2008 Chevrolet HHR brakes NHTSA complaints: Service Brakes, Hydraulic

NHTSA — Service Brakes, Hydraulic Problems

2008 Chevrolet HHR (Page 2 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,249 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.

2008 Chevrolet HHR brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Oct 262008


  • 680 miles


After purchase of a new 2008 HHR on 22 September 2008, I drove the vehicle home and upon getting into it the next morning I backed out of my garage and notice a very soft brake pedal. I then started down the drive way and when attempting to stop at the street the vehicle's brakes would not comply with my brake pressure and the vehicle proceeded into the street. This became a routine situation upon "cold startup's" and when reported to the dealer, (john donoghue Chevrolet, whiteville, nc) after several poor stops, my salesman advised "yeah we know about it as we've had the same problem on 2008 solstices". when confronted with a possible fix he advised that " a part on the turbo fixes the problem." I made arrangements to have the car serviced upon my return from vacation on or about 26 Oct 08. I dropped the car off with the service writer/manager and no mention was made as to poten tial problems fixing the car. Upon my return several hours later I was advised by the service manager that the problem is systemic to 2008 turbo engines and General Motors doesn't want to recall the cars. The dealership service manager provided me with a service bulletin that GM put out as a potential "fix" but he refused to service the car. I took the vehicle to another Chevrolet dealership and they readjusted the computer, per the bulletin; however, the vehicle still does not stop properly on cold startup. GM customer service personnel and the bulletin advised that "they are working on the issue."

- Bolivia, NC, USA

problem #16

Jul 102008


  • 2,200 miles
Chevy 2008 HHR ss inadequate brake power assist. Extremely hard pedal during first 3-5 minutes fails to stop car during this period.

- Fremont, NE, USA

problem #15

Oct 272008


  • 9,400 miles
Brakes do not work correctly and brake pedal goes to floor after car has been parked for any extended time (overnight, etc..) brakes fail to stop vehicle, and there have been 3 barely avoided accidents. Car has been taken to dealership where GM disallowed any further action to be taken due to their technical bulletin saying that the defect is a characteristic of the car.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 032008


  • miles


My 2008 Chevy HHR ss brakes do not have power assist on a cold start. After thirty seconds or more the brakes work fine. Unless I wait for the brakes to warm up there is not enough brake power to stop the vehicle in a normal manner. It seems to take twice as long to stop. When I apply the brakes the pedal goes to the floor and vibrates. GM says this is a normal characteristic of the vehicle and that is does not pose a safety issue. I disagree, if a drive neglects to let the brakes "warm up" he or she could potentially run a child over or just not stop in time to avoid an accident. This is only an issue on the ss models.

- Irvington, KY, USA

problem #13

Sep 182008


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. While backing out of the driveway, the contact noticed that maximum pressure needed to be applied to the brake pedal in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that it was performing normally. The speed and failure mileage were unknown. The current mileage was 5,198.

- Wickenburg, AZ, USA

problem #12

Sep 202008


  • 1,000 miles
Car has hardly any brakes in the mornings or after it has sit for a while. They work fine after driving for a bit. This is unsafe. We've almost slid out into the street backing down our steep driveway on several occasions. Have been to dealership twice, first time they reprogrammed brake control module, second time they said it was normal operation, I about blew a gasket, is it normal for your brakes not to work properly? I am very unhappy with the car.

- Woodward, OK, USA

problem #11

Sep 182008


  • 200 miles


I have a 2008 Chevy HHR ss turbo with automatic transmission it has only about 1400 miles on it, and I have had it back to the dealership 3 times for the brakes. After sitting for a period of time, like overnight or while at work for 12 hours when I first get into the car the brakes don't work. They are very hard and have to be pumped several times before they work. I done my research and Chevy is aware of the problem but don't have the fix available yet. I was told by the dealership that I'll just have to live with it. Not an acceptable answer. Hopefully I won't get in a wreck because of it. The dealership is making me bring the rent a car back and making me drive an unsafe vehicle.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #10

Jul 142008


  • 2,000 miles
I am having a problem with the brakes on my new 2008 Chevrolet HHR/ss. When first applying brakes after initial start-up and after sitting long enough for vacuum to leak down. There is an increased effort to apply and travel of pedal is also increased. Pedal is spongy and booster is inoperative until vacuum is restored by revving engine or driving a short distance. This vehicle is equipped with a turbo and vacuum/boost gauge. The initial vacuum is dropped when applying brake. It has been in for this problem twice, left overnight both times, and duplicated both times. The dealer reprogrammed computer per service letter. The second time they supposedly ordered a mastercylinder but still no parts have been changed, probably not even examined! now they tell me this is normal operation and I tell them it's not! the dealer service mgr. Has told me that GM knows about this but have no repair available. He blames it on the turbo! it is surely a vacuum leak or booster problem yet they seem unable to understand! I have been a mechanic for 30+ years and I know this is dangerous and needs to be repaired before someone gets hurt! the dealer doesn't even want me to bring it back in as they say "it cannot be fixed, it is a design problem!"

