really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,751 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.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Chevrolet HHR:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Sep 082012


  • 47,500 miles
While leaving work my electric power steering cut out. I restarted the vehicle and the power steering would reset itself but would go out within a minute or two of driving down the road. I spent about 3hrs attempting to narrow down when this would occur, however it was always at random speeds, turn radius', in cruise control or not, while accelerating or when braking. Continued shutting vehicle down to reset the system so as to continue to troubleshoot. Always failed shortly after restarting and hitting the road. As this can be very dangerous, there certainly needs to be a recall for the power steering to be repaired.

- Atlanta, MI, USA

problem #32

Aug 242012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 37,424 miles
The power steering warning displayed in the dash panel shortly after vehicle was started while I was pulling out of a parking spot. Steering was very difficult. I turned the ignition switch off, restarted the vehicle, and the power steering warning cleared and steering worked normally for a few miles before it failed again. The problem makes it very difficult to steer the vehicle at slow speeds and in sharp curves or turns.

- Viper, KY, USA

problem #31

Aug 142012


  • 18,269 miles
On the approximate date indicated above at the approximate speed indicated above, the power steering failed. It came on again when the car was restarted but failed shortly thereafter. It continues to fail after a few miles, seemingly shorter times for each incident.

- Cape Elizabeth, ME, USA

problem #30

Jul 022012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 68,500 miles
While driving the power steering failed. If I turn the car off and restart it, the power steering will work fine. While driving the power steering continues to fail each trip I take each day and it can happen at any time. I will often turn my car off at a red light so I can restart it and have functional power steering for at least a little while. The car is very difficult to turn without power steering, and sometimes catches me off guard.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #29

Aug 152012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 50,888 miles
While driving at approx 15 Aug 2012 13:30 hrs edt @ 20 mph ON15 Aug 2012 the 'power steering' light came on and the steering became very hard. I was lucky as I was only a block from home. I could see this would cause a major problem if I were driving at highway speeds. I did see that a recall was issued for the Chevy cobalt and others that use the same power steering unit but not the HHR...time to get the recall going before someone gets killed...also a recall was issued in Canada for the HHR.

- Wyncote, PA, USA

problem #28

Jul 182012


  • 92,000 miles
The power steering system went out on my car while driving. The power steering system works after it has had time to cool down for 5 to 15 miles. The system goes out everyday and every-time it is driven.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #27

Jun 272012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 37,053 miles
Power steering assist has dropped out numerous times. The dash chimes and a power steering message appears on the digital display. Shutting the engine off and restarting it resets the power steering assist only to have it drop out again within a mile or so. The warranty expired a few months ago. This situation could be very dangerous should the power steering assist drop out while negotiating a sharp turn etc.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #26

Jul 252012


  • 55,000 miles
Like others, there were some warning beeps and the message appeared on the dash "power steering". then the power steering went out. Once I cut the car off and back on, I had power steering back. This seems very similar to the reason for the recall on the cobalt and S5. Happened again on 7/26 and 7/27.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #25

Jun 012012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Loss of steering assist occurs at any time while driving and once assist is lost, a message is displayed on the driver information center (dic) and a chime sounds. This is the same problem & part involved in the below recall of cobalts & in a Canadian recall of Hhrs. It is almost impossible to park when it is not working. Resetting by turning ignition off, then starting engine again will last about 30 seconds. I have almost crashed as it fails while turning entering/exiting parking spaces or garage. NHTSA action number: NHTSA recall campaign number: PE10005 10V073000 make: Chevrolet model: Cobalt manufacturer : General Motors llc model year : 2009 component(s) : steering:electric power assist system date investigation opened : January 27, 2010 date investigation closed : July 19, 2010.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #24

Jun 162012


  • 62,800 miles
The powersteering goes out while driving. Speed doesn't seem to matter. Once the car is stopped and turned off the powersteering comes back on, however it may go out again at 500ft to a few miles.

