really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,800 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #10

Mar 102006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 15 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate and felt as if it was dragging. There was also a smell was coming from the front of the vehicle. It was towed to an independent repair shop who determined the front left brake was sticking. The caliper was replaced and bolts were tightened. One week later, the same thing occurred. This time the independent repair shop replaced the caliper with the original and suggested a visit to the dealer for further assistance. The dealer flushed the brake system and during a test drive the front left and the rear right brakes caught on fire. It was determined the rotors and pads and ABS system needed to be replaced.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #9

Mar 162006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
: the contact stated the brakes squeaked and brake dust was observed on the hubcaps. The brakes pads have been replaced and the rotors have been turned frequently at every 3,000 miles. The braking capability of the vehicle is defective and causes the vehicle to swerve all over the road. The dealer and the manufacturer determined the brake pads and the rotors are not compatible. Three dealerships and have admitted this is a design defect but because it does not affect the functioning of the brakes they are not qualified to issue a recall. According to the contact this failure does affect the function of the brakes.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 232003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact stated the driver's side and passenger's side air bags deployed while driving down the highway. There was no prior warning. Also, the right front brake had a loud popping and squealing noise, this caused the steering wheel to vibrate. The right front brake overheated, it turned the rim red hot. He could smell the brake dust from the right front brake. He contacted the dealer, they have repeatedly replaced the brakes, brake pads, disc caliper, and rotors. He was still having the same problem with the vehicle.

- Cape Coral , FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 302005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
Subject: 2002 PT CRUISER brakes / transmission I do not know if you are the proper person to bring up some safety issues with the Chrysler PT CRUISER but it is my sincere hope that maybe you could direct this to someone who can. About two months ago, I had my brakes services at a local shop that I have been dealing with for 10 years. When I was younger, I used to do much of the work to cars myself, and once in a while I do an audit of the work he does. As always, he does a great job. Recently I was driving back from lake Tahoe on I80. This is mostly full of mountains with very steep grades and a lot of sheer cliffs. I had a full car load of human and personal property so I would conceder it to be close to the max weight of the car. I placed the automatic transmission from over-drive to the next lowest gear during the steep grades. We did not slow down at all! I discovered to my horror that the next lowest transmission speed was third. So I dropped it down again to the next lower gear and it was first gear. Since our speed was 55 miles per hour, it did not engage at all. Thank goodness it did not. So I applied the ABS front discs and rear drums. By the time we got down from this area, I totally burned out the brakes. I have driven other cars from California to Texas to Florida with similar loads, but never with a transmission with no second gear. I have never burned new brakes up in a similar fission and required one new disc. I do not think that they "?Chrysler?" did enough engineering in stopping this car with steep highway grades with a full load, and the population is at risk for run-away cars in those areas. Thank you very much for your valuable time.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #6

Aug 082003

PT Cruiser 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While applying the brake pedal consumer heard a loud squeaking noise coming from the front. Also, when applying the brake pedal, the vehicle jerked. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, but mechanic could not duplicate the problem.

- Crowley, LA, USA

problem #5

Jan 012004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Grinding noise when applying brakes, cracking noise when anti-lock system activated. The brake pads have been replaced at approx. 22,000 miles and the pads where worned on the driver's side to the metal. There was no pre- warning of the condition. I purchased a ptcruiser when first manufactored the brakes had the same problem.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #4

Aug 212003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Uncontrollable wobble of front wheels as brakes are applied. The higher the speed, the greater the wobble.

- Selma, AL, USA

problem #3

Apr 152003

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Consumer states that when trying to apply the anti lock brakes they will lock up, causing vehicle to have extended stopping distance. Dealer notified.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #2

Mar 192002

PT Cruiser

  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- De Pere, WI, USA

problem #1

Nov 102001

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 60 mph ABS brake and traction control system lights came on, and then vehicle stalled. Vehicle has not been taken to dealer.

- Mcallen, TX, USA