• Blake October 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Ok, so there is a small plastic cover under the steering wheel column that comes off and when you reach up in there, there is a small lever "switch". You push that and then that allows the key to slide right out…EVEN IN DRIVE, NEUTRAL, REVERSE, INTERMEDIATE, or LOW! wow! Looks like someone didn't read the manual. Just sayin. And if you have a manual you can always kill it by letting off the clutch without giving any gas. It will stall just like it dose when you don't want it to. It's just thinking like an engineere or using common sense… So yeah, maybe you should do a little more research. Yeah it might be a problem once in a long while but it's not a constant problem. Also if you have a heavy key chain (lots of keys hanging from the ring) then that could damage the ignition. So just sayin.

    • admin October 7, 2010 at 3:23 am

      Hey Blake, Yes, I did know that there is a small switch in the steering column–but only as a result of reading other forum message boards. But having to hit that switch is not something that should be necessary during "normal" expected operation of the vehicle, and therein lies the issue. See, here's the thing–and I agree with you that folks should read their manuals–but I'll use another example–yes an exaggerated one–to illustrate the point. I know that if I'm in a plane that's making a water landing (not the normal expected operation) that I should grab my seat cushion as it's also a floatation device. However, I also know that if I'm doing so, something has gone wrong (badly!)–a plane defect, pilot error, whatever–and it needs to be fixed. Ditto with keys that are sticking in the ignition. Recall also the off-duty cop that died as a result of unintended acceleration in his Lexus. Oh sure, there were folks all over the web who offered up the solution: hit brakes hard, put in neutral, turn off engine and btw, you may need to hold the push-start button for 3 seconds to actually cut the engine. Well, that's great news–and I don't know whether that info was in the owners' manual or not–but in a real-life situation, I'll bet 90% of folks would be smashing the button repeatedly as their car was hurtling down the expressway. Also, just as an example, the 2009 Lexus IS350's manual has a section for "what to do in an emergency"–it's 46 pages long with a lot of detailed info. Good luck remembering any of it in a real emergency. Bottom line here, and I realize that, chances are, having the key stuck in the ignition when the car is at least in park should not cause serious harm–but it is not how the car is meant to operate. It is a defect, and one that should be fixed. (and clearly if a replacement part has already been manufactured it sort of wreaks of a bit of mea culpa on Chevy's part, no?)
      I have to say also, that most people have a tendency make errors when they're rushing, in a heated moment, stressed, whatever. Case in point: you wrote "dose" for "does" and "engineere" for "engineer"; Now, I could say, "gee, looks like someone didn't use a dictionary"–but I'm not, because I get human nature. Just sayin.
      Finally, thanks for the tip on the heavy key chain–that's something I don't think most readers would have considered–good to know!

      • dave February 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm

        Not to point a finger but I think the word

        you wanted was reek.

    • Dana April 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

      You are assuming that the car is a standard and has a clutch! This just happened to me this past weekend. My car is an automatic and does not have a clutch. I do NOT have a heavy keychain and enough people has had this SAME problem, so Chevy should have a recall. We should NOT have to hit a switch to get our key out! And for your information, when my mechanic opened it up, my ignition lock cylinder had come apart. No switch would remedy that situation! Yes, sure, I might could have then got my key out but what is the point in that when the ignition lock cylinder had come apart.

    • Unhappy HHR owner July 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      It happens more than you think..Can't kill an auto with the clutch and releasing the key to remove it still leaves you with a car that's running so thats not much of a solution.. This shouldn't EVER happen huge safety issue in my opinion..

    • bob August 8, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Blake why is there a cover under the steering column anyway….maybe they knew there was a problem from the beginning. Why should i who just laid out 25,000 for my daughters car, get a call at 1:am in the morning telling me,that her car wont shut off and she cant remove the key. Oh crap i forgot to tell her about the owners manul that tells you how to fix a selinod swicth . Funny thing the salesman didnt mention either after i shelled out 2100.00 for a service contract thats worth nothing. .And you said the key will come out in any gear, thats really nice to know.And its allways the consumers fault when someting goes wrong with the car…….id like to hear the phone call youd get if it happed to somone in your family.So Blake get off your fat a%% and go to work at your chevy dealersship, and do the right thing. FIX THE PROBLEM!!!!!!

    • Unlucky August 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      I read the manual and that's for if you key is stuck and the engine is off. I have had the key stuck in the ignition twice (while running). First time they said a spring came loose causing the tumbler plates to fail. Second time they said the whole ignition housing failed. First time a tow truck came and disabled my car by removing the fuel fuse. Second time I drove it to the Dealership after hours and had someone come out and disable it by removing a fuse and disconnecting the battery. Oh, I only have the car key and security fob on the key chain.

    • Gus September 17, 2011 at 1:10 am

      It just happened to me and I'm an automotive engineer. You are a doufus. Brainless. First, even if you post has any factual basis, it wouldn't matter. No sane person expects to do this to turn off a car. Second, most cars are automatic. So, killing the engine using the clutch is a non-starter.

      I hope you were being cynical. But, when it is your car that won't turn off, I can see nothing but red for the STUPID engineering of GM. And GM engineers wonder why people by foreign cars!

      • LAS_Admin September 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

        Oh Gus, Gus, Gus…see, not everyone in life is equipped with your superior automotive engineering prowess–and we all wish we were, believe me. But the issue here is that regardless of how anyone attempts to handle an HHR that won't shut off, GM/Chevy has created something defective that is causing a lot of folks to be sitting in their cars going "WTF?"–and not knowing what to do to immediately address the problem. So yes, for those whose car won't turn off, red is indeed the color they're seeing–and rightfully so. Thanks for your comment. (ps, since you are apparently car-savvy, why not put together some simple instructions for folks in this situation and post them? just a thought…)

      • Mari October 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

        We have a piece broken in the shifter; so yes we get our key out of the ignition this way and have for a year now. It just takes a second to remove the key after placing the car in park – the main thing to remember is to place the car in PARK.

    • signstormy December 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      I have a 2008 HHR Turbo. The 4 way flashers will not go off. There is no way you can turn them off manually. Also I was locked in my car and it took about 45 minues to open the driver door. Today when I went to start it the car did not respond at all. The key would not unlock the door. I called the dealer and they offered to tow it. But it has been there before and still is broken. I waited about 30 minues and then inserted the key into the door lock and twisted so hard I thought the key would break, but alais the lock popped up. Then the key would not releanse from the ignition. I called the dealer to find out how you open the car when the batter is down. They do not have an idea. My husband put a battery charger on it and I hope it starts tomorrow. Then I will have to deal with the 4 ways not going off again. I need a solution.

    • sammy March 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      pushed lever key will not come out or turn off pulled fuel pump relay and disconnected ignition switch electrical connector seems like alot of work to turn a car off just sayin

    • Roses1 June 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

      You obviously do NOT know what this is about…THE CAR IS STILL RUNNING and YOU CAN NOT SHUT IT OFF!!!!!!!

