hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,145 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.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #33

Jun 012007

PT Cruiser

  • 100,000 miles
Dome lights do not always go out when doors are closed. Sometimes dome lights come on when signals are used. Could run battery done if not noticed

- Orland Park, IL, USA

problem #32

Dec 222017

PT Cruiser

  • 224,441 miles
My lights shut off while driving. Not only did my headlights shut off but my dash board lights and the lights on my gear shift did as well. My doors will not lock as well.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #31

Mar 242017

PT Cruiser

  • 48,000 miles
On returning home from an event in the evening I parked my vehicle in the garage. I turned off lights and then the ignition and everything shut down except the fog lights stayed on (the vehicle was completely shut off). I never had the fog lights on that evening. I tried various a temps I.e. pushing the butten in, turning the vehicle on and then off again, etc., but did not have any success. My wife went online and found (from many people having the same problem with their pt crusiers) to put the left turn signal on, shut off the vehicle, then push the fog light butten in. This worked so that I didn't wake up to a dead battery. If you go online you will find many people who own PT CRUISER with the identical problem including some having smoke coming from the multi function switch. I hope to hear from someone soon!!

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #30

May 132016

PT Cruiser

  • 135,000 miles
Takata recall. I was driving down the highway and my headlights went out I pulled over and I didnt have door locks to unlock the doors. All the fuses are good. I was researching online and alot of PT CRUISER are having the issue it seems that the connector for the fuse block goes bad I have been dealing with this for a few months now. I think its redundant that ypu have to pay 150-250 dollars every time this happens. When no one really has that kinda money

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #29

Oct 012015

PT Cruiser

  • miles
2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle headlights and other electrical problems. The consumer stated his wife went to turn on the headlights, and discovered they did not work. The consumer's son checked the switch assembly and found a shortage in the assembly. The consumer son discovered some of the wiring coming from the assembly was bare.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #28

Apr 212015

PT Cruiser

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While attempting to start the vehicle, all the meters, gauges, and instrument panel lighting failed to function. In addition, the interior lighting also failed to illuminate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Effort, PA, USA

problem #27

Dec 232014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
I had just put fuel in my car and was driving across a parking lot. I proceeded to park my car and noticed smoke rising out of my steering wheel and a burning smell. My lower set of lights ( fog lights) had turned on by themselves, which is odd since they haven't been working for at least two years. In order to stop the smoking in the steering wheel, I had to remove fuse #8. same set of lights have turned on before a few years back draining my battery since I couldn't turn them off with their switch. In addition, my headlights turn off automatically at random while I'm driving and my clock lights go out frequently. Headlights have gone out on me 5 times over the past 3 years. I try not to drive much at night as a result.

- Clear Lake, IA, USA

problem #26

Sep 262014

PT Cruiser

  • 120,000 miles
Fog lights came on by themselves while parked with no key in ignition (while at work). Common issue found all over the internet. Cause is a defective multi-function switch. Smelled a burning smell. Repair shop was unable to find any problems through diagnostics which was before the car had been seen during the day with it's running lights on. That drained the battery and required a jump start. Happened several times. Due to overwhelming number of complaints listed throughout the internet for this same issue we feel a recall should be issued as this is a fire hazard. The 15 amp fuse (number 8 on interior fuse panel) never blew but was discolored from heat.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #25

May 292014

PT Cruiser

  • 98,000 miles
Fog lights won't turn off, stayed on long enough to run down battery. Not good for single elderly woman volunteer stuck in a parking lot across town. Understand the problem has been reported in many, many vehicles for at least 10 years. Did I miss a recall" I'm the original owner. Where in the world will I find a multifunction switch and someone to install it? will the company cover the cost? are they on a fixed income"

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #24

Mar 032014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 128,500 miles
My wife's car has had issues since we got the car. I have had the battery replaced and it is still not holding a charge. I found that while jump starting the car, you get sparks as you attach the cables. This is evidence of a short somewhere in the vehicle. The issues that I have found are nonfunctional interior lights, mirror controls, door locks, and radio. I have found recall information on vehicles with this same year, make, and model. Upon calling daimler Chrysler I was informed that this vehicle was not involved in this recall. I MA having the same issues as vehicles in this recall.

