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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,135 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.

2006 Chevrolet HHR transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jul 192011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 58,255 miles


2006 Chevy HHR :: problem :: power steering message on dash and hard to steer, ABS light on, transmission making car buck while driving, and speedometer is bouncing. This is the second time it has happened, last time dealer found only "communication codes" and did not fix anything so nothing was covered by the extended warranty. That was 9 months ago at 50140 miles.

- Weare, NH, USA

problem #24

Jul 152011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that when the vehicle was shifted into park, the gear shifter became stuck and it was very difficult to remove the key from the ignition. The contact had to shake the gear shifter in order to remove the key. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed, but the contact felt the gear shift actuator was failing. The failure and current mileages were 55,000.

- Easly, SC, USA

problem #23

Jun 262011


  • 55,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 Chevrolet HHR for my daughter with a 72 months /100,000 miles extended warranty (which has one year and six months left). She brought her car home from school on summer vacation saying that her car was shifting funny. We took it tarr Chevrolet service department believing that with our extended warranty they would be able to figure out the problem, repair it, and all would be good. However, that was not the case. It took them two weeks to figure out the transmission was blown. I was called today and had with a very confusing conversation with the service manager. I was told that I had two options for getting my car repaired. It was explained to me that I could either get a used transmission with 33,000 miles on it already and it would be covered by a one year warranty (the transmission that just broke down with only 55,000 miles on it). Or I could get a new transmission and pay the difference of $1,500 dollars which seems unfair to me. This is a short summary of what has transpired and it is very discouraging to my daughter and I. we were wondering if you had any insight into our predicament.

- Dandridge, TN, USA

problem #22

Apr 192011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Power steering failure while driving my vehicle with children.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #21

Jan 022009

HHR 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Few issues that several people also have discussed on the web: **transmission hard shifting. Still an issue, garages and dealer have not been able to resolve * not coming out of ignition. Recent issue not fixed yet. May be transmission interlock issue based on internet discussions **leak and water gets in car. Gets my heat blower wet and blows out a part and I only have off and high fan settings. Ongoing issue as well.

- Zieglerville, PA, USA

problem #20

Jul 012010


  • 65,000 miles
2006 Chevy HHR. Gear shift control pin falls out of plastic retainment piece resulting in gear shift button sticking in the inward position and the key remaining locked in steering column. Due to a defect in manufacturing, the plastic cracks around the pin retainment hole. The control pin then becomes loose, thus resulting in the control pin either moving out of it's intended position and jamming the gear selector, or falling out completely and allowing the gear selector to move in any gear at any time, weather the car is running or shut off. Once control pin moves out of position or falls out, the micro switch cannot be activated to release the key from the ignition, thus resulting in a dead battery very dangerous. The dealerships are aware of this problem but insist there is no T.S.B. or recall. They could easily replace the plastic retainment part with the newer version used in later models, but claim they can't get it. There remedy is to replace the entire shifter assembly at a cost of $150 plus labor. The newer retainment part can't cost more than 15 dollars, (narrow piece of plastic ~ the size of a pencil with a small hole in it). This part goes from the top of the shifter to the bottom of the gear selector and holds the control pin in position, which in turn, activates the micro switch to release the keys. With the amount of occurrences listed online since 2006. This, without a doubt, should be a recall.

- Jeannette , PA, USA

problem #19

Mar 162010


  • miles


I have had my 2006 HHR in dealership 3 times for a hard shifting transmission. They rebuilt the transmission and I am having the same problem again. I took it back they drove it and it was fine. This hard shifting happens maybe 25per cent of the time but when it does it shifts very hard and continues. I am afraid it will put me down what can I do?

- Cotler Bay, FL, USA

problem #18

Apr 302010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
2006 HHR with automatic transmission. Repair light lit with codes indicating internal transmission problems and bad connections in electrical system. Several trips to mechanic localized problem to connector plug on transmission. Harness wire is too short and drivetrain flex causes strain on plug resulting in failure of connector pins in plug.

- Chesilhurst, NJ, USA

problem #17

Apr 302010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
2006 Chevy HHR lt with automatic transmission. Metal pin mechanism located in lower shifter handle which activates transmission interlock slides out of shifter unit due to excessive wear on the plastic carrier bracket. Shifter handle is then able to be pulled out of park when key is in "off" or "lock" position and key cannot be removed from ignition without disassembling the console to activate the microswitch interlock. Anecdotal evidence indicates this problem occurs across HHR and cobalt platforms.

- Chesilhurst, NJ, USA

problem #16

Aug 022010


  • 79,000 miles
The button on the shift lever on the automatic transmission of my 2006 Chevy HHR sticks in the in position allowing the transmission to be shifted into any gear including park and reverse as I am driving. This problem is intermittent but recurs from time to time, very unpredictable. At this time I have not fixed it because I was debating trading the car in.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #15

Jun 262010


  • 43,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated the gear shift would not move from gear to gear while the vehicle was in operation. In addition, the contact stated that the key would come out of the ignition without the vehicle being locked in the park position. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The failure and current mileages were 43,000. Updated 10/27/10.

