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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,249 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.

2008 Chevrolet HHR brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Aug 232012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


This car is a safety hazard going down road. I bought it new in 2008. Rotors & brakes are horrible - have to have repaired multiple times. Bearings have went out, replaced & one went out again. I spend approx 1200 dollars a year just to get shaking out of front end, turning rotors & tires. But that isn't really the problem I am reporting: Was having trouble with ignition switch - it was recalled - took it to dealer to have it replaced - understand that I was having no problems with car at this time - upon leaving dealers and within 15 miles power steering light comes on & I lose power steering. Now my power steering goes out unexpectedly whenever it decides to. Took back to dealer because I felt this was something they messed up and was told this is just a problem with Hhrs and that power steering motor needs to be replaced. After researching is very common with this car, along with brake issues, severe shaking in front, bearings going out and many other problems that I have also had. I realize my car is high mileage, I work as a home health nurse & use this car for work, but I do keep it maintained. I hope that I will be able to get into different car before I get in accident in this one.

- Lufkin, TX, USA

problem #36

Apr 032012


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. While applying the brakes at a speed of 25 mph, the contact noticed that the front end of the vehicle began to shake violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the front rotors were replaced. The failure recurred two weeks after the repair. The recent failure was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were 59,000.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #35

Aug 012011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
When braking to come to a stop the brakes/wheels shutter and shake violently.

- Edgewood , MD, USA

problem #34

Aug 192009

HHR 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles


I purchased a 2008 Chevrolet HHR in 2009 with 40,000 miles on it. I noticed braking/shaking problem. Dealer fixed it the day after I bought it. Under 500 miles later, braking/shaking starts again. Different dealer turns rotors two more times. Pads are wearing evenly, so the dealer mechanic advised me to purchase after-market rotors as the oem do not appear to resist warping very well. When the dealer's mechanic recommends putting on a non-dealer part, there has got to be something wrong with the engineering of the car or the integrity of the metal in the rotors. There are many complaints on people turning and re-turning these rotors all over the web, ultimately leading them to replace with non-GM parts.

- Gridley, CA, USA

problem #33

Jun 152011


  • 123,000 miles
For the third time since purchasing this vehicle, I have had to have the brake rotors turned due to warping. Had the pads replaced with lifetime pads last year. The wobble caused by this warping causes danger to driver, passengers, and others due to difficulty in controlling the vehicle.

- Humphrey, AR, USA

problem #32

Feb 052009


  • 10,000 miles
Very rough front end vibration and difficulty steering while braking at speeds over 50mph. Dealer turn rotors but came back after a few thousand miles.

- Streetsboro, OH, USA

problem #31

Dec 302009


  • 5,000 miles


Brakes shudder in front when moderate application at highway speed 120kph - dealer fix is having rotors machined but every time they do that they get thinner and heat up quicker therefore warp quicker. This time they had to replace rotors and machined rear drum because I literally had to you use the parking brake to stop on the highway to get back home from our trip. I'm a licensed mechanic and have never seen such poor performance in brakes, my solution would be to install disc brakes on the rear axle to improve the performance in braking. This problem started at since car was purchased 2008 first occurrence was at 5K (km) new rotors were put in at 45K (km). Please recall these brakes.

- Chatham , 00, USA

problem #30

Jun 302010


  • 20,100 miles
Very rough front end vibration and difficulty steering while braking downhill. This is the "second time" this has occured and I notified my dealership. Dealership re-cut my rotors "due to rust on rotors".

- Tarentum, PA, USA

problem #29

Apr 042009


  • 13,500 miles
Very rough front end vibration and difficulty steering while braking downhill. This first noticed and notified my dealership. Dealership cut my rotors "due to warping".

- Tarentum, PA, USA

problem #28

Apr 302010


  • 7,500 miles
Brake rotors warped and the car would shake with such a severe force controlling the car was very hard. After the dealer replaced four sets, before the car had 50,000 miles on it, the dealer told me that the brake pads were worn out and that would cause this to happen again. Just before the last rotors were, replaced the electric power steering would cease working and effectively hinder our ability to steer the car. The electric power steering is still a problem daily at different times. I am going to check into the repair process soon. I feel that this problem is caused by the rotors warping and shaking the front end equipment of the HHR. In closing, I replaced the pads and they were not worn out. I kept them for future reference.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #27

Mar 242008


  • 6,000 miles


I also own a 2008 Chevy HHR lt that is loaded. I purchased this vehicle brand new and currently have 39,000 miles on it. I have had nothing but trouble with this vehicle. I have had all of the following problems and GM replaced some of them. GM installed a new intermediate steering column, drag links, turned rotors 4 times and right side upper ball joint. After the warranty expired, the brakes once again went to hell in a hand basket. I ordered a set of racing rotors and ceramic brakes, this cured the brake problem. At 37,000 miles, the check engine light came on and I had it checked out and it was the cam sensor. I replaced the sensor and reset the light and it did not fix the problem. I really like the vehicle, but GM needs to do their homework and do more research and development.

