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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 1
Average Mileage:
69,953 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 11 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Mar 152013

HHR 4-cyl

  • 50,468 miles


While driving home on the highway the power steering went out and it became very hard to steer, I was very lucky I wasn't on a curvey road, or I would have had an accident. I pulled off the road and turned my HHR off, then back on and the steering was back to normal. I continued my way back home and about ten minutes later it happened again. I pulled over and turned my HHR off and restarted it. Again everything was back to normal. Since then it has happened unexpectedly several times a week. I wish there was a recall so I could repair this malfunctioning steering motor. The dealer wants around $800 to do the work. I am now afraid to drive my HHR.

- San Antnio, TX, USA

problem #49

Mar 172013


  • 55,046 miles
My 2008 Chevrolet HHR has developed an intermittent steering power assist failure. It first occurred a week ago upon start up. I drove it a few miles, afraid to turn it off for fear I wouldn't be able to drive it home upon restarting. Upon restarting in my driveway, the problem was gone. Now, a week later and with my daughter borrowing the car to drive to work in a snowstorm, the problem resurfaced as she was driving! I see there are numerous other complaints of this problem being reported daily. Why is this issue not being dealt with by the manufacturer? wtf! I cannot afford the expense at the moment, so the car is currently being driven with this unsafe condition.

- Little Canada, MN, USA

problem #48

Feb 252013


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated as the steering wheel seized and became hard to turn. The failure was experienced several times. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 85,000.

- Vero Beach , FL, USA

problem #47

Dec 272012

HHR 4-cyl

  • miles


While driving on the road to work, the display message center said power steering then there was no power steering. It happened twice that day but after the car was shut off and cooled down it did not come on. The day after it happened again but stayed on longer. When the car was brought into the dealership on 12/31/12 they told us it could be the power steering motor or the steering column witch they both were not under warranty. It keep happening with the car for a week. I then brought my car to my mechanic on 1/4/13 and he replaced the power steering motor and it has not happen sense. Before I brought my car to him I went online to see if there was anyone else with the same problem and what they did it fix it. That's how I found out it wasn't just my car that this has happen to that there was a lot of other people who have had the same problem. Thankfully we were able to control the car and not get into an accident.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #46

Jan 142013


  • 64,444 miles
While driving power steering went out dash indicator stated power steering failure, pulled over shut off car inspected for any signs of problem, restarted car power steering was back, continued trip same thing occurred 15-20 minutes later same result same process reading a lot about recall on cobalt using same motor and recall in Canada for same problem. Researching part to fix can;T wait until a us recall.on your sight many people are having the same issues as myself. Why no investigation puzzles me.

- Columbus, IN, USA

problem #45

Jan 052013


  • 90,500 miles
The warning indicator for the power steering on my 2008 Chevrolet HHR went on as I was leaving a parking lot. Because I was not far from home, I drove home very slowly without power steering. When I turned the vehicle on again, it was fine. Since then, the power steering has gone out while I am driving, and I have to pull off the road and restart my vehicle to get it to operate again. On my last trip, which was approximately 40 minutes with very few turns (highway driving), the power steering went out four times. I have been told that GM recalled the power steering motor on the Chevy cobalt and Saturn ion, which is the exact same part as the HHR. This issue is unsafe, and the consequences could be dangerous if the power steering goes out when someone is not expecting it or traveling at high speeds (or if they are too young to remember cars without power steering).

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #44

Nov 102012


  • 87,000 miles


Power steering keeps going out. Usually when turning. The first time it went out, I was driving 45 mph and it went out while I was rounding a curve, and I almost hit a tree because I was unaware that it was going to do this. After that, it went out about 2-3 times a week, everytime when making a turn. I went to have it looked at and my mechanic said that he couldn't find anything wrong with the power steering and to report this problem as he has seen this in a few other Hhrs that he has worked on. It is very dangerous and because of it unpredictability, I am always afraid to drive my car.

- South Byron, NY, USA

problem #43

Mar 152011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 32,500 miles
The electric steering system of my 2008 HHR failed so many times on me. It happened in cool mornings and in hot afternoons. One time the system failed while I was making an U turn and the car almost jumped onto the sidewalk because it was so hard to turn without the power assist. This is definitely a safety issue. I saw some reports that in Canada there was a recall on this problem. Why not in us?