    • JLN October 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      happened to me last Sat. I DO NOT have the button to release the key. I took all the plastic of the column and disconected the wires going to the ignition, car shuts off and kills all acc fuctions so no need to disconect batt. (power doors still work, can still use remote with key stuck in ignition)

    • Jamie Beeman October 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      We have 4 hhr’s that we use as service vehicles at my job, two’09s and two’10s. And two out of the four have had this issue with the key being stuck in the ignition. Needless to say we were pretty upset when we were left to foot the bill for a problem that should have been handled by a recall. We will be looking at a different manufacturer next year when it comes time to purchase new vehicles. Sorry Chevy/GM but you lost our business.

    • Wendi February 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Automatic transmissions do not have clutches.

    • lel410 April 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      Blake, We read the manual, our mechanic read the manual, the switch didn't work. Dragging it to the dealership tomorrow. But your sarcasm is appreciated.

    • mavis Dove June 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Happened to me 2 days ago I am 800 miles from home I thought OnStar would turn it off nope ,not stolen .Good thing my son was in the car beside me .I don't have it fixed as of now and don't know what to do. I have an 09 HHR. It continued running until he found which fuse to pull .On star sis tell which fuse only thing was there wasn't a fuse in the slot.I do have to go home not trusting taking a fuse in and out on the road.

    • Becca June 25, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Every thing you just put in here is NOT TRUE, My 2010 HHR that I bought new in may of 2010. June 25th 2013 I Pulled into my friends driveway, And the key would not turn off or come out. So I pulled the Battery cable off to shut off the car. Them I pulled the plastic piece that your talking about, And Low and Behold THE key wouldn't come out still. So I go to the computer and they talk about this little plastic piece thats in the shiftier and I'm talking about an automatic transmission well that piece was intact too.So come to find out the tumbler was broke in the ignition So I call the Chevy dealer and it was 91.00 for switch, 30.00 for new key & 160.00 for labor. And NO I Didn't received A Letter. And not everybody is mechanical Inclined.. {Dick} Blake This is a very dangerous and not very one has a cell phone. Becca

    • DDW July 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Wow Blake! Seems like you know everything. Well, except this same problem just happened with my HHR today. The mechanic at the shop near my work tried that trick and, guess what? The key came out but the car was still running!
      The only way to kill it was to pull a fuse or disconnect the battery.
      Oh, and GM did eventually do a recall of this, as I found out today. Yet, they didn't bother to notify me. Probably didn't notify anyone.

      So, next time you want to prove what a genius you are and try to make someone feel small, you just might want to make sure that you know what you are talking about. ;P

  • snowman October 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Well, well…there's no telling where good news stories will come from..suppose that as long as they're not employment related you'll be happy to serve 'em up to the general readership?

    • admin October 7, 2010 at 3:30 am

      Hi Snowman… Well, well…you're right–as all of us here at are consumers, we just never know where a story will turn up. Though we're not exclusionary–we'll serve up employment-related stories just as well. Would you happen to have one? Come to think of it, I may have had one about a year ago, but I think I'm beyond the statute of limitations on it. C'est la vie…

  • Dara October 7, 2010 at 4:21 am

    This happened to me this morning. I sat in my office parking lot for 45 minutes trying to turn my car off. ( i have a 2009 Chevy Cobalt) After messing with it for close to an hour, i drove it directly to the dealership. It's still under warranty thankfully, and I'm going to assume they will be replacing the parts. The guy mentioned it might be the locking cylinder. I came home to do some research.. and I'm really thankful that you took the time to look into this issue. It's honestly ridiculous that as a consumer of there company, I (nor anyone else for that matter) was notified of this issue… I wasn't able to go to work today.. because I can't just leave my car running by its lonesome in the parking lot. They are costing people time and money, and It's a problem that should be dealt with. Had I been notified of the issue.. I could have set up a time when I wasn't otherwise obligated, and corrected the issue on MY time, rather than whenever my car felt like not turning off. Thanks again for the info!

    • admin October 7, 2010 at 7:15 am

      Hi Dara, I'm glad you found our post helpful–unfortunately with this type of thing, when info isn't proactively provided by the company involved, consumers have to rely on each other, and typically that's done via some form on online forum such as this. Thankfully, your Cobalt was still under warranty, and hopefully now the issue will now be resolved for you. Thanks for sharing your story–I'm sure other readers will benefit from it as well.

      • Lucia Rowley September 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

        My key was stuck in the ignition as well last Thursday. I had a sick kid in the car, it was running on fumes, AAA was no help so I had to drive to the dealership to have them fix it. $485 later it was fixed. The more research I do on this the more I realize how many people have the same issue. What is Chevy waiting for? Put out a recall before someone gets hurt!

    • michelle December 9, 2011 at 9:27 am

      THis also happened to my vehicle hhr had to be towed and they discounted the fuel, couldnt get to the battery!! save your recipts in case a recall happens you can get your money back

  • Michael P November 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I just had a problem with my 2009 HHR. The ignition would not turn off. This seems different from "I can't get the key out." The little selnoid under the steering wheel cover was working. I just couldn't turn the ignition to the off position. As luck would have it I was home so I was able to learn on the internet to remove the fuel pump fuse and then remove the Neg. terminal on the battery. I have gotten a recall notice for the " shift indicator getting out of position" meaning you cannot tell what gear you are in. I memorized P R N D 2 1 as a child so I didn't care. I'm thinking the fix for this may be replacing the bad shift mechanism. Any thoughts?

    • admin November 8, 2010 at 4:12 am

      Hi Michael, Thanks for your comment & question; And yes, there does appear to be two issues that some readers have complained about–the one being the inability to get the key out of the HHR ignition, and the other not being able to shut off the HHR engine. I will say, though, and maybe (at the risk of sounding sexist) it's a guy thing, that it's impressive that you were able to find and remove the fuel pump fuse and the negative terminal on the battery. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of folks who'd be all thumbs with doing that. It's a bit of a scary thing when your car won't shut off and you're not exactly familiar with the inner workings of that huge chunk of metal sitting in your driveway in "on" mode. Likewise, while I think many of us do know intuitively–from driving for many years– the P R N D 2 1 pattern (or gears on a stick car), there are quite a number who probably couldn't recall that info if pressed to do so.
      As you've gotten a recall notice for the HHR shift indicator getting out of position, it would seem logical to replace the shift mechanism. But here's my solution: screw having the onus of this put on the HHR owner–it's high time Chevy stepped up to the plate and recalled the defective HHR cars and replaced the ignition or shift mechanism so folks aren't at risk of having their car in permanent run mode until the gas runs out or the battery dies. It's not the driver's responsibility to fix Chevy's screw-up.

    • d. phillips September 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      had the same problem with my daughter's "09" HHR. wouldn't shut off, couldn't move the key. took the ignition switch out and the tumblers on the switch were coming out. realigned the tumblers and put the ignition switch back in and everything worked fine….

    • martha September 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      I had gotten a recall notice earlier this month for the ignition "may get stuck" And that happened to my 2009 HHR yesterday. The key would not turn in the ignition. STUCK. I called my closest dealer, and they towed my car in the shop. My car was fixed…ignition cylinder was replaced. Now, my automatic tranmission does not work. What? It was working when the car was towed??? What doest the automatic transmission have to do with the ignition??? First thing in the morning, I am calling the Sales Advisor at my dealership…Oh, the ignition problem was covered by the recall. Sure has been alot of recalls concerning Chevy products…my daughter in law had the same problem with her Chevy was a LEMON!!

