignition off; however the ignition key failed to turn and remained in the on position. The contact disabled the fuse and then disengaged the battery in order to shut the engine off. The key remained stuck in the ignition switch. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where an appointment was scheduled for repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Concordia, KS, USA

problem #26

Nov 042011


  • 65,000 miles
After returning home from running errands, I found I could not turn the car off and remove the key from the ignition. Even pushing the gear release button, did not release the key or allow me to turn the vehicle off. The battery & the fuel pump relay had to be disconnected in order to turn the vehicle off. Luckily I was in my driveway and not on the road with my small children. The ignition cylinder had to be replaced. Chevy towed my vehicle to a local dealer "free of charge" however because it happened on a weekend was unable to do anything or find out any information to help me out. It wasn't until Monday that a manager was available at the dealership who was willing to help me out with paying for this, due to it being out of the bumper to bumper warranty. Thank you to the dealership, however am unimpressed with Chevy for not recognizing an unsafe design flaw (not fluke, flaw).

- Haysville, KS, USA

problem #25

Oct 202011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 56,740 miles
I have a 2009 Chevy HHR, which is having the same problems that caused a recall on the Chevy cobalt, the Pontiac G6, G5.the Chevy Malibu. My power steering system fails in the middle of a turn, the led read out says power steering and then it completely goes out, I have to either turn the vehicle off and re start it or remove the fuse that is in the electrical fuse box and put it back in, this only corrects the problem temporarily, (this is so dangerous, as I might be in the middle of a curve on wet/icy roads and have the steering go out on me) there are numerous threads on line in reference to this issue with the HHR and GM has not done a recall for it in this model, this vehicle has the same steering components as the ones that have been recalled, one of the hazards possible is a fire. I feel this issue should be addressed in all of GM's vehicles with the same faulty parts not just the ones listed, they know these parts are in these cars and have chosen to ignore all complaints to repair the issue, the parts cost the public between $150 and $200 not including the hour of labor to fix the issue, why should the consumer be required to foot the bill for something that is clearly GM's fault, I have grand children that are in my car at any given time and I should not have to worry about my car catching on fire or the steering going out while I am in a turn on a wet or icy road !

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #24

Oct 182011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 22,400 miles
The vehicle will not shut off when running, key is stuck in the ignition, there is no way to shut the vehicle off. Cannot remove key, vehicle will drive, reverse and park, will not allow vehicle to be shut off. Internet searches shows this to be a common problem with both the Chevrolet cobalt and HHR, however no recalls have been issued.

- Prospect Park, PA, USA

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