- Yuba City, CA, USA

problem #23

Jun 032011

PT Cruiser

  • 42,000 miles
The electronic door locks on my 2002 PT CRUISER limited started operating by themselves two years ago. I have had this car since it was new and had the multifunction turn signal switch replaced about 3 years ago. The door lock problem sometimes occurs when you are driving the car at low speed but it will also occur when the car is setting in the garage with the key out of the ignition. The doors will lock and unlock several times on their own while driving or without anyone being in the car or touching the remote keyless entry system. This can present problems if the car is locked and in a public parking lot. The care sometimes will unlock on its own. You can also be locked out of the car if you don't take your keys with you when exiting the car. This seems to happen more during hot summer weather than during cooler winter months. I have also noted that the external temperature gauge and compass mounted above the front window will also go out during hot weather. When the car cools down with the air conditioner on, the external temperature gauge will start operating again. I have taken the car to the dealer three times to be fixed. The first time they charged to diagnose the problem and said nothing was wrong, the second time they said the battery cable was corroded and need replaced at $300 and it needed a new battery. After this work, I drove it around the block and the door locks started going wild again. So I went back to the service manager and he said they would have to have the car for several days and they would get the district service manager on the phone to see if he might be able to help them. At that point we went into winter and it was ok. It is doing it again this spring so I will try again.

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #22

Aug 102012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl Diesel

  • 112,000 miles
The problem I am having started about 2 months ago, my battery was suddenly drained and I had no idea why. I had to buy a new battery for about $125. When my fog light indicator began to flicker on and off on its own. I'd just press the end of turn signal arm inward towards the steering column and the indicator light went off. Gradually, the pressing process did not work anymore and I discovered that shutting off the car with the left hand turn signal pressed down, at least temporarily solved the problem (so I could do some research on its solution). Not knowing what to do, I brought it into the dealer and for $65 they diagnosed it at a need to replace the multifunction switch which they said required the pulling of steering wheel and over $600 more to fix. I opted out on that, since car has 112,000 miles on it. Then, with a week of very hot 90 degree temperatures, , I found that brand new battery totally drained and began reading the internet posts of the possibility of pulling the fuse. Of course being a usa car, the manual didn't identify the fuse for the fog lamps in the "under the hood" fuse box. It seems that the heat allows the fog lamps to still turn on when the left hand signal arm is pressed downwards. Going further, I found that fuse #8 in the interior dashboard fuse box could be pulled and should solve the problem without further repair. I find it very interesting that Chrysler does not even show you a sketch of the interior fuse box in their owners manual.this approach does mean that the manufacturer of the vehicle is not allowing the buyer (me) to fully enjoy all the features of the vehicle! seems to me that Chrysler corporation has not recalled the defective cars on purpose and needs to have a debacle like Toyota had before they will do the right thing and fix a bad design..

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #21

Feb 072012

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
I unlocked my car doors with remote, and drove to the store, it was dark out so I had my head lights on. When I came out of the store and tried to unlock my car, it would not work. So I manually unlocked the doors with my key. It was very cold weather at that time and my heater would not work as well then I turned on my car to go home, and my lights would not come on. And so I was towed home. The next day I took it in to a Chrysler repair shop and they did a quick check on it and said that it might be the electrical and they would have to go through the entire electrical to find the problem. They checked everything out without tearing the entire car apart and said that they could not find a problem with it. There went $100 of my money to find out that they could not find the problem. I don't know what else to do to get the car repaired with out having to spend $1,000 plus.... which is a quote by the Chrysler repair. I have not been able to drive my car at night, due to no lights and now that we have hot 90 to 101 degree weather, I can not drive my car during this period of time due to not being able to use the air conditioner or to roll my windows down. I have spent over $3,000 in repairs for my car and I have only had it for just two years. There is one thing after another with my car, the problems are having to replace parts and sometimes having to replace those same parts a year later when they have just ran out of the warranties. I have service records for all of these problems and it is almost 2 inches thick. I am on disability and it took me over a year to save the enough money to buy this car and I have no more money to fix it again... and I have to take it through deq here in Oregon and it will not pass their test due to exhaustion problems with the emissions leaking as well.

