really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 1
Average Mileage:
69,724 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments (Page 12 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Aug 232012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


This car is a safety hazard going down road. I bought it new in 2008. Rotors & brakes are horrible - have to have repaired multiple times. Bearings have went out, replaced & one went out again. I spend approx 1200 dollars a year just to get shaking out of front end, turning rotors & tires. But that isn't really the problem I am reporting: Was having trouble with ignition switch - it was recalled - took it to dealer to have it replaced - understand that I was having no problems with car at this time - upon leaving dealers and within 15 miles power steering light comes on & I lose power steering. Now my power steering goes out unexpectedly whenever it decides to. Took back to dealer because I felt this was something they messed up and was told this is just a problem with Hhrs and that power steering motor needs to be replaced. After researching this...it is very common with this car, along with brake issues, severe shaking in front, bearings going out and many other problems that I have also had. I realize my car is high mileage, I work as a home health nurse & use this car for work, but I do keep it maintained. I hope that I will be able to get into different car before I get in accident in this one.

- Lufkin, TX, USA

problem #32

Apr 022012

HHR 4-cyl Diesel

  • 37,000 miles
Vehicle will show ecs code in dic message center and ESC will be disabled. Vehicle will then lose power steering short time later and you will have no power steering. Has been happening since warranty expired at 36,000 miles. It will reset after engine is turned off, however after about 20 minutes of steady driving you will lose power steering.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #31

Aug 132012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 99,650 miles
While driving, the power steering light came on and the vehicle became hard to steer. It does this almost every time we drive the vehicle, but luckily it has not yet done it while turning a corner. When you turn the vehicle off and turn it back on, it works again. There does not seem to be anything in particular that triggers an event. It may happen after 2 minutes of driving, or 40 minutes of driving, or it may not happen at all on any one particular trip. This is a very dangerous situation and seems to be common amongst HHR owners. There is currently a Canadian recall on this, but not here in the us. There is a GM tsb (231703) referencing this, but that does not require GM to repair this dangerous problem.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #30

Jul 032012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


The power steering went out while I was driving on city roads. It will briefly come back on after the car is shut off and restarted, but it goes out again shortly after the vehicle begins moving. My warranty is up and the manufacturer has refused to reimburse me, either fully or partially, for the cost of replacement. There was a Canadian recall for the same model of car, but I cannot find any information on the difference between the power steering units of the us and Canadian models such that not having a us recall would be justified. Please investigate this issue. It is not only unfair for people to have to pay for expensive repairs for a relatively new vehicle, it is a serious safety risk that should be fixed by the manufacturer.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #29

Mar 272012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 46,348 miles
This car has a safety defect with the steering wheel..the steering wheel shakes out of control..starting at 50mph very scary.. today I went online to read at lest 20 complaints online about the same steering issue..this is very serious..please prove me wrong..1 complaint I read the man stated that he had his steering wheel changed 3 times and it did not resolve the problem.. major defect...please help me to resolve this matter.. you can use my car as an example to test..please ! I am scared to drive it..I have been driving since 1975...all make of car.. Chevy is my favorite.. the HHR is the worst in safety performance.. it is not safe for people to keep passing this brand of car around because of the defect in the steering.. I have only had this car for 3 month it came with low miles.. and all of the complaints I read today had low mileage..people are passing these cars off because of the defective steering which is a major safety defect. How did this car passed safety inspection.. or was it tested for safety at any time prove me wrong "????" feed back please.....

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #28

Apr 262012


  • 74,200 miles
Electric power steering goes out at random times. Is not related to speed, or even being used at the time. Can be at a full stop and the power steering will stop working and the power steering message comes on the dash. Turning off car and restarting will get it working again, but may go right back out within minutes, apparently for no obvious reason. Happened to me 3 times in a one mile trip. And this is a repeated occurrence. Vehicle is very hard to steer when the power steering stops working. Doing online research has show that many other owners are having the same issue and that replacement of the power steering motor usually fixes the problem. Same as with the below mentioned problems with the Chevrolet cobalt. Recall. Number 10023. There is currently a recall on this exact same problem with the exact same part on the Chevrolet cobalt. I believe the HHR should have been added to this recall. This can potentially be a very deadly problem depending on circumstances. How me deaths or injuries does it take for Chevrolet to do the right thing for all affected owners of faulty components?

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #27

Apr 062012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles


I was driving on a freeway overpass at about 15 mph when the instrument panel displayed the message, "power steering." The steering wheel all but locked up and it was nearly impossible to drive the car though I found a way to go on the freeway and exit at the first chance I had. I called my mechanic first who said he wanted to see the vehicle as soon as possible. I told him I have a aaa membership and he suggested I have the car towed to avoid further damage since he did not yet know what the problem was. I had the HHR towed to the mechanic and he told me after a thorough investigation that the power steering assist was not working correctly; was doing this intermittently at this point but did it at random today. Given the fact this problem cannot be predicted and the resulting safety issues, I authorized the mechanic to make the repair once he received the part. I have looked online and see this steering problem presents itself in the 2008 HHR at approximately 38K miles which is how many miles I have on it; the problem came up as if like clockwork. I don't feel I should have to pay for this repair work since there are under 40K miles on the car. Is there any plan for Chevrolet to call a recall on this problem so we can either have the repairs done at GM's expense or for those of us that made the repairs on our own to have a reimbursement? my repairs are going to be $400+. I am unable to drive the car unless the repairs are made. Please advise what my options are for this problem. Thanks.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #26

Jan 012012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The power steering fails. There is no warning and it happens at any speed and any driving situation.

