really awful
Crashes / Fires:
18 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,956 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 20 of 21)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Mar 022010


  • miles


Why isn't the HHR being recalled as well as the cobalt, as they both have the same steering components?

- Manchester, CT, USA

problem #21

Nov 102009


  • 17,000 miles
2006 Chevy HHR.. power steering assist failed suddenly. My car had only 17,000 miles accrued. Dealer replaced the entire steering column.

- Athens, PA, USA

problem #20

Oct 092009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving 30 mph the power steering failed. The contact had to drive onto the emergency lane, turn the vehicle on and off so that the power steering would reset. The dealer was called and they advised him that a diagnostic test could be performed and the repair would cost $500 although there was a 75,000 mile warranty on the vehicle. The contact did not call the Chevrolet manufacturer. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Hockley, TX, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Nov 122008


  • 30,000 miles
Electric power steering failed on a Chevy HHR. Nearly avoided an accident when it went out at 60mph. Took to dealer and paid around 1000. To have it replaced. Vehicle had less than 30 thousand miles on it.

- Santa Fe, TX, USA

problem #17

Feb 202010


  • 71,969 miles
Powering steering went out during right hand turn at slow speed. My wife did not have the strength to control the car into the turn. She stopped the car and I checked my manual for trouble shooting, finding none. I restarted the car and power steering worked. Test driving for two minutes the power steering went again. Problem seemed too be after car was driven for awhile and system was used longer. Car was repaired by having the power steering motor and the steering column replaced by Chevy dealer ship. I still have old parts.

- Davenport, FL, USA

problem #16

Feb 182010


  • 68,690 miles


Power steering failure during operation. Vehicle chimes then "power steering" appears on dashboard lcd. All power steering fails at this point though if you turn the car off and back on it re-engages for a short time - though no warning before it cuts out again. Dealer says they need to replace the eps motor (electric power steering) $450.

- Ft. Wayne, IN, USA

problem #15

Nov 012008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. He stated that there was violent shaking in the steering wheel while driving speeds over 40 mph. Every 6700 miles and 5 months the violent shaking would occur intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the rotors and brakes were replaced a total of five times to no avail. The failure and current mileages were under 50,000.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Oct 232009


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 18000.

- Queens Village, NY, USA

problem #12

Sep 012009


  • 52,000 miles


I own a 2006 Chevy HHR LT2, it has approx. 52K miles, and a rattle, vibration in the steering column has been occurring at speeds below 45mph. Also, the driver side floor is continuing to flood with water, and the heater/ac blower has failed or shorted out. Lastly, I have had the brake rotors worked on 4 times by Chevy, and they are now once again in need of repair. I recently took my vehicle back to the dealer for the rattle in the steering and the water leak. I found numerous tsb articles for the issues, but the dealer and GM are claiming the tsbs do not exist. The repairs will total more than $1100. I was told the bushings, and tension rods are the problem with my steering, and they would need to be replaced. At 52K miles I find it hard to believe these items would fail.. my major concern is my safety related to the steering as well as any possible electrical issue stemming from the water leak.. I do not understand why GM has not issued a recall for the steering issue as well as for the brake rotors. If you go to any vehicle complaint web site for the HHR you will see 100's of postings related to bad brakes. There are also similar complaints pertaining to the steering. The dealership refused to honor or compromise with regards to performing the repairs for free or for a reduced fee. I contacted GM corporate and filed a complaint. I was told the GM district manager would contact me. I am still waiting.

- Hopewell, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jul 142009


  • 26,000 miles
Purchased the car July 13 of this year. A clunking sound comes from the drivers side when hitting holes or on slightly rough road. Tends to occur more when the car or the weather is cold. Took it to Chevrolet and they diagnosed it as a sway bar link issue. I replaced the rotors, sway bar links (pair), drivers side strut mount and balanced & rotated tires. Problem still exists. Appears that the steering column (intermediary?) has been a problem for other HHR owners according to online forums and research also points to the same issue in older Oldsmobile.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #10

