Safety Alert: Investigation Into Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR Fuel Leaks

An investigation has been opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, regarding Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR fuel leaks complaints. This is not the first time the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR have been investigated for fuel related concerns. But this seems to be unrelated to the first investigation. Details of the investigation into the Chevrolets are below.

A woman places something in the back of her red Chevy Cobalt.
Nicole Martell 23, of Limington gets ready to leave work in her Chevy Cobalt Thursday, April 3, 2014 | Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Chevrolet Cobalt

The Chevrolet Cobalt was available for the 2004 through 2010 model years. It came available as a coupe and a sedan. It replaced the Chevrolet Cavalier.

The Cobalt has had previous notable recalls. Recalls have previously been issued for the Cobalt regarding insufficient padding (issued 2007), a power steering related recall (issued 2010), a fuel reservoir leak concern (issued 2012). The Cobalt was also part of the larger GM ignition switch scandal (issued 2014). 

Red 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS, front 3/4-view
2008 Chevrolet HHR SS | Chevrolet

The Chevrolet HHR

The Chevrolet HHR was available for model years 2006 through 2011. It was available as a wagon and a panel van. It was built upon the same architecture as the Cobalt. So, the same notable recalls the Cobalt experienced transferred across the HHR lineup as well.

The current Cobalt and HHR investigation

It is important to note that the NHTSA announced only an investigation. There is no recall at this time. According to Reuters, General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company, is cooperating with the investigation, which affects more than 614,000 cars. According to the International Business Times, “The NHTSA said it received 208 complaints about fuel leaks from the vehicles, with 39 of the complaints specifying that puddles or drips from the vehicle were observed.” According to the NHTSA, “The fuel leaks are the result of corrosion of the metal fuel lines underneath the vehicle near the left rear wheel well. The corrosion occurs at the polymer blocks that attach the fuel lines to the underbody and underneath an insulation wrap-heat shield adjacent to the exhaust pipe and muffler,”

What cars are affected and what has happened

2008 to 2010 Chevrolet Cobalts models are subjects of the investigation. So, are 2008 to 2009 HHRs. NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has said that no fires, accidents, injuries have been reported from the fuel leaks. However, the agency will continue to investigate the “scope, frequency, circumstances, and safety consequences of the alleged defect.”

What to do

Should a recall be necessitated, communication will go out to the public. Also, General Motors will reach to the affected owners and advise them of any action to take. At this time, however, this is only an investigation, not a recall. 


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General Motors also provides a website to look up Chevrolets that may be affected by any actual recall. The site requires a VIN number to do a search. The website is available here,

Should an owner believe that their vehicle is also exhibiting signs similar to the fuel leak problems mentioned above, then they should report what is happening to their dealer’s service department and the NHTSA. A fuel leak is nothing to shrug off and an immediate fire hazard. Practice safety first.