really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,597 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 #19

Oct 302016

PT Cruiser

  • 294,000 miles
Engine cradle, or front subframe, is rusted to the point I've stopped driving the car. I'm in the process of finding a replacement but Chrysler no longer makes the part! nothing has happened to this point because of my caution but the front end was starting to make popping noises when I started out from a dead stop. The problem is on the front passenger side. I understand from reading articles, many other pts have this same problem. For years, I have tried to prime and spray oil on the part to extend it's life. Time has come....

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #18

Oct 222015

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving at 30 mph, the vehicle began to vibrate severely. In addition, the vehicle overheated without warning. The contact noticed fumes and smoke coming from the hood. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #17

Oct 312015

PT Cruiser

  • 100,755 miles
Ok this is the 10th complaint filed on this vehicle both by myself and mechanics who have worked on it in last 6 months. My vehicle caught fire beside my house this morning at 6am. Nobody in car and the only thing that alerted me was when my dogs went out and were barking like crazy. I will have the fire investigator report on Monday or Tuesday. I suggest Chrysler who has all the same complaints as you do pay attention when you are told a car is unsafe. I could have lost everything this morning so Chrysler better be glad was just car. I am still shaking and I am a single disabled mom thank god fire department got here when they did. I want answers!

- Chapel Hill, TN, USA

problem #16

Sep 272015

PT Cruiser

  • 100,000 miles
Ok maybe 4th time is a charm on trying to get PT CRUISER off road. I had a fire in this vehicle due to overheating which was reported but dumb me put it out and replaced grill and radiator and had to take seperate loan out for $2500 in repairs and now vehicle won't start and now being told is computer well that explains why when we were trying to get out of car when was on fire the door locks didn't won't to work first time. The car is a 2002 with 100,000 miles on it and I have already put new tires on it and battery and had all these repairs done trying to save the car because I am a single mom on disability maybe since Chrysler is under investigation for injuries and deaths not being reported you can add me because I was burned during the fire trying to put out. I have forwarded every single documentation of every incident not only to Chrysler but NHTSA and now want me to replace a computer at $1300 this car is dangerous and have been told by everyone who has examined car it is serious but I guess if me or my son had died in car then maybe something would have been done. I have made my payments and paid full coverage insurance for 6 months while all this has been going on and only was able to drive car for a month. The vehicle is at Chrysler Dodge in columbia, tn and phone number is 1-931-380-0326. I have 9 tow bills and nobody cares that me or my son could have lost our lives!

- Chapel Hill, TN, USA

problem #15

Apr 172015

PT Cruiser

  • 89,000 miles
Ok this is my 3rd complaint on this vehicle the first problem was overheating and yes caught fire after a month of that everytime temperature gauge would rise I pulled car over and had towed I have 7 tow bills on that well last time caught fire was able to put out had to replace radiator, hoses, had a cracked head, fan, fan sensor and thermostat and grill that was $2000 for all that. I got car back and now have had back for a month and car won't start had battery changed out, had 25 point inspection done and now saying alarm system is triggering something or possibly computer going bad. This is a 2002 with only 100,000 miles on it. I owe $2300 to chase for purchase then have 2nd lien because of all these other problems of $2000. I bought the car back in 4/2013 and had to have all recalls done on it and I have reported all this before and Chrysler refuses to admit it is a lemon. I have been told by dealer and 2 other mechanics this car is not safe and should not be on road. I am a single mom with ms and on disability and now scared to drive car. The car is parked and I am still making payments on something I can't drive. I do know car was assembled in Mexico and don't know if a siesta was taken during my car or not. I am told not to drive car it is a hazard and Chrysler after fire should have taken car back but they refused a fire and was me and my son 2 lives could have been lost. I want car taken back by Chrysler and I want payoff on loan of $3000 by Chrysler this car won't be driven. I have been very cooperative reporting everything but when mine and my son's life is at risk that is enough! if you do research the overheating and electrical has been a serious problem and I would think that a fire would get you to make Chrysler take these cars back.

- Chapel Hill, TN, USA

problem #14

Aug 042015

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The motor mount needs to be replaced for the 3rd time!

- Cathedral City, CA, USA

problem #13

Jun 242014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles
Subframe cradle failure with crack through mounting. Dealer says "seen before" not under recall or investigation. Repair shop "has seen several with similar failure" some have resulted in suspension failure and accidents. Why is this not the subject of a recall" no one killed yet" repair to cost $1,400. Updated 11/09/15

- Greenwood, DE, USA

problem #12

Jun 022015

PT Cruiser

  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While parked at a gas station, the vehicle overheated and the contact noticed coolant bubbling on the reservoir. The contact also stated that the cooling fan was not activating. The dealer stated that piston number two failed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 172015

PT Cruiser

  • 161,000 miles
Our PT CRUISER overheated one day after my wife had left work, thankfully she made it home before it got worse. I have replaced all components known to cause overheating problems such as thermostat, radiator, spark plugs and wires, water heater, flushed the block out, even changed the temp sensor. I have also checked all the hoses and gave it an oil change and yet it still over heats. I have researched this problem online and have found that thousands of people are having the same issue.

