General Motors (GM) has issued a recall for the Chevrolet HHR (2006-2007) because it has a faulty ignition that can shut off unexpectedly. Unfortunately, the Chevy HHR recall was issued more than a decade after GM first learned of the problem.
Free Chevy HHR Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or your loved one was injured or died in a recalled Chevy HHR, contact our law firm immediately for a free case consultation. If you file a lawsuit, you could receive compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and more.
What is the Chevy HHR?
General Motors (GM) manufactures the Chevrolet Heritage High Roof (Chevy HHR), a retro-styled station wagon SUV that was launched in 2005. It shares the Delta platform — including ignition — with the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5, Saturn Ion, and other vehicles. The Chevy HHR was discontinued in May 2011.
Chevy HHR Recall
February 13, 2014 – GM announced a recall of Chevrolet HHR SUVs from model-years 2006 and 2007 because they have a faulty ignition switch that can suddenly change from “run” into “accessory” or “off,” which will shut down the engine, power-steering, brakes, and airbags.
The key can switch under many circumstances — heavy key rings, driving over rough roads, short drivers bumping the key, or car accidents. The defect has been linked to at least 12 deaths and 34 front-impact collisions in which the airbags failed to deploy. However, according to Center for Auto Safety (CAS), over 300 deaths occurred in accidents in which airbags failed to deploy on a recalled vehicle.
Stalling Problems with Chevy HHR
In May 2009, a report by TV station WTVD in Raleigh, North Carolina, quoted Loretta Barnes as saying her 2007 Chevy HHR “stalls without warning” — including on the train tracks. She said, “I’m scared that it’s going to die and somebody’s going to hit me in the back.” She said it was a “bump” that makes it stops, but sometimes it stops spontaneously. She’s had the dealership look at the problem five times but they couldn’t fix it.
Reporters found 22 complaints similar to Loretta’s — Chevy HHR stalling without warning. After the news station got involved, GM offered Loretta a deal on a new car. She said, “You need to recall this — I’m scared somebody’s going to have to die for you to recall this car.”
Chevy HHR Recall Delayed Over 10 Years After Defect Known
When GM recalled the Chevy HHR, they provided the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with a timeline of events (.pdf) leading to the recall. That timeline indicated that GM first learned of the ignition problem in 2004. When the NHTSA asked about inconsistencies, GM provided another timeline indicating that they actually learned about the problem in 2001 — five years before the HHR was sold in the United States.
The chronology indicated that the first death also occurred before the HHR was on American roads — in July 2005, a 16 year-old Maryland girl died in a crash that occurred when the key was in the “accessory” position. In October 2006, two teenagers died under similar circumstances in Wisconsin. In March 2010, a 29 year-old girl died on her birthday just four days after taking her car into the mechanic because the engine shut off when she was driving.
Recall Subject: Ignition Switch May Turn Off
Report Receipt Date: FEB 10, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V047000
Component(s): AIR BAGS , ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Manufacturer: General Motors LLC
General Motors LLC (GM) announced on February 10, 2014 that they are recalling certain model year 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, and 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles. Two weeks later, GM increased the recall to include an additional 748,024 model year 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR and Pontiac Solstice vehicles and 2003-2007 Saturn Ion vehicles and 2007 Saturn Sky vehicles. In these models, the weight on the key ring and/or road conditions or some other jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position, turning off the engine.
If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the ignition switch, free of charge. The recall began on March 10, 2014. Owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac at 1-800-762-2737 or Saturn at 1-800-553-6000. GM’s number for the initial recall is 13454 and 14063 for the expansion. Note: Until the recall repairs have been performed, it is very important that customers remove all items from their key rings, leaving only the vehicle key. The key fob (if applicable), should also be removed from the key ring.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
Need a Chevy HHR Recall Lawyer?
The Automotive & Crashworthiness Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Chevy HHR lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Chevy HHR Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by the recalled Chevy HHR, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit, and our lawyers can help.