really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,894 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Jan 062017


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 45 mph, the power reduced warning indicator illuminated. The acceleration stopped and the vehicle stalled. The radio and brakes were working. The contact turned off the vehicle, restarted it, and it resumed normal operation. The vehicle was not diagnosed by an independent mechanic or dealer. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #35

Nov 022016


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced a period of reduced engine power while being operated 45-50 mph. The engine power reduced warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Monroe Center, IL, USA

problem #34

Oct 202016

HHR 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Driving at 70 mph on freeway and suddenly "engine power reduced" warning comes on display and I can't accelerate. The engine cut off. On the freeway. This is not safe (obviously) and I don't see myself buying another Chevy again. I have a family and this problem could kill us all.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

problem #33

Feb 232016


  • 24,400 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the vehicle caught fire while the contact and her sister were in the vehicle. The contact stated that the fire affected the engine compartment and was extinguished by pedestrians. A fire report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was approximately 24,400.

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #32

Aug 252015


  • 148,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). While driving approximately 40 mph the vehicle stalled after the engine power greatly reduced and engine disabled warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle did restart; however, the failure recurred every 20 minutes on several occasions. The vehicle would restart after approximately 10 minutes. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the recall repair was guaranteed for one year. The approximate failure mileage was 148,000.

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #31

Jul 012015


  • 125,000 miles
Whenever the engine was running, there was a strong smell of engine exhaust coming into the vehicle through the A/C vents. The flex hose coming from the engine to the catalytic converter had developed a large crack. The exhaust fumes were being sucked into the ventilation system and out through the A/C vents, filling the cabin of the vehicle with exhaust fumes. The design of the flex pipe is seriously flawed as if it's made to fail. It was too dangerous to drive with my kids in the car because of the threat of the carbon monoxide that we were breathing from this issue. I believe that this may also be the cause of severe headaches that I had been suffering from.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #30

Mar 102010


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle, it lunged forward after the engine light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #29

Dec 172014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 145,342 miles
Oil cooler that is mounted on top of engine started leaking. Took to GM dealer and after research they found that the part was only made for 6 months and was discontinued due to the issue I was having. There was a by pass produced for a short period that ended up being worse than the original part. As a result there is no way to fix my car except change out the engine with a newer model. I called GM to ask about it and at the dealers suggestion to ask for help paying for the $5,999 engine. GM flat out refused any responsibility for the defective part and refused any assistance. How can an american car company knowingly make a defective part and have millions of them on the road and not be responsible for replacing the part or making a replacement available? this issue makes the vehicle un drivable as the amount of oil and anti freeze that is leaked not only contaminates the environment it also empties the oil from the engine causing failure.

- Willard, MO, USA

problem #28

Jan 062015


  • 134,000 miles
While I was driving down the road I got a message saying "engine power reduced" and then "engine disabled" and my car shut off. I tried starting it a few times and it wouldn't even turn over. After a few minutes it started back up.

- Farmingdale, ME, USA

problem #27

Nov 202014


  • miles
Driving at 70mph on the freeway, between two semi trucks, my car dinged at me and the display said, "engine power reduced." I did not know what this meant so I immediately started to try and maneuver between the two trucks and pull over. Seconds later, the warning bells happened again and the error message was "engine disengaged." The car turned itself off! I coasted over to the berm. To be honest, I was so scared, I really don't know if the power steering and brakes were disabled too but with no engine running, I can't imagine how they could be. The yellow check engine light was now on and I tried several times to restart the car with no success, it just acted dead. The electrical systems seemed operative. With cars and trucks zipping by at high speeds, I decided to wait in my car, hoping an emergency vehicle would pass by. After about 10 minutes, I was able to start the car again. The check engine light remained lit and the car acted normally not even acting like it was in limp mode. I warily drove my car to my mechanic. He said the computer gave him limited information. He cleaned the throttle but wasn't sure it worked or not. Imagine my hesitancy to drive on a freeway again, not knowing if it would happen again. A search of internet boards about this problem showed this is designed by GM to happen and happens often! a design feature that shuts off the car at high speeds because of a dirty throttle? this was not a fatal condition of the engine that would cause it to blow up or something but merely a maintenance item. Just shutting off the engine hardly seems like an proportionate response to a dirty throttle. The discussion boards say there are multiple reasons this happens, not just the throttle condition. Please research this design flaw. The idea of letting my wife drive this car quite frankly scares me as it did me that cold winter day.