- Cheifland, FL, USA

problem #14

Nov 042009


  • 39,000 miles
2006 Chevy HHR - automatic transmission does not lock into position, can freely slip transmission shifter from park, reverse, neutral, drive and lower gears with little pressure and without depressing the shifter locking latch. GM has recalled 2010 models with similar issues but none of the previous year model Hhrs dealership wants $150 to try new battery to see if it will fix the problem. If this solution does not work then they want another $160 for new shifter unit... labor for both these items are not included, just cost of parts. I believe GM recognizes issue: GM tsb #06-07-30-004F.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #13

Mar 082010


  • 45,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy HHR, and within the past two weeks have experienced a problem (which apparently, after looking online, several other owners have experienced). When I put my car in park, and go to turn off the ignition, it won't let me take out my key, and my steering wheel won't lock. This happens everythime that I try to turn off my car now, which is at least about ten times daily. I have to "slam" it into park to get the key out. I am not sure though that when this is done if my car is truly in park. I went to my car repairman, who said that this definitely needs to be looked at because if I continue to "slam" it in park, I could eventually break the shifter- which in my mind could definitely cause an accident/ or property damage. I am taking my car in on Wednesday for this purpose, not sure yet what the cost will be, but I strongly believe that this problem should be looked at by dot.

- St. Joseph, MO, USA

problem #12

Feb 262010


  • 103,000 miles
Shifter refuses to go fully into park resulting in inability to remove key from steering column. Shifter does not lock into gear and can move freely between gears without brake pedal depressed.

- Macon, MO, USA

problem #11

Feb 202010


  • 50,000 miles
2006 Chevy HHR ls permanent failure. Gear shift stopped locking. Gear shift moves freely into any position while driving or stopped. Car may roll. Will not release key from ignition.

- Carthage, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 202009


  • 47,000 miles
Could not remove key from ignition with gear selector in park. This condition was remedied by pushing the gear selector hard into park for a while. Then total failure came when no amount of pushing the gear selector hard into park would allow the key to be removed. I removed the gear shift cover and reached in and found a micro switch that when tripped allowed me to remove key. I called local dealer and Chevrolet factory toll free line and they did not say this was a known defect. I purchased replacement part # 25864102. I personally installed this and it fixed the problem. There is a steel pin in the gear selector plastic shift rod. The plastic is week and allowed the pin to drift approx 1/2" to left which would not allow the key removal micro switch to be tripped as it should be to allow the key to be removed from the ignition lock cylinder. I called Chevrolet back (tel # 1-866-790-5600) and they set up case # 71-781779261. They told me to take defective part to the dealer and they would contact the dealer to analyze the part for reason of failure. I took the part to the dealer service manager12/4/09. I called Chevrolet several weeks later and they said the dealer threw the part away since Chevrolet did not contact them promptly. I had ask for Chevrolet to refund the cost of the part only (no labor) but Chevrolet says they can't help since the part is now gone. I later searched on the internet and found many cases like mine (apparently Chevy cobalt shares gear shift mechanism basic internal design style). I called Chevrolet back, they still deny this is a recurring problem. This is a safety problem because you have to leave your car with the key in it when the failure occurs. Apparently this may also drain the battery because all circuits are not shutoff when you cannot rotate the key far enough to remove the key. I fear that my replacement part may not last either. The car was ~ 48 mo old and ~ 47,000 miles when total failure occurred.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #9

Oct 302008


  • 19,373 miles
Put vehicle in park, key would not come out of ignition after turning vehicle off. Still would re-start so found a dealer and dropped off vehicle. Per dealer sheet at pick-up - 19373 shifter rod fell off verified ignition key doesn't come out of ignition cylinder. Noticed shifter button stuck in/depressed. Remove power window switch panel, shifter cover panel. Disconnect shifter cable, remove shifter, found shifter rod fell off. Shifter B/O. ****** R&R shifter, install shifter cable, shifter cover panel, power window switch panel, road test vehicle, check shifter operation, shifter working normally. Turn vehicle off, easily able to remove key out of ignition.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #8

Dec 182008


  • 13,456 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 75 mph on normal road conditions, the traction control switch activated. Suddenly, the traction control disengaged without assistance. There was no response when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle began to idle excessively and surged unexpectedly. Immediately, the vehicle was driven to an authorized dealer for inspection, but they could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on three separate occasions for identical failures. The repairs consisted of installing a data recorder and replacing the BCM. In addition, the steering column and gear shifter were replaced. The vehicle was not being driven due to the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 13,456 and current mileage was 15,500.

- Box Elder, SD, USA

problem #7

Mar 252009


  • 60,000 miles
Auto dimmer does not work on rearview mirror. Unable to remove key from Chevy HHR 2006 model. It is a shift lever issue. The car is out of warranty so neither of these items are still covered. These are items that should last longer than three years. Chevy is ignoring the issue.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 032009


  • 39,000 miles
Key in the ignition is sometimes getting stuck, one has to position the automatic gear selector out of park and back into park to get the key to release properly. Possible its the interlock feature of the automatic gear selector position being affected.

- Santa Maria, CA, USA

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