  • Paula November 19, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Hello!Well I have to say I just had this problem tonight.Luckily I was home I couldn't believe it happen.When I got the car last year it was a problem turning it on.When I told the dealership this they told me I had to break it in.Well I broke it in all right The darn thing wouldn't quit running.Well anyway I have a cobalt 2009.What happen to the old cars it didn't seem these kinda of problems.Just crazy thanks for having this on here it didn't feel like I was loosing my mind.You know what is really funny this is my first new car and let me tell you what it probably will be my last.I am sorry it even don't have that many miles on it.My used cars I never had these kinda of problems.Thanks P.S. My husband say next time we will by a ford.Oh the owner manuel did not say anything about taking the cover off for that button what is he talking about.

    • Becky August 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      Hey Paula, I had the same thing to happen to me last night. I ended up, with the advice from a friend, taking the fuse out that is for the ignition which turned the vehicle off but not the lights inside. I locked the car and prayed that it would start the next day which it did. I went to the dealership and they were going to charge me $327-530 to fix the switch and went through the different scenarios on it being this much if they have to do this, and so on. I told him that I was going to check with a locksmith which I did and the job cost me only $57.12 to take off and rekey it.

      • LAS_Admin August 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

        Hi Becky – and everyone else! I'm floored by how many of you continue to report here about the HHR and your key getting stuck in the ignition while the engine is still running–and that there's been no apparent response from the NHTSA regarding an investigation, nor has Chevy stepped up to the plate. So we at LAS were just discussing this whole mess yesterday and we've set up a claim form page for anyone who'd like to submit a defective auto complaint here. The link is here:
        We'll see where this goes…

  • Steve W November 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Whoa! Do you guys know about the HHR door handles that snap off? They are plastic and I broke mine with my little finger in what was probably a no-pressure pull on the handle. When I contacted the dealer, they said that they see this often and here's the kicker: You CANNOT BUY the door handle. You have to buy a complete door panel for $350. Add $150 for labor and it's $500.

    Does this fall under "Safety"? Hell yes. If a person were to have an accident, a car fire, drive into water, or flip over, they would immediately snap the door handle off. and if they panic, they could die as a result.

    The Chevy guys said "Well, nobody's died because of it yet. So, you want me to order the panel, or not?"

    • admin November 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Steve, Holy cow! No–I wasn’t aware of the door handle issue with the HHR. And yes, you’re right, there could well be a safety issue as you’ve described. I suppose the Chevy guy’s response doesn’t surprise me–but what does surprise me is that you have to order the complete HHR door panel! Incredible! I wonder if any other readers have had an issue with the Chevy HHR door handles?

      • Ray January 22, 2011 at 7:24 am

        Yes, I have, and so have thousands of others. No one makes just the door handle. You have to replace the whole door panel although the handle is easy to remove by itself.

      • LadyDi July 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        I actually had that happen to my 2006 HHR but luckily it was under warranty at the time. Bit the bullet on that one. But now my car is really out of warranty and a number of problems have arisen, which we won't get into. My Enhanced Traction Light has come on twice in the last two weeks which will make my car shift hard. The next morning it was out and it shifted smooth as ever. Took it to a mechanic to run a diagnostic on it. Paper doesn't have any code number but it came up with Cam Shaft Position Valve no good. Paid my $165.72 and came home and looked it up. My computer looked at me weird and asked, "What?" I was told it was a special order part and would take three days to get, at $304.49 + labor. Told him to hold off. What's going on?

    • sandra August 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      If you or someone you know can take the door panel off, then has the replacement handles for less than $100. You don't have to buy the whole panel which is a ripoff from the dealership. Had mine changed a few months ago and still works.

      • janet August 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

        Thank you so much!!!

      • Linda March 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm

        I think with so many owners having this same problem GM should do something,I had to replace driverside replacement handle.

    • Carrie February 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      I have the same issue with my 2007 HHR. I am now getting ready to have to replace a SECOND door handle/panel. As of right now, despite my angry calls to customer service at Chevrolet, they have no plans to do anything to help me. They even asked me to take it to the dealership and pay a "diagnostic fee" to have the issue diagnosed by a "factory trained and certified" tech. I don't need a diagnosis, I know what the problem is. Crappy engineering. I am beyond frustrated with them at this point and am ready to be rid of my (once cool) HHR.

    • Confused April 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      That happened to my 2006. Luckily it was under warranty. Now I'm having a popping or thumping sound which I have had since I bought the car brand new and have had in the dealership before. They heard a rattle in my steering column which had just started a week before and they charged me $350 for a new steering column. Hasn't solved the problem which is WAY worse in wet weather and although my car stops perfectly on flat ground I just found out that coming down the mountain roads even as slow as 35-40mph it shakes so bad I have to have a death grip on the steering wheel. I really love my car but this is scaring the crap out of me. No more warranty and can't even afford to have it inspected. I think they should cover this problem seeing how I have had it since I had the car. The problem just gets worse. Now someone told me it could be a ball joint. Oh great. And who covers that one.

    • carol February 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm

      you can buy a kit for door handle i did for $60 bucks look on line

    • Patti March 12, 2014 at 9:36 am

      I had the same thing happen, refuse to go to dealership any longer for numerous other issues they refused to repair under warranty. Took my car to another mechanic and had to pay $250 for the handle repair. I have that stupid broken handle hanging in my office to remind me why I hate this car.

    • Pamela April 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      This also happen to me on mine HHR. You are rigth on the cost. It is trouble mine is still waiting to get replaced.

    • Victoria July 29, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      This happened to me too and obviously it is happening to many HHR owners. With no force my driver handle snapped off – plastic hunk of junk! But there is an after market replacement handle by Dorman that replaces only the handle and mechanism behind it without replacing the whole door. I bought it on Amazon for about 55 bucks. I was able to install it myself fairly easily and it came with a special drill bit needed. Unfortunately the replacement is also plastic so I continue to baby it and hope it doesn't snap again. and now I am hyper vigilant about my kids and guests opeing the doors and I sound like a control freak. Also unfortunate is that thought the handle hasn't snapped again, the cable mechanism or the latch went bad or detached and the door won't open again. I haven't yet figured out how to fix it or what is wrong with it. I am very annoyed at yet again having to unroll the window to exit the car every time.

  • Jessica December 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    The only thing I love about my 07 HHR is the mpg. I drive 500 miles a week for work – no complaints.

    However, for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, my gearshift knob has broke and will just go into the other gears without the button being pressed. Thank God I have an automatic. But I can’t pull the key out of the ignition while in the P position. The car will turn off. Luckily I know the good ol release button trick in the column. It cost me $220 to fix the damn part. Now really, what are the chances of this happening TWICE? I haven’t heard of any recalls or found any similar problems. This is really beginning to piss me off. I’ve only owned this vehicle for 10 mos. After my 1 yr of payments is up, this car is gone. The dealer acts like this is normal and well “sometimes this stuff happens.” REALLY, TWICE? WTF? Not to mention in the first 5 weeks of owning this car, the front brakes had to be replaced along with the thermostat. Oh and my heat only blows from the front, so I’m trying to cope with the hypothermia and frost bite on my feet. This car is a piece of crap. I should’ve known better, I owned a Cavalier once and that was crap too, even while new. I’ll know better next time.