- Poca, WV, USA

problem #26

Mar 012010


  • 63 miles
We own a 2008 HHR and it has been nothing but trouble. First when we purchased the car in Dec 2008 it had 23,000 miles on it. Two months after we got the car we had to replace both front rotors on it and after fighting with GM they agreed to pay for the rotors. At this time they told us that the car needed new tires and a front end alignment at 26,000 miles. Then just two months ago at 61,000 miles it had a rumbling noise in the front end, the drivetrain was still under warrenty.the dealer told me that the right side axle bearing was bad and they replaced it, and also at this time they told us that the lower ball joint needed to be replaced at a cost to us of over $400. Just last week the rumbling noise returned, I returned the car to the dealer again and they told us that this the left axle bearing was bad, warranty also covered this repair. Also they said that the car needed the front rotors turned and new brake pads on wife hit a pothole about three weeks ago and bent the wheel. Cost to replace the wheel was $150. When I rotated the tires as per gms advice I noticed that the right front strut was leaking, and as well as the left rear shock absorber. The only thing I like about this car was its looks. So next week we are going to buy a Ford Focus.. its no wonder GM had to have the government bail them out...

- Poca, WV, USA

problem #25

Sep 012008


  • miles
My mother experienced shaking and pulling to the side when applying the brakes. I told her to take it to Chevy for repairs. They put new rotors and brake pads on the car at my expense. I am a mechanic and it is not normal for the friction pad to be missing on the brakes, that is a part failure not wear and tear. I have the parts taken off my car in September when the repair occurred, that proves my statement. Two months later this same problem is occurring again. I contacted Chevy and they said it was normal wear and tear. I feel the new rotors are warped. Also I have complained to Chevy several times because when the car is first started the brakes are hard. If a small child walks out there could be a fatality due to this failure. I am in the military and live on post with many young children and the sidewalk goes by my house. I have seen several complaints online about the brakes being hard upon starting the vehicle made by other owners of the Chevy HHR's.

- Fort Campbell, KY, USA

problem #24

May 192009


  • 16,598 miles
Car was approx 4 months old and brakes started squeaking-took into dealer-they turned the rotors-fixed for about 2 wks - its back again and now when I apply brakes the front end of the car shakes violently. I am scared to drive this vehicle. I've tried to enter several times - it will not take it.

- House Springs, MO, USA

problem #23

Sep 272008


  • 7,350 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that whenever she starts the vehicle and drives forward or backwards, there is no braking power. When the brake pedal is depressed, the vehicle continues to move. She must pump the brake pedal with much force in order for the vehicle to stop. On one occasion, the failure caused her to rear-end another vehicle. There were no injuries and the speed was unknown. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer at least four times, but they cannot determine the cause of the failure. The dealer provided her with a brochure to keep in her vehicle in case of a crash, which stated that she has been experiencing brake failure and was not at fault for the crash. The failure mileage was 7,350.

- Norton, WV, USA

problem #22

Mar 012009


  • 30,000 miles
Twice in the first 30000 miles a pulsating feeling in the brake peddle had developed. The dealer said the front rotors were warped. The fix was to turn the rotors. The next time they will have to be replaced. This need for brake service every 15,000 miles is not right. The next time this happens the car will not be under warranty and will cause me to incur a considerable expense.

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #21

Jul 142008


  • 11,000 miles
I have a 2008 Chevy HHR. Four months after receiving the vehicle, I noticed that the brakes were squealing excessively. Additionally, it was pulling to the right when stopping. I took it into val-mark Chevrolet, new braunfels, Texas. I was told that they could really find anything wrong other than the front pads were wearing unevenly. They were replaced. In December of 08, I took my car to champion Chevrolet, corpus christi, Texas complaining of the same problem. They advised the back rotors were warped and needed to be resurfaced. That was done. I have just taken my car back in to val-mark. Now the front rotors are warped and need to be resurfaced. Mr. Jim robinson of val-mark says that I will need to pay for the resurfacing. It is my contention that this is an ongoing problem and should be covered. Additionally, I feel resurfacing in only putting a bandaid on the problem. The dealership has now changed positions and states that the front pad were not replaced for uneven ware, but only as a goodwill gesture.

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

problem #20

Feb 092009


  • 6,200 miles
Popping, cracking, grinding sound and car vibrating upon applying brakes. Very hard to get car to stop took it to the dealer they said something was loose under the car and they had to cut and piece it back together. Sound stopped for about 2 weeks and is back worse than before have had the car for 10 months 8,400 miles on it. I am afraid to drive it because I don't want to hurt myself or anyone else I am actually looking at buying and older car to drive around in.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 172008

HHR 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. When attempting to apply pressure to the brake pedal at 15 mph, the vehicle would not stop and stalled simultaneously without warning. The contact crashed into another vehicle and was towed to the dealer. There were no injuries. The cause of the failure has not been identified. He has a copy of the police report. The failure and current mileages were 8,000. Updated 03/23/09. The consumer stated the engine failed right before the brakes were applied. Updated 03/24/09.

- Dade City, FL, USA

problem #18

Jun 282008


  • 200 miles
Brakes lose vacuum when car sits for a while. On a cold start there is little braking power until the vacuum builds up. The dealership has been unable to correct the problem due to the fact GM does not have a fix for it. I have had the car 6 months with no fix. It's unsafe and I have a major concern due to having teenage drivers.

- Duluth, GA, USA

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