- Texarkana, TX, USA

problem #9

Jun 042008


  • 400 miles
I have a 2008 HHR ss, that has a braking problem when first started or has set for approx. 8 hours. I have almost ran out of our parking lot into traffic. I have had it in the dealership twice. First time they reprogrammed the ECM. Problem continues and the second time, I was told that the factory says this is a normal characteristic of the 2.0 engine and turbo. The dealership gave me a copy of service bulletin and at the end, it states (do not attempt to repair or replace any parts for what is considered normal operation of the ohb). Bulletin number is 07-05-22-002. The second bulletin number give to me by the dealership is 08-05-22-001. The following optimized hydraulic brake (ohb) #1-ratchet sound coming from the brake system during ohb activation. #2-brake pedal movement or pulsation when ohb is active. #3-increased brake pedal effort under low brake booster vacuum. #4-change in brake pedal effort when ohb is active. #5-frequent brake stops may result in ohb activation. #6-high altitude driving may result in ohb activation. The way I read all this is when ohb activates, you may have braking problems. I have talked to two different people in customer service and all I could get out of them was (this is normal characteristics of the HHR with turbo). The dealership contacted GM and they say the same thing and there is not a cure for this problem and it is normal for the turbo models. I guess when a few people gets killed they may try to find a fix. My vehicle now has less than 3000 miles and I noticed the problem around 100 or so miles. I have owned 25 GM vehicles in my days and this is the first having normal characteristics for not stopping. If you have an accident and possibly kill someone, how can you explain this to the police, when the police gets in the car and the ohb is not activated and the brake pedal seems normal, you are in trouble and may never prove at that time the brakes honestly did fail. If GM can, T fix the problem they should buy the cars back.

- Archdale, NC, USA

problem #8

Aug 102008


  • 900 miles
When you start our new Chevrolet HHR ss cold and drive off to quickly the brake pedal is rock hard and won't stop the car very well. Issue goes away once the engine is warmed up. Dealer says normal for this car and I say no way.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 212008


  • 5,200 miles


2008 HHR ss, on startup, power assist brakes do not function properly for 30-90 seconds, after which they work properly. This was first identified when I started my vehicle and began exiting my driveway the other day. A dog ran in front of my car, and I had to apply an exceptional amount of force to the brakes to keep from hitting the animal. After some web research (see especially www.chevyhhr.net/forums/showthread.php?T=17740), it appears that this is a common problem for the vehicle, and so I believe it is important that you intervene on behalf of public safety to get General Motors to resolve the issue quickly.

- Moss Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 232008


  • 325 miles
2008 HHR ss turbo - dealer replaced previous 2008 HHR ss turbo that had braking issues at 200 mile. This new car has same exact problem. At startup after the car has been sitting for about 10 hours the brakes do not have enough vacuum inorder to work properly. You have to wait about 120 seconds before there enough vacuum to engage the brakes. Until enough vacuum is present the brakes fail to stop the vehicle on any kind of minimal slope. Dealer has upgraded the software per the manufacturer recommendation but the problem still exists. Dealer recommend that the user sit for 60 seconds before removing the vehicle from park. This is unacceptable and a safety hazard. I have tried two separate vehicles that are identical and they both have the same problem. The is a fix for the Saturn sky and Pontiac solstice I am told but none for the Chevy.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #5

Aug 132008


  • 225 miles
2008 HHR ss with 200 miles, brakes fail to work at all when car is first started in the mornings. Dealer finds no problem. Anti-lock brakes engage but do not work. Dealer has reprogrammed the computer with the same problem still existing. This is a major defect. Dealer instructed us to drive the vehicle to get fixed. We had it towed.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #4

Mar 212008


  • 1,500 miles
I have a 2008 Chevy HHR ss with 13000 miles on it. I have had it in the shop three times for brakes not working. The problems are that the pads coming delaminated and the turbo pulling the vacuum from the brakes. After checking on various web sites like edmonds, I have found that this is common problem.

- Excelsior Springs, MO, USA

problem #3

Aug 122008


  • 1,200 miles
Brakes are hard on cold start on my 2008 Chevrolet HHR ss turbo. Almost had an accident because of this. It's in for the second time because their programming didn't work. I heard that the Pontiac solstice and Saturn sky has the same problem. Thank you, pat

- Hudson, WI, USA

problem #2

Jul 212008


  • 450 miles
When the vehicle sits overnight or a long period of time there will be no brakes or a very hard peddle when started for at least 30 sec to 1 min. I almost ran into garage door but managed to stop the vehicle using the emergency brake. This has occurred 3 times since I purchased the vehicle 3 weeks ago current mileage is 653. Vehicle has been at the service dept. 2 times for the tsb but now the dealer and GM says they have no fix for this issue.

- Spring Hill, TN, USA

problem #1

May 172008

HHR 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR super sport. Each morning while driving various speeds, the brakes do not stop the vehicle when the pedal is depressed. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer three times for this failure and the contact was provided with tsb number 0805220001. The current mileage was 3,685 and failure mileage was 7. updated 09/16/08 the consumer stated the problem only happened with the first application of the brakes. When going downhill, the failed did not want to stop when coming to a stop sign. Updated 09/18/08.

- Helotes, TX, USA

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