really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 4
Average Mileage:
57,065 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Nov 172010


  • 114,830 miles


Power steering fail while I was driving my 2006 HHR. Makes it hard to turn.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #30

Sep 032010


  • 42,000 miles
Turned on the ignition and the dashboard gauges all went out. Pulled the fuse and reinserted it - problem corrected. T/C indicator on instrument panel came on and the transmission was upshifting hard. Again, I removed and reinstalled the fuses and the problem went away. Power steering warning was displayed on the dash and the power steering was disabled. I removed and reinstalled the fuse associated with the power steering and the problem went away. I did notice that most of the fuses were mildly oxidized on one leg of each fuse.

- Sherman, TX, USA

problem #29

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 #28

Jun 242010


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 45 mph the vehicle stalled several times and would not restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the failure was electrical, but was not able to locate the exact area were the electrical failure originated. The manufacturer will be contacted. The failure and current mileages were 50,000.

- Taos , NM, USA

problem #27

Apr 012010


  • 81,000 miles
Key is unable to be removed from the ignition when car is in park. During the last two months I have had to use the release switch under the steering wheel every time I turn the vehicle off. I have taken the vehicle into the dealership, but because I am now out of warranty they would not offer any repair solutions without a costly inspection.

- Paramount, CA, USA

problem #26

Mar 172010


  • 44,351 miles
Ignition key does not come out of the steering column it is stuck in the ignition, car starts and shuts off but the key cannot be removed.

- Manalapan, NJ, USA

problem #25

Apr 022010


  • 30,339 miles


Ignition will not turn to lock and key cannot be removed.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #24

Feb 042010


  • 33,465 miles
To whom it may concern, I recently had repair work done on my wife's 2006 HHR LT2. The problem we were having was that she would randomly lose power steering with a warning chime and a notification on the instrument panel. This would be temporarily resolved by restarting the vehicle. I wasted little time and had it tested at classic Chevrolet in sugar land, tx. They soon discovered that the power steering motor was faulty. I had them replace it. Now I've been a lifelong GM customer and I was very disappointed with this expense, not only was it a failure unassociated to neglect but it was also a very dangerous problem. This problem is also highly documented on the web by many other HHR owners. After GM announced the recall of 1.3mil vehicles with this problem. The HHR was not listed yet but the Chevy cobalt and Pontiac G5 were. The HHR shares the same power steering motor as the cobalt and G5. GM part # 20763801. Jtekt North America is the producer of this motor. From what I discovered on the internet, GM has filed a lawsuit against jtekt in response to this issue. It is still unclear to me how GM has not included this model in there recall. I have recently been denied reimbursement by Chevrolet for my expenses.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #23

Mar 122010


  • 69,000 miles
Key gets stuck / can not turn to off position and remove the key. If you can not remove the key within an hour, your battery will be depleted. There is an actuating rod in the shifter that pushes a micro switch that completes a circuit to pull a solenoid in the steering column to allow the ignition switch to be tuned to the off position (and remove the key) when in park. The plastic part in the shifter assembly breaks and allows the actuating rod to fall out. The fix for this is to replace the shifter assembly. $185 not including labor. The quick fix for this is there is a plastic plug on the under side of the steering column. Inside you have to feel for the end of that solenoid and depress it to release the key. GM tsb #06-07-30-004F acknowledges the common occurrence of this failure from 2006 to 2010 HHR, cobalt, and Pontiac G5. Although, if you are out of warranty, your dealer may be reluctant to fix this problem without cost. Tires, ball joints, brakes, what have you, fail and are, no doubt, a common occurrence. If fact that is to be expected. But the shifter in an automatic? I would think that the shifter in an automatic should last the lifetime of the car. Imo, they installed a poorly made part. To me, this is obvious since they are stating in that tsb, 2006 - 2010 shifter are expected to fall apart as mine did. I have a 1965 Plymouth belvedere, the oldest car in my possession, that the shifter never needed to be repaired. In fact I've never had an automatic shifter problem with any car. It was stated in a forum that GM should have considered a metal collar or ring around the plastic bit that holds that pin to reinforce it and this problem would have never become a nuisance. Also, when that pin falls out, the shift lever is free to move without pressing the shift button on the front of the shift lever, so it could accidentally be moved to another gear while driving, even reverse!! I guess that is not enough of a safety issue for GM to worry about.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #22

Jan 202010


  • 3,000 miles
I bought my car brand new and sometimes without warning the engine light comes on and you only have a few seconds to pull over before it shuts down. Sometimes the light comes on when I'm stopped at a red light and the whole car starts shaking as if you popped the clutch too fast, except this car is an automatic. I have found through trail and error if I start messing with the computer buttons on the steering wheel that changes the information that is displayed on the dash board it will sometimes reset itself and act okay. Other times I have to let it sit for over 20 minutes before it will start up again. There is no set time this occurs, sometimes it happens a few times a day and other times it will go a month without happening. It shuts down at various speeds. Sometimes I'm going 65 miles and hour and other times I'm going 20 mph. I have brought the car back to the dealer but they told me they can't fix it until they reenact the problem. Each time they have had the car they could not reenact the problem, yet they said they can see there is a problem when they read the computer. I paid $20,000 for this car and am scared to drive it. I can't drive on the highway for fear it will shut down again. I have to take the back roads to get around.

- Davie , FL, USA

problem #21

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 www.mycarstats.com/ 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 #20

Oct 302009


  • 5,600 miles
2006 new vehicle purchase serviced 8 times for multiple failures related to either electrical/braking/ABS/ wheels/emissions/ traction control/computer/power steering and or computer issues/all repaired/and resolved at GM dealer/vehicle can not be driven safely when issue occurs the failed system in question overrides driver last incident failure occurred in heavy traffic resulting in removal from service which took 3 weeks to repair/had the conditions been different this may have resulted in a crash.