    • michelle p December 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

      I have a 2006 HHR that I would lover to get out from under. I have had the passenger window motor break; my brakes were replaced 5 months ago and are now making a grinding noise; the plastic piece on the shifter has come off; my driver’s side door handle broke off; the check engine and check gas cap light have come on; and the key has been in the ignition for a week. I can’t afford to make payments on the car and then pay repair bills that are higher than the car payments. I am wondering as well why I bought another Chevy because I had a 1990 Camaro that was in the shop for the O2 sensor about 20 times before I got rid of it when its warranty was getting ready to expire. Oddly enough the cars were the exact same color. Anyway, maybe we should all get together and file a class action suit against GM.

  • Lanie B January 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I own 4 2008 HHR – my husband and 3 kids each drive one. I have had entry lock problems with 3 of the 4. The key fob, called a transmitter by my dealer, failed to work on all 3, while they were still under warranty. My 2 girls went to the dealer, they were told it was a sensor, in the vehicle. The sensor/receiver was replaced. The dealer one daughter visited, failed to tell her that both fobs needed to be reprogrammed…which leads me to issue 2. My son's fobs don't work, haven't for months, in October he was unable to open the door with the key. It went in the lock, wouldn't open the door. Took him, his spare key, it wouldn't work either. I called chevy, they said to have it towed in, I called a tow truck, they were able to break in with a slim jim, the key now works fine, still no operating fob. This brings me back to HHR #2 one of the ones that has had the sensor/receiver fixed. My daughter lost her key fob Thursday, somehow it fell off the key chain. She locked the car with the key, when she noticed that the fob was gone. Next day the car can not be unlocked with the key. I had her spare key and fob at my house, she is a college student…drove the 30 miles with the spares, thinking it probably wouldn't work, after the experience with my son's, sure enough the spare does not work either. Call dealer – call tow truck, they break in with a wedge, the driver's door will not unlock, with the key, pushing the electic lock button, have to move it manually several times to get it unlocked. Drive back to KC to the dealership, when we get there, can't lock or unlock the doors from the electric button on either door. We leave the car at the dealership, they reprogram the spare fob, don't touch the doors..which started working on their own. As the service writer is showing me that it is now working the fob fails to work properly, requiring multiple clicks to unlock the door, he now says he thinks the fob is the issue. So he gives me a new fob. I asked him why there has not been recall, come on, 3 out 4 that I own have had the issue. The tow truck driver that opened my daughter's, pulls up and says, had the exact same problem with an HHR last week. Irritated and worried about the reliability of my kids vehicles. My husbands has not had any issues…yet. 3 of these were purchased in Oct. 2007, his was June of 08.

    • admin January 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

      Hi Lanie, Incredible–It's amazing how many complaints of HHR problems there have been but no 'Chevy HHR Recall' yet for either the HHR key fob or the HHR ignition reports we've been hearing. What's even more amazing in your situation is that you're clearly brand-loyal, having bought four HHR's–and to have three of them have issues like this is beyond belief.

    • Jennifer July 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

      Have had similar problems with key fobs being inoperable for about year or more.

      Then, about a month ago, had the issue with the shifter not completely shifting into park (though I was able to turn the engine off) with key was stuck in ignition. What to do, can't leave the key in the ignition with the doors unlocked (key fob doesn't work to unlock doors)? So, I manage to pull the button out on the shifter and it clicks back into position, allowing me to pull the key out, and lock the doors. So, I get a new key fob programmed, $100-ish.

      Then a few days ago…another issue with shifter. Not completely the same this time, though, as now I can't get it completely into park (key stuck in ignition), or into any other gear, rendering the car "undriveable" in my driveway. Leave the car over the weekend, which kills my battery. Have to have the car towed ($60) to dealership, and pay $360 for a new floor shifter.

      Oh and to add insult to injury… the headlight on the drivers side is faulty (seems to work once its warmed up), and evidently the tire needs to be removed to replace it–$55 bill.

      Gonna leave the stupid back wiper that fell off on the freeway for another pay day!

      Oh happy day! Good thing I just paid it off last week. Might as well replace it with a car payment at this rate. Whine, whine, whoa is me!

      Sure would be nice to be notified of an known problem, so it can be fixed when it's convenient for me. When you have unexpected car problems, it always happens at the WORST possible time.

      Key fob – $100
      Tow to service center – $60
      Floor shifter replacement – $360
      Headlight replacement – $55
      Having a car that works as it should – PRICELESS!

    • Denise July 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      I have not had the ignition issue, however I have had the door lock problem. There are only 2 ways to get into my 2009 HHR…the drivers side door lock and the remote. My original battery died 3 weeks ago and I couldn’t get into the car to replace the battery. The lock wouldn’t work and the remote wouldn’t work. I called the dealership…where I purchased the car…and the service rep told me that when the battery goes out neither the fob nor the key will open the lock. He then told me to put WD-40 in the lock and hope for the best. I ended up calling the 1-800 Chevy # and they sent an independent service contractor who opened the passenger side door with the window tool…the drivers side apparently doesn’t respond well to being forced open. I replaced the battery and all was good…for a few days! I have since had at least 2 times per week when neither the key nor the fob will open the door lock. This is a ‘perfect storm’ waiting to happen! Hopefully there will be a fix before a young child or pet gets locked in the car.
      Does anyone have more info on this issue?

  • heather February 19, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I to have a 08 chevey hhr. I am having problems with the key opening the door and turning on the ignition. i took it in the dealiership to have them take a look at it when it was covered under the warrenty of corse they found nothing. They put some wd40 in their and siad if yoy have anymore problems bring it back of course that did not work i brought it back and now they know what's wrong with it now that i have to pay out of my own pocket funny right. I think with the problems everyone is have with these cars they should stand behind their product and recall it it seems to me the car is only 3 years old and should not be having problems like this. I would like to know if their is a lawsuit going on yet? My husband and I bought this brand new and spent alot of money on it I should not have to do repairs this soon to the car just your basic stuff.

    • Mary April 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      my sister has an hhr and a week ago we couldnt get into the car becuz it only has one key hole in the drivers side and not in the trunk which would help so it has been sitting in the parking lot. we have no idea what is wrong.

      • Denise July 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        I have not had the ignition issue, however I have had the door lock problem. There are only 2 ways to get into my 2009 HHR…the drivers side door lock and the remote. My original battery died 3 weeks ago and I couldn’t get into the car to replace the battery. The lock wouldn’t work and the remote wouldn’t work. I called the dealership…where I purchased the car…and the service rep told me that when the battery goes out neither the fob nor the key will open the lock. He then told me to put WD-40 in the lock and hope for the best. I ended up calling the 1-800 Chevy # and they sent an independent service contractor who opened the passenger side door with the window tool…the drivers side apparently doesn’t respond well to being forced open. I replaced the battery and all was good…for a few days! I have since had at least 2 times per week when neither the key nor the fob will open the door lock. This is a ‘perfect storm’ waiting to happen! Hopefully there will be a fix before a young child or pet gets locked in the car.
        Does anyone have info on this issue?