- Rough And Ready, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 022015

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Ok I am so upset I bought this car 2 years ago it is a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER with a back check from my disability cause I had to have something low to the ground to get in and out of. I have had nothing but problems and I can't afford anymore on this car this is like a brand new car with such low miles I can't get to therapy, doctor's appointments and when you go on all these sights it is the same report overheating for model tears 2001-2005. I have had to take out a loan to have a radiator installed, sensor for fan, thermostat, fan, hoses and it still overheats and now being told that it is a cracked head gasket now tell me how the couple of times it did overheat and was immediately turned off and towed it got into this bad of shape and why so many cruisers have the overheating problems? I am a single mom on disability with no other income and now have to make payments on a car I can't drive. I even as soon as got car had the timing belt changed and whatever else needed for near future just so didn't have that expense later on. I really appreciate the fact I can't go anywhere to necessary appointments for my disability and paying on a car for repairs and now completely down and won't be fixed have been quoted a thousand dollars and already have a loan out for $700 because of other repairs not to mention have loan when bought the car paying on! this isn't right and trust me have plenty of others who can give you their stories! I have a son who will graduate next year only car we have and now he can't go to college! there have been several of them and mine did but thank god did have some bottled water in the car start a small fire in the front this is serious!

- Chapel Hill, TN, USA

problem #9

Jul 242014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 202,501 miles
As I was driving down the highway my car started to overheat so I pulled over and let it cool down. After adding more coolant to it I started to drive it home only to have it start to overheat again, so parked it at a nearby school and left it over night. Upon getting it the next morning it started right up and I drove it home, when I went to go start it again it wouldn't start. After calling my mechanic and having him look at it he informed me that there was water in the exhaust and I would have to get a new motor. After reading all the complaints on here for the same or similar thing, it makes me wonder why there hasn't been a recall on these systems in this particular car?

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #8

Jun 302014

PT Cruiser

  • 84,000 miles
Vehicle pulled out of business complex turn in left about a car lengths away from me when he pulled out..attempted to stop but vehicle was too close. No air bags deployed.

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

problem #7

May 302014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 127,870 miles
Driving at 35mph. Suddenly the engine shut off. The car coasted/rolled down-hill for 1.5 blocks. I stopped at the first red light. The car would not re-start. It began to crank but would never turn the engine over. Checked the oil stick and there was no (zero) oil on the stick. We added 4 quarts of oil. The oil did not leak out of the car. We let the engine cool and tried to start the car. It would not start, it cranked again but didn't turn over. I had the car towed to the mechanic shop.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 032010

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
The ignition key does not stay in when the engine is running. The mechanic who worked on the car in October said he has replaced several ignition switches in this model car. Could it have been manufactured by the same company as those involved in the GM recall? this problem has existed for several years.

- Tipp City, OH, USA

problem #5

Apr 022012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Car has been overheating when ac is put on. Overheating while idling sometimes. I have spent over $2000 trying to fix it. It's not head gasket or heads according to 2 shops. I called Chrysler, they said no complaints about cooling system have ever been reported. I filed a complaint. Shops have changed everything and can not find the problem. Check engine light stays on even after everything has been replaced. There should be a recall!!

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #4

Mar 012013

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • miles
2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. Consumer writes in regards to no instrument panel illumination, fuel and oil leaks, brake warning lights comes when applying brakes, inoperative windshield wiper switch. The consumer stated the instrument panel was completely dark and he was unable to see the gauges at night. Updated 05/22/13

- Albion, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 302012

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the heater had become inoperable. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who ran a diagnostic test and advised the contact that the head gasket, timing belt and water pump needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified and the contact filed a complaint. No other assistance was provided. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #2

Jul 152012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 32,540 miles
Well maintain PT CRUISER blew head gasket going down interstate at 70mph. Caused engine to over heat. Causing the engine to spray boiling water from the water overflow tank back on to the windshield. Car had right at 32,550 miles on it. The spraying water and steam could have caused the driver to lose control and crash.

- Dalton, GA, USA

problem #1

Jun 172004

PT Cruiser

  • 37,678 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the vehicle overheated constantly and the air conditioning was blowing hot air. The contact waited for the temperature on the vehicle to cool off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the open circuit fan motor. The failure recurred and the radiator exploded. The failure resulted in two replacements of the radiator fan belt assembly and a repair to the cooling fan ground. The approximate current mileage was 100,600. The failure mileage was 37,678.

- Sacramento, CA, USA