really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,089 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 1 of 2)

problem #23

Apr 102019


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the key was stuck inside the ignition. The contact called aaa who was able to start the vehicle. The vehicle was driven to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the ignition cylinder needed to be repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). The manufacturer and dealer were not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #22

Feb 162016


  • 24,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The fuse box caught fire and caused the battery to drain completely. Bystanders helped to extinguish the fire. On another occasion, the vehicle lost all power and functionality and the ignition key remained stuck in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and repaired, but the failure recurred numerous times. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 24,400.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #21

Jul 012014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized and was unable to turn. The contact restarted the vehicle and it resumed to normal. The contact also stated that the ignition key would not release from the ignition and the release button in the steering column was required. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (electrical system) however, the remedy failed to repair the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 107,000. Updated 12/01/14

- Dubois , PA, USA

problem #20

Jun 132014


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the key could not be removed from the ignition. The failure continued to occur continuously for a month. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who stated the shifter mechanism must be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65000.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #19

Jun 082014

HHR 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While starting the ignition, the power steering warning indicator illuminated and the power steering also failed. Three days later, the engine stalled while attempting to start the vehicle numerous times. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system); however, the part for the repair was unavailable. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000..... updated 08/05/14 the consumer stated while driving the vehicle lost power steering the power steering went on and off repeatedly while driving. Three days later the vehicle would not start. The starter was replaced which resolved the issue.the vehicle had a recall for the ignition not steering loss. Updated 08/11/2014

- South Bridge , MA, USA

problem #18

May 102014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 113,008 miles
I was driving and the power steering light came on and no power steering this condition continued until I stopped the car and restarted it.... I have a recall for the ignition and now I am afraid for my wife to drive it!! this is as dangerous a condition as the ignition which has happened repeatedly!!

- London, OH, USA

problem #17

Sep 022013


  • 160,000 miles


My name is [xxx], I am launching this complaint, because even though I received a recall notice. When I called the dealership to have my vehicle repaired I explained to them that I already have an issue with my ignition (I cannot get my key out of the ignition without using the release button). What bothered me was the fact that I had to go online to see if this was a issue. What I found was that GM knew of the problem and had a solution as well as the NHTSA also new about it. I am going to inform GM as well [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #16

Jun 062012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 123,889 miles
Had a new key cut to replace a lost key. Shortly after I retrieved the vehicle, key I was using got stuck in the ignition. I got it out once but I was not able to do so the next time I drove the vehicle. Apparently, there is a known issue with the keys getting stuck in the ignitions of the HHR's. fortunately, my car was not running at the time the key got stuck in the ignition as I have discovered several other has in my research. Two employees I spoke with at bachman auto group (steve and tony) informed me they already knew about the key getting stuck in the ignition of the HHR's. if this is a known issue, how...can there not be a recall on this to have them repaired. I contacted GM corporate customer service and from the sound of things I am going to liable to pay for the repairs even though they knew these vehicles had a history of the ignition locking up when the key is still in the ignition. They knew of this issue. I feel there should be a recall to have the ignition replaced to correct this design flaw.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #15

Feb 132011


  • miles
Key will not come out of the ignition when in park due to a plastic part in the shifter breaking. This will not allow the shift lock actuator to engage and release the keys. There is an ignition unlocking mechanism under the steering column but that leaves the gear shifter able to move freely from gear at all times, even while driving. This is occurs everyday. The dealer replaces at the owner's expense with the same defective part.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #14

Nov 152010


  • miles
My key continues to get stuck in the ignition. About 4 months ago this happened and I took my car back to the dealer, they charged me $50 to get the key out they say they greased the ignition I guess. I was looking through my car manual and it tells you how to get the key out of the ignition.I don't think the dealer charging me $50 was fair. Is there some way that can be fixed? I can not afford $50 and I'm get tired of putting my finger in the hole under the steering wheel to release the key.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #13

Jul 212010


  • 73,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated when the vehicle was placed in park, the key would not release from the ignition. The contact was concerned that the vehicle could possibly roll away when the vehicle was parked because the computer would not register that the vehicle was in the park position. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was 73,000.