  • Cheri March 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I have 2009 HHR SS. Brake pads replaced, and rotors turned at 24,000. A month later brakes failed to respond in timely manner. I pressed on brakes to slow down, realized I wasn't slowing down, slammed on the brakes hard, and skidded into the vehicle in front of me. I'm looking to see if anyone else is having problems with the brakes.

    Also, I had the issue with the car not turning off too. I found out they had three other HHRs in there the same week for the same problem (car won't turn off).

    • Jennifer July 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

      Yes, have had issues with needing to replace brakes WAY too often. Twice actually and have only 55K on the vehicle. Am waiting for next brake job to replace worn rotors (which have been turned once already).

      Also issues with key fob, floor shifter not functioning, rear bulb replacement, front bulb replacement, busted rear wiper (that dangled like a puppy tail til it fell off a few weeks ago), and the lovely wet passenger floor (that ACTUALLY was recalled).

    • Patti March 12, 2014 at 9:38 am

      I'm getting ready to have my brake work done on my 2010 HHR. Dealership ignored the issue while it was under warranty, said there was nothing wrong with them.

  • Wayne March 11, 2011 at 8:57 am

    2006 HHR same problem. Key stuck in the on position. Ended up killing the battery because I had to leave it on all night. Not only do i have to remove the key with the release in the column, but because of the dead battery, it locked out the stereo. I know have to pay approximately $80 to have the stereo unlocked so it will work properly. I was told by the dealership the problem has to do with a rod in the shifter mechanism.

  • Lisa March 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Happened to me TONIGHT. 2009 HHR (2,556 miles) is running with the key in the 'on' position. Completely dumbfounded, I call OnStar. OnStar cannot turn my car off so they connect me to a GM rep named Mike who says (I'm not kidding) "I have these calls about twice a week." (WTF?)

    "You need to get your car in to a dealership."

    "Yeah. No kidding. I work for one but it's closed. How do I turn this car off?"

    We can call Roadside Assistance for you. I had to do that last week and when they got there they called us. In turn, I called a dealership in Hawaii since it was nighttime and they told us to unhook the battery…which I relayed to Roadside. Would you like me to call them?"

    "Seriously? Why? They'll just have to call you, right?"

    "They might. The other one did."

    "Listen, just tell me how to turn it off. Should I unhook the battery?"

    "You can. That's what I'd suggest but we recommend you wear the proper gloves, use a pair of pliers and be aware that it may spark or jump."

    "The car may jump, Mike? (My 23 yr old son is standing in front of the car with the hood open when I suddenly SLAM my foot on the brake even though the car is in park.)

    "We don't want you doing anything you might not feel comfortable doing for your own safety."

    "Listen, Mike. You are suggesting we unhook the battery right?"

    "Yes, but the alternate may keep running. I can call Roadside for you."

    "Thanks Mike but why bother if they're going to call you and you are going to tell them to unhook the battery."

    "Yes, that's what we would tell them."

    "Goodnight Mike and um, thanks."

    "Goodbye Lisa…have a great night."

    I couldn't make this stuff up. Are you kidding me? My son pulled the fuel fuse and the car died. The dashboard is lit up like a Christmas tree but the car is not running. Tomorrow morning I'll have someone look at it and ask more about this issue. Not that it helps me tonight….

    • admin March 16, 2011 at 4:32 am

      Hi Lisa, I'm really starting to be amazed at the number of comments we've been getting for this Chevy HHR ignition problem. Incredible–thanks for sharing your story. I'm thinking it's time Chevrolet (or GM) steps up to the plate a bit more–the Chevy HHR problems are a little to frequent for my liking…Let us know how it works out when you get the car checked…good luck

      • Marla April 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

        My name is Marla….You can add me to the list !! I have a 2009 HHR. Tonight, my husband and I were going out for an evening for the first time in months. We had 2nd row center seats to see Glen Campbell(very expensive tickets, bought several months ago). The concert hall is about 40 miles from out home. We pull up and park about 15 minutes before the show and cannot get the car to turn off!! We try everything to get it to turn off……nothing works. We let the concert hall know we were having this problem, hoping to get it turned off and still be able to see Glen Campbell. The person at the ticket office was kind enough to look this up in the internet for a possible solution……we were shocked to find out about all of these postings describing the same problem. We ended up having to drive 40 miles back to our home, missing the show. We called a tow truck and he said that this was the 2nd HHR he had dealt with recently with this problem. He disconnected the main fuse and towed it away.
        THIS IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS!!! CHEVROLET AND GM SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES!! A recall should have already happened long ago!!

  • tim g March 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    2009 cobalt automatic little plunger pushed in no release my key ive tried over a hour no luck key is not coming out. i read manual its not working so now what, read 1000 sites all claiming issue with cobalt and other chevys mad as hell car won't turn off key won't come out and i hate when they over do things i remember when you could fix a broken car with a piece of wire you found on the road or a scrap piece of rubber now you need a degree in shuttle repair so mad its sickening. and i know i suck at writing so dont go there wont buy another new car sorry i got this one 300 a month for a clunker

    • admin March 17, 2011 at 3:21 am

      Hi Tim, Thanks for sharing your story–and no worries about your writing–all I care about is that it's from the heart, and it sure seems to be! Both the Chevy HHR and the Chevy Cobalt have been collecting their share of ignition key problems or we hear things like "car won't shut off"–these are serious isssues and Chevy should be addressing them a bit more formally somehow.

  • Sarah March 30, 2011 at 7:19 am

    For about a month I have been having issues starting my 2008 HHR. Yesterday I get home and I cannot shut the car off. Key was locked in place and it wasn’t going to budge. Took it to the dealership and the guy there couldn’t even get it to turn off. He had to go under the hood and unplug something to shut it off. Of course 2008 OOW HELLO whatever lucky for me I bought an extended warranty with $100 deductable. So the guys calls this morning and tells me it’s the Ignition Lock Cylinder and they are waiting on parts. As far as why the car has not been starting at times they don’t know yet and he is going to have to call me back on that. UGH I have to say I hate this car.

  • CHRIS March 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I got a 2010 HHR with 18000 miles and it is in the parking lot

    with the key stuck in the on position, the release in the steering

    coloumb will not release.

  • Kimberly April 19, 2011 at 12:20 am

    I have an HHR with both passenger and driver side handles broken off. This is the 2nd time the door handle on the driver side has broken. I had it fixed about a year ago. I do not have $1000 dollars to have both fixed. I don't have another $500 dollars to spend on the driver's side handle. I have to roll down the window and open the door from the outside. Not only is this dangerous (I would have to climb to the back sear to get out) but I am having physical pain in my shoulder and wrist from repeatedly hyperextending my shoulder and wrist. I am going to the doctor about this and telling everyone I know that if something happens to me and I cannot get out of that car, then they should own Chevrolet. If my shoulder and wrist pain is caused by this, I am seeking an attorney. I am not one to scream lawsuit, but I am convinced that Chevrolet is at fault. You do not have to google far to find thousands of complaints.