- Brant Rock, MA, USA

problem #19

Jul 072009

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer wants to know if there is a recall on the front bumper of her 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The consumer stated there was a problem with the gear shift and the door latches began to move up and down. Also, the vehicle started acting erratic while driving. Updated 09/13/10

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #18

Jul 162008


  • miles
Heat/A/C switch only works on high. Brought to dealer in July or Aug of 2008. It was making a screeching noise on settings 3 &4, then it got very quiet and only worked on the highest setting. Was told it was a problem with the resistor for the fan switch. Was told they had the part and it would be replaced under warranty. In September of 2008 it happened again. As the weather in SC has been tolerable, I did not immediately take it back in for re-service, but did mention it the 2 times I has stopped into dealer for oil changes and 6000 mile service. Finally got a day off during the week, and did go to see about this again about the first week in May. Was told that it would cost me $300. I stated it was recurring and that it should have been fixed correctly the first time when they had to replace the resistor. Was told they only took it apart and blew out the system, what ever that means. My parents bought the same car, but a 2007 - same thing, they have not bothered to bring it in yet but I am sure they will get wailed with replacement cost as well. Has this happened to alot of other people out there? I am sort of thinking this is more than just a coincidence.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #17

Jun 052007


  • 7,500 miles
Purchased 2006 HHR new in 07/06. In 06/07 started the car and the electronic odometer, the speedometer, the tachometer, temperature gauge, oil pressure all were not registering. Nothing. Pulled over turned off the car. Started and nothing. Turned off the car an additional time and all lights and gauges started working. Took it to a local dealership/service. Could not replicate the issue. I have had in the shop on 7 different occasions for the same reason. It additionally will cause the digital clock on the radio to go out/flash, the air bag sensor to flash. They have replaced two electronic parts, one of them being the electronic control module. Around thanksgiving of 2008 I had started my car and all the lights and gauges again would not work. I took it to the dealership and the general manager was able to verify that this was occurring. They had the car for 10 days and replaced the electronic part. The car still does the same thing. No rhyme no reason. At night you can open a door, close it and see lights in the radio randomly flashing. I am concerned and awaiting the day that the car just dies while driving it. They have never been able to locate the issue and told me that I am the only one with any problems of this type.

- Aberdeen, WA, USA

problem #16

Jan 012007


  • 26,000 miles
Initially, I had intermittent problems with my 2006 Chevy HHR. The key switch wouldn't turn all the way off to release the key. I took it to the dealership while it was under warranty, and they informed me that they "couldn't make it do it" (for which they have a record). After about a year-and-a half of this intermittent problem, my key would not come out of the ignition at all. I was out of town, staying at a hotel and had to leave the key in the ignition overnight. I read my owners manual and found the hidden release button in the steering column. I took it back to the dealership, and because I am out of warranty, I have to pay for this repair that is due to poor craftsmanship. After researching this to see if was recalled, I have uncovered numerous Chevrolet HHR owners that have experienced the same problem, and it is a faulty shift linkage. This item needs to be on the recall list.

- Brenham, TX, USA

problem #15

Feb 232009


  • 43,000 miles
2006 Chevy HHR continues to have power steering go out during operation. This could be very dangerous under certain conditions. After reading several blogs, it appears that the cause is a defect in the eps (electrical power steering). It employs the body control module (BCM), power steering control module (pscm), torque module and various other systems. The system becomes corrupted and causes intermittent power steering failure. As stated above, if the system fails during certain driving conditions, (I.e. driving in curving, mountainous terrain) and system fails, this could cause very difficult steering and a traffic crash.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #14

Oct 052008


  • 60,000 miles
I need your help, 1st, computer broke, then 2nd gear shift, then 3rd sunroof, then 4th back door won't open-son can't get out, then 5th power steering, tried to replace power steering with a used one that we could afford, , now car is locked and won't crank, did what mechanic said to reprogram and it still doesn't work, GM replaced 1st computer, I paid for gears, tried to get GM to fix electric steering, said they would buy parts but not labor >1000, right before we tried to replace the power steering the crank started hanging, 06 Chevrolet HHR-no car, help, its so broke, hurt myself trying to drive it, and have been trying to get fixed for over 2 months, its a bomb, now I have no car to drive. GM states its over mileage, thought I bought all warranties, dealer went out of business, palm bay Chevrolet, fl, I need some help, multiple times have all but crashed related to can't hardly steer it, turn it, I think I've broke my shoulder with this thing. Now I catch a ride with 4 years to pay left on this car, help! its a hazard, I don't have goliaths strength any more!

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 012009


  • 64,053 miles
First the gear shift would not come out of park without having to basically yank the handle with all of my strength. Then about two days later the keys would not come out of the ignition. In looking into this issue on other sites it has been stated that this is a common issue when any moisture (ex from a spill of cleaning) gets into the gear shifter. For this reason the dealership has installed a "temporary fix" being a quick release switch located under the steering wheel. I have looked for this switch since reading about it online and have not yet been able to locate it.

- Paramount, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 202008


  • 54,000 miles
Fan stopped working and will not blow out heat. I took it to the dealer and they said it was an electrical problem with the blower motor. The car is 2 years old and I don't understand why an electrical problem would not be a manufacturing problem. The dealer will fix it for $527. I don't have that kind of money and I don't think this is a problem I should have to pay for. Why would a 2 year old car have an electrical problem. For sure it is a safety hazard. Besides that I live in Illinois and cannot drive in the winter without a heater. I would like for this problem to be covered by the manufacturer.

- Rockford, IL, USA

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