- Five Points, AL, USA

problem #23

May 052012


  • 105,000 miles
While driving power steering light will come on and loss of power steering occurs, also shaking, have replaced rotors and brakes twice within one year, why is Chevrolet not fixing the problems on the HHR when other models with same components have been recalled. I will never buy another Chevrolet if they fail to resolve these issues.

- Sardinia, OH, USA

problem #22

May 082012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Twice today, the power steering stopped working while driving this vehicle. While pulling out of a parking place, the power steering stopped working for the first time. Upon stopping, putting the vehicle in park and re-starting the vehicle it worked again for a short period. (less then 2 miles) luckily, we were only traveling 40 mph on a straight, level, side road when it happened the second time. I have visions of very bad things if/when this happens again at highway speeds on a winding roadway. Upon further research, before making this report, I read of many others who own this same vehicle who have had this same problem, and that there is possibility that there was a manufacturer recall in Canada, but not in the us. I also understand that the same parts are used in the Chevy cobalt, does have a recall.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #21

May 042012


  • 58,280 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the power steering failed while reversing from a parking space. The contact stated that there was no warning prior to the failure. The contact spoke with the dealer and was informed that they could not locate a failure code because the system reset when the vehicle was shut off. The failure and current mileages were 58,280.

- Menominee, MI, USA

problem #20

Apr 292012


  • 75,000 miles
When I put my Chevrolet HHR into park and proceeded to turn the car off, the ignition switch was stuck in the on position and I was unable to turn the ignition to the off position while the car was still running. I had to disconnect the battery cable and remove a fuse to get the vehicle to turn off completely, and am having to take it to the dealership tomorrow for a repair.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #19

Apr 152012


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the electric power steering failed while driving at various speeds and the steering wheel seized. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The contact stopped the vehicle to correct the failure. The vehicle was in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 51,000.

- Tucson, AS, USA

problem #18

Apr 022012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Power steering motor goes out while driving and fixes its self once you shut the car and start back up. Key gets stuck in ignition can't turn the car off.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Oct 122011


  • 50,000 miles
My power steering stopped operating. I got it repaired at a price of $800 upon researching, I have seen that other HHR owners have had this same fault occur. There has been recalls on other GM models for this same fault, such as the cobalt. I would hope that GM declares a recall for HHR's also. I have kept my receipt if this becomes the case. I would hope that the NHTSA has gotten quite a lot of complaints concerning this case and require GM to follow through. Thank you, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #15

Dec 222011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Dtc code P0475 electric power steering motor failure, Canada has a recall on these cars why not the United States" the link to the site with the details listed below is.. >>> wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/saf-sec-sur/7/vrdb-bdrv/search/recalldetail.aspx"lang=eng&&rn=2010447 <<< road safety recalls database Transport Canada recall # 2010447 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- recall date 2010/12/16 notification type safety tc system steering manufacturer recall number 10413 units affected 86,345 category car recall details certain vehicles equipped with electric power steering may experience a sudden loss of power steering assist that could occur at any time while driving. If the power steering assist is lost, a message is displayed on the driver information centre and a chime sounds to inform the driver. Typically, at the next ignition cycle, power assist is regained and the driver information centre message will be off. Steering control can be maintained, as the vehicle will revert to a manual steering mode, but would require greater driver effort at low vehicle speeds, which could result in a crash causing property damage and/or personal injury. Correction: Vehicles will receive a special extended warranty coverage of 10 years/240,000 km from first registration. Under this special coverage program, vehicles that experiences this condition will have the electric power steering motor replaced. Make model model year(s) affected Chevrolet HHR 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Saturn ion 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007.

- Mason, MI, USA

problem #14

May 012011


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact heard a knocking noise coming from the wheels while driving and making turns. The dealer advised the contact to replace the struts. The failure mileage was 65,000 and the current mileage was 94,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Manning, SC, USA

Read the next 13 complaints »