    • LAS_Admin April 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

      Hi Kimberly, Can't say I blame you. We've been getting a lot of comments about Chevy HHR problems–some about the HHR ignition being stuck, some about HHR problems with the gear shift…it's amazing there's been no HHR recall for some of these things–I mean, seriously, imagine pulling into your drive and not being able to shut the car off. It's like between your being stuck in the HHR situation and HHR owners who can't shut the car off, it's the Hotel California of cars–you can get in, but you can never leave. Chevy needs to step up to the plate and respond to these issues.

    • Angelina Waldron December 31, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      I have this issue to it is because the mechanism in door is made out of same material as the handle! crapppy ! yep 500 + to repair, also have issues with engine shutting off when I accelerate on to hwy and windshield wipers.

    • Bob b March 7, 2014 at 11:14 am

      go on the internet and look up hhr doorhandle replacement, they sell kits for about $35 and a vidio

  • Edwina April 24, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Add me to the club! I have a 2009 HHR, 36,526 miles on it. Tonight, I pulled into a restaurant curbside waiting area. I decided to enjoy one of the last breaks from the scorching Fl weather and shut my car off. You guessed it, it wouldn’t shut off. I called Roadside assistance and was transferred to my local tow company. The dispatcher who answered asked me if my battery was located somewhere other than under the hood – as all. I had to do was disconnect the battery. Ummm…really?

    Anyway, 1 hour and 40 minutes later, I’m still sitting here waiting for my car to be towed. (I was also informed that if the tow company had to drive all the way out to my house, they would tow my car). Needless to say, I am not amused. But, I’m glad I found your blog! There’s strength in numbers!

    Also, it helps to know that I didn’t suddenly forget how to operate an ignition, as this appears to be my stepdad’s first impression.

    I say let’s start a letter writing campaign!

    By the way, with reference to your first comment: 1) I don ‘t see any lil box and 2) even if I did, I hardly think that’s the way I should be shutting my car off; just imagine how lonely my key would be!


  • Bill Fry April 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Our 2009 HHR xl just recently had this issue (key gets locked in the car while it is running) last week. Unfortunately, I'm deployed with the Army in Iraq and my wife is left to deal with it. Our full warranty lapsed at 60,000 + miles about a year ago so we're looking at an expensive repair. The dealer's main mechanic told my wife that they had seen other similar cases with the HHR. I hope we can get a recall. If so, would it reimburse me for what I'm about to pay to fix it?

  • Bill Fry April 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Just a follow up on my last post. I just got off the phone with the DOT's rep and gave him my complaint about the HHR. He said he already had 13 complaints pending but I'm not sure how many weeks or months that would cover. Bottom line: you need to call them and complain or they won't have reason enough to start an investigation. Here's the contact info: Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Vehicle Safety Hotline, which is operated by the NHTSA. The number is 888-327-4236.
    The guy told me that GM would have to reimburse people who paid a certified GM repair rep for the cost of fixing the recalled item (if there is a recall).

  • wanda May 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I have a 2008 hhr and today it failed to start but radio was playing so I keep fiddling with it and it starts. When I park in garage and get out I realize engine is still running but I have the key in my hand.

  • Lin P May 20, 2011 at 12:20 am

    When it happened to me I went to the dealership and they insisted that a coke or coffe must have been spilled into the shift mechanism and replaced at a cost of $300+. When I finally got phome I read all the posts about the KNOWN problem, wrote them a hot letter and a month later I received a check from GM for $187.00, mailed to me from the dealeership with no explanation and no apology. In spite of this, I do love my HHR and am now on my 2nd one. I don't know why GM never pushed the HHR, since it is roomy, drives nicely, is reasonably priced, and is certainly the most economical car I have ever had. My current HHR has every feature I have ever desired in a car ans so far, is performing excellently.

  • Slly June 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Ok add me to the list of dissatisified customers. We just got home from eating dinner and the car wouldn't shut off and and the key is stuck in the ignition. Good thing my husband was with me. He had to dissconnet the fuel pump and the battery. This sucks 2010 model with 44,000 miles. Now I want to get rid of it after hearing of all the problems I don't need the hazzle of never knowing when it is going to happen again. And after reading all the stories it seems as it happens often.

    • LAS_Admin June 13, 2011 at 8:29 am

      Hi Slly, Unbelieveable. I'm amazed at how many Chevy HHR owners are having this problem and the lack of response by Chevy–it's the elephant in the room syndrome apparently, too, as so many of you have reported that when you bring the HHR to the Chevy dealer or mechanic, that the guy there tells you that he's seen the problem of the HHR not shutting off a number of times–like it's a well-known and accepted fact of owning an HHR! Did you take yours in to be looked at? Let us know what you wound up doing–and good luck!

    • Honda8yrsGreatElmnt April 10, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Our HHR is a 2010 also with 44,000 and this just happened to us. The plunger mechanism
      that the manual talks about does not work. Cannot keep it down far enough so the key will
      be able to turn to shut off. I am worried that this might get replaced with the same faulty
      part and if not why didn't they use that one in the first place. How often does this recur?
      I bought this car because I thought it was an American made car? I think I should trade
      it in for a Honda. I cannot afford to fix the economy or the use of shabby parts! Definitely cannot
      afford to let the car run forever at 4.50 a gallon! Feckin hire better engineers or better managers!

  • Glenda June 19, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    We have a 2009 cobalt, the car is in our driveway running, with the key stuck in the ignition, We have tried everything the manual says and others on this site. AND if we have to pay $350 to have this fixed there is really going to be problems as our car is out of warranty. I agree there should be a recall, We are going to let our car run as my husband works in the city and that is where our dealership is, which is 40 miles from where we live and w can not afford to have it towed that far. I have an Avalance and have OnStar with it so would have free help. Many are right the old cars were so much easier to fix and much less expensive. This is a nightmare, Sunday night and no dealerships are open AND we are not going to disconnect anything. Seems like there are enough of us to cause a stink.

  • Tom D. June 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I have a 2009 HHr as well. This is the 2nd time that I've had the care in for the same ignition problem…..It won't shut off. The 1st time was 6 months ago. Of course, I've put more than the 12000 miles on it to put it out of the parts warranty. Can't wait to see what the dealership will do to help me out!! Not too hopeful…. Again!

    • Kathleen June 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

      There is now a recall up to May 2014 on ignition problem if it happens again

  • Sarah T June 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I have a 2010 HHR w/ 37,000 mile. We just returned home from the park. Our car will not turn off and the key is stuck as well. the quick release button on the steering wheel will not release the key either. We have disconnected the battery and flue relay for the night.

    I highly disagree with the NHTSA recall criteria. As a mother of a small child I find it a huge safety concern to leave a running car park in a drive/garage. I guess the NHTSA and Chevy will wait until a child is killed from the fumes of a running car. Or prepare causes a deadly accident because they have taken off in the running car.