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #42

Oct 272012


  • 31,330 miles
As I was driving around a curve after stopping, going about 5 mph, a power steering message appeared and I was unable to steer my car. In order to stop my car I had to turn a corner (by turning the wheel which took a lot of effort), where I was able to put it in park and then shut off the vehicle. The car started back up with no problems. An hour later the message reappeared and would not go off. It is very difficult to steer and I do not want to drive this on the road (I have no control over the car). The car only has 31,000 miles on it and is 4 years old.

- Mullica Hill, NJ, USA

problem #41

Oct 102012


  • 40,500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel locked without warning. The contact turned the engine off and maneuvered the steering wheel with force several times before there was a normal response. The contact was able to resume driving. The failure occurred five times. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 40,500.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #40

Oct 022012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


The car was like "exhaling" as I was driving on the highway. The next morning after I started my car, I saw the message "power steering". took it to the Chevy dealership on Oct 3 and was charged for them to tell me they could not duplicate the problem. On Oct 10, it happened again, but I heard a warning signal along with the message. I immediately drove to the dealership again and was told they couldn't get to me until Oct 15. I was told that the last time, they found a low voltage and that was all. I'm left wondering what to do if it stops in the middle of the highway and no power steering. I have another appointment on Oct 15th(probably for another $120) for them to tell me the same thing. Safety - if I lose the power steering while on the highway, trying to go around curves, I will surely get hit by someone. There's no shoulders on the highway (I-40) that I drive on daily during peak traffic time. Luckily, my car has not done that to me, but it is showing all the warnings. Please help before someone loses their life, including myself. I am about afraid to get on the road because of this problem and of reports that the engine "fried" on someone else's car.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #39

Sep 272012

HHR 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the power steering was malfunctioning intermittently. The contact stated they have to turn the vehicle off and restart it in order to get the steering to come back. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 32,000. Updated 11/28/12 the consumer stated the power assist for the steering would go out without warning while driving.

- Ciprus, TX, USA

problem #38

Sep 292012


  • 110,858 miles
While on vacation we were driving in Washington DC traffic during mid day traffic congestion, the power steering failed in our car. We were lucky and were able to struggle to steer to get off to the edge of the highway and shut the car off. Upon restarting the power steering was working until several hours later again in busy traffic. This happened 3 more times in next two days before getting it back home & to the dealership, where it was determined to be a component that has been recalled in other models but not this one. I cannot understate the danger of losing power steering in any road conditions, putting myself, my family and other motorists in danger.

- Titusville, PA, USA

problem #37

Jul 142012


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving 2 mph, the power steering motor turned off independently. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing and the contact was informed that the power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 90,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #36

Sep 122012


  • 110,000 miles
I had just pulled out of a driveway. I heard a few alert tones and looked at my dash and the power steering message was displayed. I entered into a roundabout and learned that my power steering was not working. Luckily I was not going very fast and was able to muscle the car through the turns. I had a few more turns on the way home. Once at home I turned the car off for a few minutes. Upon restarting it the power steering was again functional. I am afraid that it will happen again in heavy traffic areas.

- Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #35

Sep 032012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Power steering fails after vehicle is driven for approx 10 minutes. No warning, just goes out. Apparantly Chevy cobalt uses same/simalar electric power steering motor which has been recalled. Unsure why no recall has been issued for the HHR.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #34

Aug 182012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Power steering ceased to function.

- Cornelia, GA, USA

problem #33

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 #32

Apr 022012

HHR 4-cyl Diesel

  • 37,000 miles
Vehicle will show ecs code in dic message center and ESC will be disabled. Vehicle will then lose power steering short time later and you will have no power steering. Has been happening since warranty expired at 36,000 miles. It will reset after engine is turned off, however after about 20 minutes of steady driving you will lose power steering.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #31

Aug 132012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 99,650 miles
While driving, the power steering light came on and the vehicle became hard to steer. It does this almost every time we drive the vehicle, but luckily it has not yet done it while turning a corner. When you turn the vehicle off and turn it back on, it works again. There does not seem to be anything in particular that triggers an event. It may happen after 2 minutes of driving, or 40 minutes of driving, or it may not happen at all on any one particular trip. This is a very dangerous situation and seems to be common amongst HHR owners. There is currently a Canadian recall on this, but not here in the us. There is a GM tsb (231703) referencing this, but that does not require GM to repair this dangerous problem.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

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