May 072007


  • 20,000 miles
We have several defects. After normal braking a couple of times the car and steering wheel begins to shake and shimmy. The more you use the brakes after this starts the more violent the shimmy becomes until we have to stop and let the brakes cool down. The dealership replaced the rotors once but could offer no explanation. We continue to be plagued by this problem but now my extended warranty does not cover brakes and no one knows or owns up to what the problem is. The other issue we have is the exhaust, specifically the header pipe attached to the catalytic converter which cracked at the flex joint. This started back when we first experienced the brake problems, we complained to the service writer that there was a funny smell after driving it for a while, he looked at it when it was up on the rack and said there wasn't anything wrong, as it turned out the smell continued getting worse with time until the exhaust noise became loud enough to identify and the fumes were making us nauseous and giving us headaches. The moon roof started to fall apart so now we are unable to use that, the radio makes a loud popping noise, loud enough to hurt your ears, this was also waved off by the dealership as nothing. To date nothing has been done about these issues.

- Merced , CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 182008


  • 13,456 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 75 mph on normal road conditions, the traction control switch activated. Suddenly, the traction control disengaged without assistance. There was no response when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle began to idle excessively and surged unexpectedly. Immediately, the vehicle was driven to an authorized dealer for inspection, but they could not duplicate the failure. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on three separate occasions for identical failures. The repairs consisted of installing a data recorder and replacing the BCM. In addition, the steering column and gear shifter were replaced. The vehicle was not being driven due to the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 13,456 and current mileage was 15,500.

- Box Elder, SD, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Feb 182008


  • miles
I bought my HHR exactly one year ago. This is my first car so I have no general knowledge about vehicles. I bought the vehicle used with 31,000 miles on it. It currently has 58,000 miles on it so I am not covered for a warranty. At first I noticed a vibrating when exiting a highway or decelerating with my brakes. The steering shook violently. Also when driving the steering wheel is hard to control and the car seems to veer severely to the right and with sheer force I have to use both hands to control it. Recently that has increased dramatically, even at speeds of 30mph. I took the car to get the brakes inspected and they told me the brakes needed to be replaced and the rotors were warped and needed to be replaced, not resurfaced which others have said that is unusual since the vehicle is still fairly new. The mechanic also told me that my front struts are leaking and need to be replaced. I have also noticed that when I am driving the car tends to shake/vibrate and make strange noises. The key gets stuck in the ignition upon turning the engine off. There are times I have had to restart my car up to 8 times just to get the key out of the ignition.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #6

Jul 012007


  • 29,000 miles
I bought the 2006 HHR in March 2007, in July I had the stabilizer links replaced, then in December I had to have the steering column replaced, in October 2008 I needed to have the struts replaced & now a week later I have to have the strut mounts replaced. Not only that, I had a leak from the heater case that leaked into my passenger side, I had the radio replaced & also my front & back bumper is loose which the dealer told me on the phone that is probably clips that have broken off. I was told because I live in Michigan, that the struts went bad sooner than anticipated. Also, although I had a car fax report on this car, this car has been in an accident that no one knew about. I am not very pleased with this car & its a shame to make a car payment on a car that I don't even like anymore due to the problems. I was told they would give me $9000.0 as trade in, but I had 13000 on it, so how do you get out of a car that you think should be recalled? I have been checking into the lemon law & I understand as long as you purchase the used car with the factory warranty still active, it's covered under the lemon law. But since the dealer wont do anything about it, I doubt GM will. I was told to wait till after the election, for the economy to get better, that doesn't mean they will reasonably get me out from under this junk of a car!

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #5

Oct 302008


  • miles
2006 Chevy HHR - when car is turned off, key gets stuck in ignition and cannot be removed. After moving the shifter in and out of gear, key will eventually come out. This happens intermittently, but has happened 4 times over the last week, so it appears to be a worsening condition. Based on comments on owner websites, this is something that is not uncommon among Hhrs (hhrclub.org, answerbag.com, fixya.com, chevyhhr.net). Have printed off a part number from one of the sites and am taking to the dealer tomorrow.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #4

Jun 052008


  • 8,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet HHR. While driving approximately 35 mph in rainy conditions, the steering wheel vibrated when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle also pulled excessively towards the left. The ABS was not operating normally and locked up. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred on a separate occasion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they stated that the rotors overheated. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 8,900 and current mileage was 11,260.

- Box Elder, SD, USA

problem #3

Oct 102007


  • 12,600 miles
Bolt fell out of the lower right steering arm, causing the entire wheel assembly to move backward upon braking and forward on acceleration.

- Oakland, OR, USA

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