  • Mike S July 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Ok add me to the list of dissatisified customers. We just got to work and the car wouldn't shut off and and the key is stuck in the ignition. . Had to dissconnet the fuel pump and the battery. This sucks 2009 model with 28,000 miles. Now I want to get rid of it after hearing of all the problems I don't need the hassle of never knowing when it is going to happen again. And after reading all the stories it seems as it happens often. I sold my full size truck to get this because of the room and 2xplus better mileage, it might have been cheaper to spend the money on gas.

  • NOTAHAPPYMOMMA :-/ July 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Just happened to me tonight 🙁 2009 HHR less than 30,000 miles on it. Got home from Church and car won't turn off and the key is stuck in the On position. Called On Star to see if they could turn it off, but they can't. So they called Chevrolet service dept. they were no help. So then Chevrolet called roadside assist. but they gave them the wrong information saying i was locked out. Got all that straighten out. Waited 2 hours for the Wrecker to show up. They made a comment about going to have to leave it running at the dealership. I suggested that we pull the fuel pump fuse which did stop the car. Guess I will find out tomorrow what is wrong.

  • Mandos2010blkonblk July 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Add me to the list!! 2010 with 50,000 miles. Filled the tank and went to start and the key turns but not to the point were it will start the car. all the lights, radio ect. comes on , but that's it. wonder how much the dealer going to charge for this one? As I read postings on different sites , it's common. GM needs to step up and do something about this!! RECALL RECALL!!!

  • HHR UGH July 18, 2011 at 6:41 am

    It seems as though there are two problems: broken gear shifter/ignition switch relay and seized-up ignition cylinder. I am a victim of the latter. HERE'S MY JUSTIFICATION FOR A RECALL. Car running + key stuck in "on" position = I cannot use my keyfiob to lock the car (with me inside for my and my child's safety) and if I leave it running here, and head to a safe place, the only way for me to regain entry is to use my keyfob (remember, key stuck in ignition?!). But, can't do that because the battery will be dead! Someone needs to die for a recall to happen?!? Ludicrous! You should see the neighborhood I'm stuck in; I may be meeting Jesus sooner than I thought. ***2010 HHR 53,000 miles.

  • jolly_jello July 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Just had my 2010 HHR towed: engine running, key stuck in "on" position. Tried to let it run out of gas for four hours because it was saying low fuel. Went out at 7 am — stupid thing was still running! UGH, got smart, went online, found this site, pulled the fuel pump fuse, couldn't find the battery (tow guy found it in the cargo area by the spare DOH! Boy did I feel dumb.) and waited for the dealership to tell me they would "get to it when they could" and that it was "out of warranty (51,000 miles)" and would cost me $350. Great. Thanks. By the way, I do NOT have the problem with the shifter relay; mine is a failed/locked ignition cylinder. How do I know? Cuz I tried that little trick of going under the steering wheel column and pushing that little pin/button/plunger thing, but when I depressed the release on the gear shifter, I could feel it moving freely back and forth . Oh and another thing — during my frantic attempts to wiggle, jerk, pry, coerce, freak-out-and-Jedi-force the thing to release my dang key, I found that you cannot (what I call) double-start the engine if you turn the key too far forward — like the old cars used to do. Gosh that is the worst sound — trying to start a car that's already started! Plus, when i did turn the key even more forward (as if to start it), I could feel the little pin/button/plunger thing move back and forth as well. So, guess we'll have to wait and see what Chevy decides to do about this. But, I agree, please call the DTHSA — complain and be heard!

    Here's what BILL FRY had to say a few posts back: " Just a follow up on my last post. I just got off the phone with the DOT's rep and gave him my complaint about the HHR. He said he already had 13 complaints pending but I'm not sure how many weeks or months that would cover. Bottom line: you need to call them and complain or they won't have reason enough to start an investigation. Here's the contact info: Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Vehicle Safety Hotline, which is operated by the NHTSA. The number is 888-327-4236.
    The guy told me that GM would have to reimburse people who paid a certified GM repair rep for the cost of fixing the recalled item (if there is a recall)."

  • Cynthia July 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

    This just happened to our 2010 Chevy HHR. We took it straight to the dealership thinking it was part of the "warranty" but it wasn't. So we had to pay the bill, but luckily only $121. It was a little scary, never thought a key could get stuck with the engine running.

  • millervillage July 28, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    2010 model just did this to me tonight. I removed the fuel pump fuse, it sputtered to a halt and then removed the black terminal on the battery. This is ridiculous

  • Paula July 31, 2011 at 10:17 am

    My sob story. Went to church last Sunday morning, tried to turn off my 2009 HHR and(you guessed it), it would not turn off. It ran for 4 hrs before a mechanic friend took off cover on steering column and pulled a plug. The next day I connected the plug and drove to dealer. He said to me comeone fooled with it? Geesh. $300 later it fixed. Gonna call DOT. Thank you for number. Good luck to us all!

  • M Hardesty August 2, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I have a 2010 HHR and had the key stick in the ignition and had to disconnect the battery cables to shut off the car.Since it was 400 mi out of factory warranty I got stuck with a nice $290.00 repair bill from the Chevy Dealer who also mentioned my car was the 7th one they had seen with the same problem since Jan of this year.I called GM and their only comment was keep the receipt in case a service bulliten is EVER issued.

  • bob August 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Het people ever see the show BAIT CAR they should use hhr s they dont shut off…..i will donate mine to the show ,and i know there are plenty others…..

  • Kyla August 9, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Babied 2009 HHR with 30,000 miles with a key that won't turn to the off position so the engine won't turn off and key can not be removed. Thank goodness for internet because I had no clue which fuse I should pull or where it was. I tried the key manual release and it doesn't do anything. Car is not in warranty and I don't have the money to get this fixed right now. So now to drive the car I have to unlock the driver door with the key, crawl over the seat to unlock the back door from inside so I can to get to the very back to rehook the battery because of course the rear hatch is electric and won't open if the battery is unhooked, then I have to open the hood, take off the fuse cover, put the fuel pump fuse back in, put the fuse cover back on, close the hood, and then I can turn on the car. To turn off the car I have to reverse these steps. How ridiculous is that. Not to mention the increased risk of theft since there is a key in the ignition and the alarm doesn't work. Though it would probably be to much trouble to get it started…

    • bob August 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      kyla just open the drivers side door with the key ,pull the hood latch open and on the drivers side under the hood, you will see the fuse box , you will see a red cap,pull it off, those 2 wires are the positive battery connections…. loosen them nut up with a 7/16 rachet until the car stalls ……in the morning tighten the same nut .thats what ive been doing….hopes that works out better for you.

  • jbass5 August 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    just back from churchband, into the driveway and it won't shut off 2010 HHR. 35000 miles, i live in the country going to let it idle all night and take it in in the morning…

  • Kem Farr August 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Must be my turn. 2010 HHR 42000 miles on it. Got ready to go into restaurant with my wife but the car will not turn off. Wife is on the way to dealership to get it fixed. Luckily, we have Millenium care warranty that covers the switch but has $200 deductible. Sucks to be me right now. I live 22 miles from town and no other car so wife will be in town till its fixed and Im stuck 22 miles from town and only a mountain bike to get around. Any car less than 2 years old and less than 50000 miles should not cause a driver to be stranded or left without transportation because there is not enough quality built in to a component that has to be depended upon for the operation of the vehicle. That is a valid consumer argument and a valid legal arguement.

