I haven't had time to research your state, but you should be able to look up the requirements on your state DMV website. The state standards vary wildly so you will have to check your state specifically. In NC they have to be really bad to fail inspection, but again in your state it depends on what the standards are.
Without actually seeing what was moving it's hard to say. Could you post a video?
After some research on your model car it seems there is a problem with the upper spring seat on the front struts. Based on your information it looks like this may apply to you.
Bulletin No.: 12-03-08-001
Date: August 06, 2012
Subject: Clunk or Thump Type Noise from Front Suspension
2008-2009 Buick Allure (Canada)
2008-2011 Buick Enclave, LaCrosse, Lucerne
2011-2012 Buick Regal
2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt (Including SS)
2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR (Including SS)
2008-2009 Chevrolet Uplander
2008-2011 Chevrolet Aveo
2008-2012 Chevrolet Equinox, Impala, Malibu
2009-2012 Chevrolet Traverse
2010-2012 Chevrolet Camaro
2011-2012 Chevrolet Cruze, Volt
2008-2012 GMC Acadia
2010-2012 GMC Terrain
2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (Canada)
2007-2010 Pontiac G5
2008 Pontiac Grand Prix
2008-2009 Pontiac Montana SV6, Torrent
2008-2010 Pontiac G3, G6, Vibe, Wave
Some customers may comment on a clunk or thump noise coming from the
front suspension while driving over rough road surfaces. This noise
will typically occur when the front suspension is returning to the
upward position after a hard downward stroke, such as after driving
through a large rut or pothole.
This condition may be caused by the jounce bumper slamming into the
upper spring seat because it is not retained in the correct up
position. The jounce bumper loses position due to oil being deposited
onto its retention fingers. The oil is from the strut leaking.
Inspect the front strut(s) for evidence of oil. The leak may be slight
but will still cause the concern. If oil is present, replace the
affected strut, jounce bumper and dust boot (shield). Before
reassembling the strut assembly, glue the new jounce bumper and new
dust boot (shield) to the upper spring seat using the steps listed
below. To further confirm this concern, the shield/bumper will easily
slide up and down the strut shaft.
- Clean the surface area of the upper spring seat using fine sandpaper.
- Apply a light coat of *3M(TM) Automotive Adhesion Promoter, P/N 06396 or equivalent, to the top of the dust boot (shield) on the
inside edge and to the top of the bumper. Allow to dry 10 minutes.
- Glue the bumper to the inside of the dust boot (shield) as shown. Use *3M(TM) Duramix(TM) Super Fast Adhesive, P/N 04747 or equivalent.
Allow to cure thoroughly 5-10 minutes at room temperature.
- Apply a light coat of *3M(TM) Automotive Adhesion Promoter, P/N 06396 or equivalent, to the top of the dust boot (shield) and to the
upper spring seat surface. Allow to dry 10 minutes.
- Glue the dust boot (shield) to the upper spring seat as shown using the above recommended adhesive. Allow to cure thoroughly.
*We believe this source and their products to be reliable. There may be additional manufacturers of such products. General Motors does not
endorse, indicate any preference for or assume any responsibility for
the products from this firm or for any such items which may be
available from other sources.
Part Number Description Qty Material Allowance
04747 3M™ Duramix™ Super Fast Adhesive 1 $22.00
06396 3M™ Automotive Adhesion Promoter 2 $4.00
For part numbers and usage of the strut, see Strut Kit in Group 07.345
of the appropriate Parts Catalog.
For part numbers and usage of the boot/shield, see Strut Boot/Shield
in Group 07.371 of the appropriate Parts Catalog.
For part numbers and usage of the bumper, see Strut Bumper in Group
07.395 of the appropriate Parts Catalog.
Source (PDF File)