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #26

Nov 252014


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the engine stalled. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Deerfield, NY, USA

problem #25

Mar 282014

HHR 4-cyl

  • miles
On 3/28/14 I was driving on highway at 6:30am and my car just turned off displaying engine power reduced. Taken to dealer and they claimed it was notice and now it been 4 times this has happened. Recently on 10/11/14 I was driving home from work and stop at a red light when my car began to shake and on dash display message read engine power reduce which at this point my car cut off and would not start back up.. I waited about 10 min and turned it on again.. this problem has been recurrent since then and now my child safety latches when put on will not let doors close and when moved to open position the safety lock will not reposition itself to the open position. Recently on 10/07/14 my service airbags message displayed for no reason. I have contacted dealership and they don't know why this is happening but wont trade my car for another and I have contacted GM and still no one has helped me these issues. I fear for mine and my family life in this car.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #24

Aug 222014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 80,844 miles
While driving vehicle the engine shut off while traveling down 3 lanes of traffic.( del prado East ) was able to roll down window hit flashers and warn other drivers of stalled engine, steering wheel and brakes still worked; battery power still intact was able to coast into a left hand turning lane with rear end still out blocking traffic horns blaring !. tried to start engine 3 X's it still had battery power so was able to put car in park and step on brake to start as is required. After 3rd try the engine came to life. I crossed over 3 lanes of on coming traffic and it shut off again was able to get it started again after several tries, pulled into cape coral hos parking lot. And took back road to my home, vehicle shut off again same process, after 4 tries it started and was able to get home, time was 5:43 pm called roger dean chev. Service dept closed. 3 times this happened. Took to service dept on Monday 08/25/14. Diag internal failure dtc code PO601 ECM, part replaced 1 gty/ 1259917 / module 3.670 part $ $670 labor $ $249.88. Told this is just a failure but not a worry enough to be a recall, and like any computer it can crash ie no big deal ! a home computer doesn't crash in traffic like a car does. I beg to differ if I had not been an experienced driver I'm not too sure how the outcome would of been, and grateful that my 18 year old grandchild wasn't behind the wheel, the out come could of been tragic ! was told by service dept I could get a new car if I was worried about driving it. What the -------- that doesn't change the fact the internal failure happened.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #23

Jul 302014

HHR 4-cyl

  • miles
Lost all electronic power and steering and shut off wound up in the ditch which stopped the car key would not turn to the off posiposition.

- Fordland, MO, USA

problem #22

Jul 022014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 138,765 miles
At a red light and was rear ended which cause me to it the rear end of the car in front of me.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #21

Mar 252011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 68,300 miles
The car will stalled while driving between 25-40 mph and more frequently when slowing down, just before the car comes to a complete stop, it is far worst now. I only drive the car when it's absolutely necessary and only within city limit. I just need GM to fix the problem at no extra cost to me. I have suffered enough already.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #20

Jun 192014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
When notified regarding the recall of the vehicle in April, I contacted the local Chevrolet dealer in upland California and ordered the necessary parts to repair the vehicle. I was told that the parts would in the dealership within two months. Calling the dealer in may, I was told that the parts had not come in yet. Yesterday the car would not start due to the ignition switch. The car was towed to the mountain view Chevrolet in upland, where I was informed that they had no record of the parts being ordered, and that it would take two months to get the parts. I called Chevrolet customer service and was told that recall parts could not be expedited. It means I have to wait two more months to drive the car again.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #19

May 112014


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated while driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road. The vehicle restarted after several attempts. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis and repaired. The contact was unable to provide the specific part that was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Selah, WA, USA

problem #18

Jan 012007

HHR 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Good day. I'll keep this brief. To be clear, I went to the dealer (autonation usa) with the recall issue shortly after it occurred the first time, and a couple of other times after that. I was told that I was too short, fat, and my knee was knocking the key out of the ignition. My key never fell out of the ignition, but the car did shut off, losing control of all electrical systems while at 70+ mph. Secondly, I have gone in to the dealer for my transmission as well. The car began to slightly jerk at around 60K miles. I was told they didn't notice anything, however, they never checked the transmission, and I was told they could do nothing. When the matter got really bad, the mileage was over 100K, and out of warranty. I have brought it to their attention that I attempted to clear this up prior, and was told they would have to treat it as a new issue. I'll make it easy. When I have had the ignition issues nearly kill my family and myself on more than 30 occurrences, the dealer fixing a small, inexpensive item, because they have been exposed, does little to quell the anger I have regarding the various other issues I have regarding warranty maintenance they could have completed while under warranty, and instead chose to belittle me and now wish to charge me obscene amounts of money to repair. GM should offer to complete the maintenance at no cost considering I have gone to them prior to the close of the warranty and was ridiculed and further, made to have my family's life in danger 30-40 times so they could save some money. Further, I understand it is not legally required for them to do anything, however, doing the right thing goes a long way. I have spoken to GM about the issues a couple of times now only just simply be told they were sorry and I should have the situation diagnosed (needlessly). This is the first I've heard of this website so I'm trying now. Thanks.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #17

Jan 012014

HHR 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Since around the beginning of this year, our heater went out and the coolant system has not worked properly to cool the engine causing the car to go hot after about only driving 5 miles. Not to mention, I can't locate the thermostat housing compartment in the car. It appears that this department has been bypassed. After doing some research on the GM HHR cars, it appears that I am along with many other HHR owners are experiencing the same issue(s) with this particular car having overheating problems. GM really needs to evaluate this problem and recall these cars for repairs.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

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