    • LAS_Admin August 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Kem, Bingo! It certainly sounds like a valid legal argument to me! And, as such, we've set up a complaint form where Chevy HHR owners with ignition problems can submit their details for an attorney to review. It's unconscionable that so many readers are having the same issue, and nothing seems to be getting done about it. You can fill out the form here:

  • CLEO August 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Just got home at 10:00pm and could not shut off my 2009 hhr. Key would not turn backwards, very very frustrating. I ended up taking ALL of my stuff out of the back to get to the battery. Pulled a fuse out which was right next to the battery and the car shut off? Dash lights were still on so I disconnected black wire from the battery. Hopefully I can reconnect battery reinsert fuse and start the car tomorrow. Car is out of warranty, hope this won't be expensive! I don't think any car should be stuck on and it should be covered for the life of the car not just for the 36,000 mile warranty. Does anyone have any ideas how to get complaints to Chevy as well as DOT complaint number?

  • Glenn August 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I won't go into too much detail but this just happened to my son with my 2009 HHR. I called my Local Chevy Dealer and he researched my VIN. He stated my VIN was not included in the Recall as of now but he stated that it probably will in the future. The bill was $160.00 and he stated if and when I receive the recall to bring it to them and I will be fully reimbursed. I pick it up after work tonight and will find out exactly what they had to do for the reapir and repost it later.

    • LAS_Admin August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Glenn, To my knowledge, there hasn't been a recall yet, let alone an investigation. There are folks who've submitted complaints with the NHTSA, but that's as far as it's gone–so we're now accepting complaints for an attorney to review. Hopefully that'll get the ball rolling on some help for everyone who's had to deal with this ridiculous–and unsafe–HHR ignition problem. You can fill out a complaint form here:

      • Glenn August 24, 2011 at 8:14 am

        Picked it up last night and the Service Manager stated it was the Ignition Lock Cylinder that was faulty and he stated he was pretty sure there would be a recall for this issue. Can only Hope he is correct!!

  • Michael August 26, 2011 at 5:21 am

    2009 Chevy Cobalt LS—
    Got to my friends house and put my 09 Chevy Cobalt in park, and the key got stuck in the ignition with the car on. I unplugged my battery to turn it off, although I did spend around an hour trying to get the key out with the car on. I'm seriously frustrated because my car has only about 1400 miles on it!! >:O!!

  • Dani August 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    2010 HHR at the dealership getting a new tumbler because I couldn't turn the dang thing off yesterday… scary stuff! This should definitely be a defect issue!

  • Paula August 31, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Ditto on the key tumbler deal. Car in the garage, key stuck, ignition would not turn off. I work at a Chevrolet dealership so had to drive 60 miles back to dealership, get a loaner and pay $153 at dealer cost to repair.

    Two days later, SAME THING HAPPENED TO A CO-WORKER WITH THE SAME MODEL HHR. Fortunately, she was at the dealership. Both cars around 40,000 miles.

    • LAS_Admin September 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Paula, This is perhaps the most priceless comment yet–TWO Chevy dealership employees who've been screwed by the HHR key stuck in ignition fiasco! You can't make this stuff up–and I'm sorry–I don't mean to only see humor in this as I'm sure it was not only disconcerting to have it happen but also (obviously) costly to get it fixed. It's unreal how many people are chiming in on this with the same issue, and yet no recall, no investigation…unbelievable.

  • John Hynson September 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    My 2009 HHR got stuck on like this and it cost me $436 because the repair place where I bought it a few months ago (used) couldn't fix it because of some problem with GM not having the code or something to give them for that VIN. So my car was there for 3 days waiting for a new tumbler (?) or something from the manufacturer. I'm angry because, well $436 for something that is clearly GM's fault. Any suggestions on what I can do?

  • MIkier57 September 2, 2011 at 9:19 am

    My pristine 2009 HHR w/ 15K miles had the same issue. Attempted to go to dinner and could not turn off the ignition key. Fortunately was right around the corner from the Dealer but it was 5 oclock closing. Service guy gave me the deer in the headlight stare and appeared to not have any idea what to do. Wrote up the Service order and left with the car running. Hoping for the best!

  • Joe R. September 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I had mine lock up a few days ago on our 2008 HHR, my wife was in the parking lot at work, I happened to be home that day and picked up the car drove it home and took off the plastic pannels that sourround the steering wheel and found a group of wires with a plastic connector toward the back of the steering colum unhooked the plastic connector and the car shut off. Can't wait to see the bill for this one!

  • Melanie M September 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I have also had the problem of my key locking in the on position with the car running. This happened to me at 10:00PM at night and roadside assistance could not help me. My neighbor called a tow company which advised him to go under the hood and disconnect the battery and something else which I have no idea what that something else was. After towing the car to the dealer I was informed that it was not under warranty and they took me for $320.00. I had to pay it or have my car held hostage. Hopefully Chevrolet will realize what a problem this has become and do something about it.

  • Darla September 4, 2011 at 9:40 am

    HHR 2010 35,000 miles Laborday weekend full tank of gas headed 2 the Jersey shore got friends & family waiting on me. Stop in 2 Wawa 4 water, soda, & chips cause it’s so expensive at the resort hotel. Hmm… THE CAR HAS A MIND OF IT’S OWN IT WON’T TURN OFF!!! I have roadside assistance in my iPhone I call & I multi task & I Google & find all the other lovely folks ;-( Now tow guy wants 2 take 2 my local dealer who I don’t trust 2 make candles from their ear wax :-€ ( I feel they swop or took my brand new tires during an oil change & tire rotation- cost me $300 to replace my word against theirs). Any who now got 2 rent a car it s/ fall under my extended service contract as this repair but we shall see. They said urine cures jelly fish stings either way I feel I am being peed on; great way 2 end my summer Happy Laborday.

  • Jaye October 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I have a 2008 chevy hhr…. I had the opposite problem from everyone. I couldnt get my car to start! I got it tolled to the GM dealership where they kept asking me if i had some secret code on it??? Really?? And finally they discovered it was my ignition switch .. $549. later… warrenty doesnt cover it and no one ever cares… smh

    • drae May 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      wondering if your problem has been resolved. we have had our 08 hhr in for service at least every other month for this very same problem. service dept. cant seem to find the problem because it isnt showing any codes. we have other issues also like the tail lights going out twice in less than a year apart also the headlamps would come on only when it felt like i needed them i guess same with the horn. after reading nearly all of these post i almost wish mine wouldnt shut off. no really i feel for everyone out there that is having problems with their hhr

    • martha September 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      The same happened to me…could not start the car. Towed it in to dealer, and ignition cyclinder replaced. No cost because of recall, but now I do not have auto transmission. WTF? So, it goes back in tomorrow…I will not buy another Chevy product.

  • jon October 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    i was in a minor fender bender and car was in shop. 3 weeks later i go to check on it and they moved my 2010 hhr to "the shop" i asked why they tell me hhrs are known to have ignition probs! this is first time i have had any problems with my ignition. body shop still has my car and says insurance paid for body work but this is not covered! would the minor damage to fender cause the ignition problems?

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