- Tualatin, OR, USA

problem #20

Oct 162011

PT Cruiser

  • 90,000 miles
10-18-2011 I just bought my car last month (09-26-2011) and my control arms and bushing have already went bad. Now 2 nights ago (10-16-2011) my headlights stopped working. I took it into the dealership to have everything checked and was told that the wiring under the dash is messed up. I see that there are a lot of recalls for that happening to the 2002 PT CRUISER and now the dealer I bought the car from will not fix it (even though I'm still within my 30 day warranty) I do not understand why I should have to come out of pocket to fix this problem. Also, the dealer I bought it from would not give me a carfax on the vehicle. Also, sold me the car with a recall already on it that was issued way back in 2004. (power steering pressure hose) that I was told could cause a fire under the hood.

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #19

Apr 152011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Fog lights automatically turning on by themselves without the owners knowledge...later on in the day it would cause issues with the headlights not wanting to work or them going off when you need them which could potentially cause an issue. Please review the following website for other potential issues with other consumers: www.topix.com/forum/autos/Chrysler-pt-cruiser/tf81khbdldvt92ah2/P7.

- Smithville, MO, USA

problem #18

Jul 102011

PT Cruiser

  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While the vehicle was parked and the engine was turned off, the fog lights began to illuminate without intent. There were several attempts before the fog lights would turn off. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Brookhaven , PA, USA

problem #17

Apr 042010

PT Cruiser

  • 92,171 miles
Fog lights would not turn off. Brought into dealership in el segundo, ca for repair on 03/29/06 was told it was an internal switch and repaired for $86.58. I thought the problem was repaired. Then in 2008 it happened again and I took it into another dealership in w. los angeles, ca and they told me it was a switch in the steering column so it had to be replaced and that totaled approximately $340. Now on easter (04/04/10) on my way to a bbq to my parents home, the fog lights came on again...and wouldn't turn off again. But this time it caused me to panic because it overheated and smoke started to come out of the hazard light switch and turn signal switch while I was just getting off the freeway. I was lucky because I was not to far from my parents home where my brother who was formally a mechanic had the mind to pull out the fuse to the fog lights. The fuse was very hot when he pulled it out and the smoking stopped. He did state that the car could of caught fire if he had not pulled the fuse out in time. I was lucky. I do have the old part available.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 152009

PT Cruiser

  • 46,514 miles
There has been numerous problems with Chrysler PT CRUISER electrical systems, namely the multifunction control switch seems to overheat and cause an electrical short. This depletes the battery, and has led a number of PT CRUISER owners to replace the multifunction control switch numerous times or remove the fuses for lights, such as the fog lights. Chrysler knows that there is a systematic problem with their vehicle but are not willing to do anything to resolve the problem. Information on such experiences can be found on the web at forums such as www.topix.com/forum/autos/Chrysler-pt-cruiser/tf81khbdldvt92ah2 or at ptcruiser.com.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #15

Aug 142009

PT Cruiser

  • 72,000 miles
Multi-function switch connector housing degrades due to heat exposure over time which can cause shorting, light or turn signal failure or a smoke/fire hazard. The first indication of a problem was that the fog lamps would turn on by themselves. Other owners have reported the main lights turning on and a few instances of the steering column billowing smoke while driving. Chrysler has 2000+ multi-function switches on back order and refuses to acknowledge the issue after many owners have called to complain about the problem.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #14

Oct 062009

PT Cruiser

  • 25,000 miles
The multifunctional light switch on PT CRUISER is defective. Over 500 PT CRUISER owners have reported that suddenly the front & back fog lights come on & do not shut off even when the motor & all other switches are turned off. Obviously there is a short in the switch which could result in head lights suddenly being turned off when driving at night. This failure has been constant forcing me & others to remove the fuse controlling the fog lights so that the battery does not drain down after the vehicle is shut down. I and others have encountered extreme difficulty in obtaining a replacement part.

- Wiesbaden, Germany, 00, USA

Read the next 13 complaints »