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Jun 102010


  • 40,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet HHR: Cannot remove key from ignition in park. Has happened at least 5 times in last week. Finally yesterday I had to leave key in ignition at work. Came back later to remove - battery was dead. Jumping battery stump under hood was of no use - could not open rear hatch to get to battery. Had it towed for repair. Analysis, battery and labor cost me $200 as the GM protection plan I pay for every month would not cover the problem. Also asked service rep to look into why shifter moves while driving, thinking this might have something to do with ignition and battery problems. He could not find anything wrong. This seems like it could be a potential problem while driving. GM protection plan rep and tow truck driver both said this happens a lot on this type of vehicle.

- Dewitt, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 172009

HHR 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 35 mph, his vehicle would shut off completely and he had have no power in the vehicle. He shut the engine off for approximately an hour or more and the failure would correct itself. The failure occurred intermittently. He also stated that at times when he tried to start the vehicle, he had a difficult time removing the key from the ignition. The dealer and the manufacturer were not notified about the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 45,000. The failure mileage was approximately 8,000. Updated 3/4/2010 updated 05/20/10.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 152010


  • 40,000 miles
The key to my 2006 HHR would not come out of the ignition. As a result the automatic headlights would not go out and the vehicle could not be locked. This happened while I was traveling, which put my personal safety at risk and if I left my vehicle for any reason it could have easily been stolen. I have been online and found that several other owners have experienced this problem.

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 032009


  • 94,000 miles
Parked 2005 Chevy HHR and key would not disengage from ignition. This is permanent until an new shift assembly is installed as the solenoid holding the key is locked. This happened in the parking lot at the local community college. Having the key locked in the ignition makes the vehicle theft prone. This malfunction is not a driving hazard but creates a theft hazard if it happens where the vehicle cannot be secured, like my home garage.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 222009


  • 41,000 miles
I couldn't remove the ignition keys from my 2006 Chevy HHR. The dealer advised that this was a common complaint with HHR's and cobalt's and that the entire shifter assembly needed to be replaced, at my cost since the warranty had expired. I investigated the issue on on-line forums and found the issue was as follows: " a small actuator rod that goes through the shifter stalk falls out due to the stalk cracking where the rod goes through it. The key release then never gets activated so you have to use the manual release button on the bottom of the steering column. This shifter unit is completely unserviceable and the entire shifter block has to be replaced.note that with no actuator rod 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.... Chevy is wrong for putting such a cheap and flimsy device on the car." This is point that I made to the GM customer complaints department but they stuck to their guns that warranty had expired. To my way of thinking even the replacement shifter is at risk in the future with having the same problem. Reading other on-line complaint logs, I note that because of the cost of replacement, it was being advocated that simply using the manual release button on the steering column was an acceptable solution to the problem. Obviously this leaves driver's in a potentially dangerous position if the shifter is accidentally moved while the car is moving. As such I feel that there is reason to have GM recall these vehicles to replace these "cheap" shifters and to reimburse owners such as myself that have incurred steep replacement costs.

- Pickering, 00, USA

problem #6

May 012009


  • 35,000 miles
Ignition switch will not turn to full off position and key cannot be removed. First occurrence, after shifting from park to drive and back and restarting car the switch turned to full off position and key could be removed. Second occurrence -switch would not disengage, could not remove keys. I removed the small cover from the bottom of the steering wheel to gain access to the internal switch assembly. I used my finger to push the mechanism inside the steering wheel so the key could be turned off and removed from the ignition.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #5

Jun 152007


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. At less than 25,000 miles, the brakes would occasionally roll when the brake pedal was depressed. The dealer stated that the rotors did not need to be replaced at that time, but advised the contact to keep an eye out. Currently, the failure has worsened and the contact has scheduled an appointment to see the dealer. The instrument panel lights, which indicate how many miles the vehicle has or how much oil is remaining, illuminate on and off intermittently. Occasionally, when the key is turned in the ignition, the engine turns over but the vehicle does not start. The current mileage was 30,000 and failure mileage was 22,000.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #4

May 142008


  • 48,761 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. On May 14, 2008, after driving for 30 minutes, the contact was unable to remove the key from the ignition when she arrived home. Approximately two hours later, she left home and when she returned, she slammed on the brakes and placed the vehicle into park. She was then able to remove the key at that time. Later that night, she drove to work and could not remove the key from the ignition again once she arrived. Since that time, she is still unable to remove the key and can shift gears without starting the vehicle. The dealer has not yet been notified. The current mileage was 48,764 and failure mileage was 48,761.

- Churchveiw , VA, USA

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