definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,631 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.

2009 Chevrolet HHR electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Chevrolet HHR Owner Comments

problem #13

May 122010


  • 19,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the bottom part of the steering column as the steering wheel seized. In addition, the contact stated that the ignition became fractured while in the on position as the ESC and the check engine warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the ignition and the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 19,000.

- Battleground, WA, USA

problem #12

Jul 062011


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that while traveling 50 mph, the wheel wobbled. The contact also mentioned that the wipers failed to function and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the ignition lock and rotors needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 31,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #11

May 012014


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the key was became stuck in the ignition and the vehicle failed to power off. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 104,000, and the current mileage was 105,000.

- Saint Clair, MI, USA

problem #10

Mar 082014


  • 128,227 miles


I was driving the vehicle- 2009 Chevrolet HHR and I attempted to park in an auto dealer parking lot when I was unable to turn the vehicle off! I could not turn the key and I could not get the key out of the ignition switch so the vehicle just continued running. I drove home and removed the main fuse which resulted in the vehicle shutting down.I had to have the vehicle towed to a Chevrolet dealer where the switch and key were replaced at an expense of almost three hundred dollars. Prior to that problem and even now since the repairs were made I have to manipulate the key to start the vehicle. I certainly hope GM will honor this situation as I had previous nightmarish experience with them when I owned a 1999 Malibu (remember the dexcool crisis) and after spending a considerable amount of money(over $2,000) in engine/intake/water pump.thermostat repairs the class action resulted in my getting a check for $21(that's twenty one). If this situation is resolved I would simply look forward to being reimbursed for the $291 I just spent and having the ignition system checked thoroughly for defects and/or potential danger. It is so shameful that these auto makers and dealers are so[xxx] dishonest. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Jackson, GA, USA

problem #9

Apr 292012

HHR 4-cyl

  • miles
My car would not turn off. The key is stuck in the ignition in the on position and will not turn to the off position. Was told, without even getting past the above description " it's an HHR isn't it" by person on the phone from Chevrolet dealership. We were told by the Chevrolet dealership to pull fuse in engine and drive it over tomorrow since the garage is closed it being Sunday. Called dealership back to notify would bring car over now due to issues with transportation for Monday.... ended up having to have it towed because it was unsafe to drive since when turned on it keeps sputtering as though miss firing and sounds as if it is going to stall....

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 022012


  • miles
2009 Chevrolet HHR. Consumer states key was stuck in the on position the consumer stated the only way for his wife to shut the vehicle off, was to take her foot off the gas and let the clutch out while it was still in gear. The consumer had to disconnect the battery in order to prevent it from going dead and possibly damaging the electrical system. The next day, the consumer took the vehicle to the dealership, where he was informed, he was not the only person to bring their vehicle in for a defective ignition key cylinder.

- Spring Green, WI, USA

problem #7

Mar 142012

HHR 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact was unable to turn the key in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the ignition housing and ignition switch had to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000. Updated 04/19/12 the consumer stated the repairs cost $450. Updated 04/25/12

- Kinsman, OH, USA

problem #6

Jan 032012

HHR 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact stated that the key could not be removed from the ignition. On a later date, the key could not be turned in order to start the engine. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic where the mechanic found that the tumblers failed in the ignition. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage is 53,000. Updated 02/15/12 updated 02/22/12

- Marshfield Hills, MA, USA

problem #5

Dec 042011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 58,003 miles
Ignition problems after starting and cutting off the car several times December 4, 2011, I stopped by the grocery store, reached up to cut the ignition off and the key would only move about 1/4" forward, not causing the car try to crank, as it normally would, and not turning backwards, as if cutting the car off, at all. I tried going the gears, working the key in each gear, cutting the wheels, again working the key as I turned the wheel, all of which to no avail. As it happened on a Sunday, there were no dealerships or shops open in the area, I had to let my car sit and run for several hours until I could get a mechanic friend over to look at the car. He was unable to get the ignition to cut off or to get the key to move at all, so he took the housing off and found a wiring harness that could be unplugged to cut the ignition off therefore enabling the car to cut off. We also discovered that this can be used to return the car to running in an emergency, if you plug it back in and turn the key slightly as if starting the car, as this is the only direction the key will turn.

- Pinson, AL, USA

problem #4

Aug 272011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
2009 HHR key stuck in the ignition. Unable to turn off motor. Had to disconnect the battery.

- Midlothian, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 202010

HHR 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


I had a problem with the key getting stuck in the ignition with the vehicle still running. I had to disconnect the battery and have it repaired. It cost $600 to repair this and this continues to be a problem on other HHR's. I am now having the same kind of symptoms that my car was having before the ignition was replaced.

- Ada, OK, USA

problem #2

Aug 302010

HHR 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,254 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet HHR. The contact was unable to turn the key in the ignition and start the vehicle. When using the key fob, he was able to use the remote start feature. Once the vehicle was started, he was unable to shut it off because the key would not turn in the ignition. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they were unable to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 15,254 and the current mileage was 26,000. Updated 08/31/11 the dealer determined the problem was due to an internal cylinder failure. Updated 09/07/11

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #1

Jun 162011

HHR 4-cyl

  • 36,721 miles
I have a 2009 chev HHR and on Jun. 16, 2011 I pulled into a shopping center and tried to turn off my car and I could "not" turn it off with ignation key, it was locked into the run mode.lucky for me there was a dealer open and I drove the car to them.the only way the dealer could stop car was to disconnect battery, on a HHR the battery was in the back of car and it took them quite some time to do this operation.I made the right decision to go to the dealer, but what if I was a little old lady"the outcome might have been a different one".after the problem was fixed, both myself and the service manger at the dealership looked at the defective ignition cylinder and noticed there was a change made in the new cylinder.that leads me to believe that GM knows there is a problem.GM sent a bulletin(not a recall??)to there dealers stating that "some customers may comment that ignition key is difficult to remove or that the key sticks or binds in the ignition cylinder",that is so wrong the key locks in the run mode and will not turn off car's ignition.after all the problems Toyota has had with there gas petal ect and personal injury's, you would think GM would be on top of this "saety problem" and at least send out a "recall not a service bulletin" to protect it's customers from getting hurt or worse.I would like NHTSA to step up to the plate and confront GM about a recall on this "very unsafe condition" thank you.

- Brookings, OR, USA

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