HAMBURG, NEW YORK -- If anybody is interested in buying a Chevrolet HHR I will save you the trouble and say DON'T BUY IT! Go to your nearest Toyota or Honda dealer instead. Any HHR that is not equipped with running boards has a paint chipping problem do to a design flaw by General Motors. The retro design of the HHR makes the wheel wells wider than the car which gives the car a nice look. However because the wheels are wider than the car the front wheels throw road debris at the rear rocker panel, wheel well, and doors causing the paint to chip away. So that cool hip design really doesn't matter because the car looks like hell after about 10,000 miles. General Motors recognizes the problem and will paint the car, however the new paint justs chips away again because of the design flaw. Chevrolet also recognizes the solution which is to install running boards on the vehicle. The only problem is General Motors thinks the running boards should be purchased by the owner and the problem that was created by GM in the first place is the customer's problem. The running boards costs about $800.00 to $900.00 after installation. So if you don't want your HHR's paint to fall off and look like hell because of a manufacturer's defect by GM then it will cost you just under $1000.00.
So GM screws up and then sticks the customer with the bill as if it was the customers fault in the first place. What bothers me the most is that General Motors still continues to sell the HHR without running boards giving the customer an option to let their paint chip off. I don't know why the running boards aren't standard equipment to prevent the problem. So every HHR on the road without running boards will look like hell after about a year of use. The next time you see an HHR without running boards just take a look at it and you will see the paint missing if you don't see the paint chipping it either means it was just repainted or the car is just a couple of months old. I tried to get GM to budge on this, and fought them for over a month. They plead ignorance when it comes to giving a customer running boards. I was told by a GM representative that GM does not recognize a design flaw and because it is the road causing the paint to chip away it is considered a divine issue or an act of God. So she is telling me that the car is not designed to drive on roads.
So if you bought an HHR you might as well use it as a display piece in your garden because it is not designed to go on roads.
It is a real shame that this has happened to my car because overall the rest of the car is great it just chips it's own paint. I was so happy with the car I was definitely planning on purchasing another one in about 3 years. But because of the way GM has decided to handle this I am really thinking about buying a Toyota or a Honda the next time. I am even filing a complaint with the attorney general and see if they can do anything about the issue. The way I see it General Motors knows they are selling a defective product and is continuing to willingly sell the defective problem. They are giving the customer the decision to buy a car that chips it's own paint. Not making running boards standard equipment is fraudulent on GM's part and is similar to giving the customer an option to purchase a car without a fender or a bumper or even brakes. They can raise the sticker price to cover the cost of the running boards so what is the problem?
That is why I have no choice but to turn to the Attorney General not for just my own sake but for everyone's sake.