- Eagle Rock, MO, USA

problem #25

Jan 142011


  • 50,000 miles
After driving for more than 10-30 min, at any speed but usually at or above 50 mph, the power steering would malfunction intermittently, steering/handling became difficult. Feels like it's over-correcting or is ice-skating around the lane when keeping the wheel straight. Occasionally HHR will buck while driving on the highway, would slow down to 55-65mph and still experience rough bucking & poor handling. Took to dealership to fix what I thought was an alignment issue, they said there were no other problems, but still experience them almost daily. Also have had troubles removing the key from ignition after shifting the car into park.

- Davisburg, MI, USA

problem #24

Oct 142011


  • 15 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated while driving 15 mph the steering wheel became hard to turn and the power steering light illuminated while the failure occurred. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed a diagnostic test that located the failure in the power steering motor which should be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 63,900.

- Estherville, OH, USA

problem #23

Sep 102011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 66,361 miles


The first time the power steering failed in my 2008 HHR, I was driving on the freeway with my wife and daughter out of nowhere there was a warning sound and then the dashboard warning lit up and I had lost all power steering. Luckily, I was able to keep control of the vehicle as there was heavy traffic and I was in the middle of a rather treacherous highway curve with four lanes of traffic. I eventually made way off freeway, turned off vehicle and then started it again. This seemed to do the trick, for a short time. Since this first power steering loss, the same thing has happened at least 7 or 8 times, at various speeds with total power steering loss. This is the only vehicle we have and since we cannot afford another vehicle I am forced to drive this safety hazard. I am worried about losing control and crashing possibly hurting my family and/or others. This has to be fixed, there are too many people driving the same make/model/year with the same problem. It is obviously not a fluke; I am not the only person having this issue.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 252011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 31,887 miles
Power steering failed while vehicle was being operated at 25-30 mph. Vehicle's onboard diagnostic system detected the problem as evidenced by warning chime and display of "power steering" message. Vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who verified loss of power steering and diagnosed a failure of the electric steering motor, which was replaced.

- Madison, CT, USA

problem #21

Aug 022011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 106,250 miles
My power steering on my 2008 Chevy HHR the same as the cobalt stops working while driving, and it cause me to run off the road. Luckily there were no injury, but what if "?????"

- Troy, MO, USA

problem #20

Apr 192011

HHR 4-cyl

  • miles
Starting April 2011 my Chevy HHR has been having problems with its power steering. It has turned off several times while I was driving. Each time could have resulted in a major accident. I drive a lot of winding roads and do not feel safe doing so now. I do not feel safe driving my HHR. I have to pull over and turn off my car for a few minute before I can start it back up and have the power steering work. It is now starting to turn off several times in one day. I have been reading that this is happening to many people with this same vehicle. I fear this may result in accidents that could be avoided if it is recalled and fixed in the HHR.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #19

Jun 112011


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. While driving at various speeds, the contact heard a chime inside of the vehicle and the power steering warning indicator illuminated with a sudden loss of power steering. The contact was able to maneuver to the side of the road with difficulty turning the steering wheel. The engine was turned off and restarted. The power steering operated normally for a brief period of ten minutes. The failure occurred eight times. The vehicle was taken to an independent dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #18

Mar 012011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I began to notice that the power steering in my car would intermittenly fail about three or four months ago. The first instance was when I was turning my wheel while entering into a parking lot. The car made a dinging sound, then in the odometer are it read "pwer steering." It then became extremely difficuit to turn my wheel. I stopped the car, turned it off, then restarted it and the problem went away. Then a few weeks later it happened again, but when I turned it off, started, then restarted, it went back to normal just as it did before. This continued on for several weeks, each time it would be less and less time between incidents. Now, I can't even get ten feet out of my driveway before I lose the power steering function. It continues to function normally when the car is first started, and then for a short distance, but every time I drive the car now, I have no use of my power steering.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #17

Aug 302010


  • 58,000 miles
The electric power steering turned itself off mid turn causing a drastic understeering leading the vehicle into oncoming traffic, upon research I found that GM recalled the exact same steering components that failed in the HHR in other GM vehicles but not the HHR. If this does not warrant serious investigation what does. The second time this happened everything was fine as we were driving straight, the problem occurred when the electric power steering turned back on mid-turn causing my wife to over turn into someone's front lawn, had anyone been in the way this would have been tragic. We've been lucky this far but as we are a low income household we don't have the means to pay some dealer to fix this as they all say it's on us the owners to take care of even though it's the same defective equipment that was in vehicles like the cobalt and Pontiac lines, why hasn't there been a recall issued, this is a sever driving impairment that can cause accidents and GM doesn't seem to care due to it's an acceptable loss! no life is an acceptable loss, please address this issue as there are many complaints into this same issue in the research I preformed, by the way, why is it GM Canada issued a recall on this part for the HHR and not the us branch? our HHR is a 2008 with 66000 miles on it and the electric power steering is the issue.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #16

May 192011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
I own a 2008 Chevy HHR lt. Last year I had the rotors and brakes replaced because of the shaking in steering while coming to a stop this then helped with the problem then recently the shaking came back I couldn't believe that my brakes and rotors needed to be serviced again. Then recently my power steering would go out while driving I checked online and noticed that alot of HHR owners are having the same problem. This is a big safety issue and I think GMC needs to be responsible and take care of this problem.

- 47665, IN, USA

problem #15

Apr 192011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I had just bought a Chevy HHR lt that had 30,000 miles on it from the Ford dealership ( this was a trade in). When I got home with the car, the front end made a jiggling sound. I took it to the Chevy dealership and they had to replace the steering stabilizer shaft link and steering column, thank god this was covered by warranty.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 012011


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while attempting to make either a left or right turn, the vehicle would lose all power steering intermittently without warning. Both the dealer and manufacturer were not notified. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The current mileage was 58,000 and the failure mileage was 50,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Inkster, MI, USA

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