Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,789 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.

2009 Chevrolet HHR brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments

problem #9

Jun 032013


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Letter fwd fm fmcsa concern the safety of his 2009 Chevrolet HHR ss, brakes are extremely hard causing difficulty in stopping vehicle at times, inquiring why there wasn't a recall (enclosures not imaged fwd to nvs-200) the consumer stated when he recently pulled away from a curb behind another vehicle that stopped at a crosswalk, he came within an inch of rear-ending the vehicle, because the brake was extremely hard, which made it difficult to stop. The consumer experienced the same scenario again, but it involved a pedestrian who was crossing the street in the crosswalk. The consumer stated a technical service bulletin was issued by Chevrolet, but not a recall. The dealer informed the consumer the cost to install an auxiliary vacuum booster pump was $1200.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #8

Dec 302010

HHR 4-cyl

  • 32,700 miles
At speed on steep downhill when applying brakes there is a violent shaking of the wheel. The vehicle was serviced and rotors were turned and new brake pads installed also a repair was made to a steering component. Less than 5,000 miles later the same issue has returned.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #7

Mar 072010


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR lt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds he noticed that the front end of the vehicle would exhibit a clunking noise and sway from side to side. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer and they advised him that he needed to replace the bearings, hubs, rims, the brake system, and the transmission sensor. The vehicle was repaired for all of the above yet the failure recurred less than 100 miles later. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered a different vehicle. The failure mileage was approximately 9,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Oct 192009


  • miles


After purchase of a new 2009 ss HHR. During the morning I backed into my garage and noticed a very soft brake pedal. I then started to proceed into the garage and when attempting to stop the vehicles brakes would not comply with my brake pressure and the vehicle proceeded to hit the side of our house. This became a routine situation upon "cold startups" and when reported to the dealer, (classic Chevy Chevrolet, grapevine, tx) after several poor stops, my service advisor advised "yeah we know about it". but there was no fix at the time when confronted with a possible fix he advised that " I made arrangements to have the car repaired when the fix from GM engineering was issued refused to service the car. GM customer service personnel and the bulletin advised that "they are working on the issue." I never got the rear of the car repaired due to the failure pressure failure.

- Northlake, TX, USA

problem #5

May 272010


  • 11,000 miles
When gently braking to a stop the right rear wheel has a clicking or clunking sound, not heard when applying the brakes hard. Minor pulsing can be felt in the brake pedal. First trip to dealer they found nothing wrong but turned the drum and the problem went away for a time. Two months later problem is back. This time dealer reported they tightened up the muffler. Muffler is on left side of vehicle, the problem is on the right. The problem is still there. Other HHR owners report same problem with the same wheel. Chevy dealers tell us "they all do it". it is not correct and needs to be resolved. I purchased the vehicle with 10K miles on it and problem surfaced soon after (not doing it at purchase). Now has 19K miles. 2009 HHR LT2.

- Stevensville, MI, USA

problem #4

Mar 082010


  • 44,000 miles
At 18,000 mile my 2009 Chevrolet HHR started shaking as the brakes were applied while going down a 5% mountain grade. Within a short distance after leveling off the braking returned to normal. This occurred several more times and at 24,000 mile the vehicle was taken to the dealership to have the brakes checked. The diagnosis was that the rotors had over heated and warped. At 44,000 mile the vehicle started shaking again as the brakes were applied while going down a 5% mountain grade. Brake pads do wear out. Rotors do need to be turned. Violent shaking from rotors warping because of overheating is not normal. It is an indication that the braking system may be undersized for this vehicle or that inferior parts are being used. The brakes have not been applied excessively. The vehicle is not overloaded. The vehicle has not been subject to sudden braking. The high mileage on the vehicle is from freeway driving.

- Ringgold, GA, USA

problem #3

Nov 042009


  • 5,492 miles


This is the third brake failure in this new Chevy HHR. Brakes started feeling soft. I was doing 65 mph on a 4 lane highway (denver C470) and needed to brake hard. Brakes were soft and the car pulled sharply to the right - nearly taking me into the car beside me. There were no dashboard warning lights. Had it towed to medved Chevy in castle rock, co. They report the brake fluid was full. Appears to have air in the brake line. They had already replaced the master cylinder and both front calipers. Service manager reported they really had no idea of what was wrong, but they replaced the modulator valve since it was the only remaining component they had not replaced. In none of the 3 failures could they find evidence of any fluid leaks. He said they had worked with GM engineering who could not offer any other solutions. I'm personally very worried about driving the vehicle and would absolutely not let my wife or anyone else drive it.

- Franktown, CO, USA

problem #2

Sep 262009


  • 3,058 miles
Second total brake failure in new 2009 Chevy HHR. See ODI #10281421 for prior complaint. In Colorado mountain town when brakes began to feel soft. Within minutes they would barely stop the car. Used the hand emergency brake to stop car. There were no panel lights indicating a brake failure. Check of brake fluid showed it was full. Took car to medved Chevy in castle rock, co. They confirmed the brake failure. After consulting with GM, they replaced both front calipers. However - they were not confident that this will resolve the problem. Prior calipers and brake lines did not show any apparent fluids leaks. Copy of repair invoice is available upon request. Very concerned about this second total brake failure within two months of ownership.

- Franktown, CO, USA

problem #1

Aug 222009


  • 850 miles
New 2009 Chevy HHR - total brake failure new car - driven for about 10 days - 850 miles. While driving, brakes started feeling soft while going downhill. Later approaching an intersection at about 20 mph, brakes traveled about 2/3 of way before doing anything. Applied more pressure and car pulled to right. Pressed brake pedal all the way to floor and car kept moving. Pulled the emergency brake and stopped with nose of car in the intersection. There were no panel lights indicating a brake failure. Check of the brake fluid showed it is full. Took car to medved Chevy in castle rock, co today for repair. They confirmed the brake failure (easy to do since the pedal goes to the floor). They will diagnose and repair next week. I asked them to escalate a report of this issue in case other owners are not as lucky as me.

- Franktown, CO, USA

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