really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,108 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 #16

Oct 172017

PT Cruiser

  • 82,000 miles
Vehicle recalled in 2004 for power steering pressure hose leak potential. Recall was completed. Power steering pressure hose is now leaking. Chrysler will not honor a repair.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #15

Sep 282016

PT Cruiser

  • 116,500 miles
..on my 2002 PT CRUISER the front suspension cross member has rotted so bad that it broke in a few places causing the lower a arm to move in such a way as to cause the steering wheel to pull out of your hands all the way to the left and or right, the car could not be driven more then 15 mph, ..and that was while holding the wheel tightly....if this cross member was to break while driving 65 mph there would be a very bad crash, ..I suggest any one that has a pt cruise have it checked for the cross member rotting before a crash takes place, ,,I was able to buy a new cross member and the cheapest price was $514 plus tax and shipping, ..now comes the costs to install it...what is odd the cross member rotted out on the passenger side only, ...I have some pics of it with the a arm off the cross member..

- Bloomfield, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jun 082015

PT Cruiser

  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving at various speeds, the power steering fluid leaked. The contact also stated that the air conditioner became inoperable after the failure occurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V268000 (steering). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 101,000.

- Dexter, MI, USA

problem #13

Jun 162015

PT Cruiser

  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving 35 mph, the contact heard a noise and noticed smoke coming from the front passenger side of the vehicle. In addition, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the power steering belt fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired multiple times; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the mechanic who diagnosed that the power steering switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 04V268000 (steering); however, the VIN was not included. The failure mileage was 142,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #12

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 #11

Jul 282011

PT Cruiser

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that power steering fluid was leaking and causing a grinding noise. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed a steering hydraulic power issue. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 170,000.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 212014

PT Cruiser

  • 104,350 miles
The owner of the vehicle state's he was traveling down the entering the highway on the way home. He heard pop and then something under the vehicle started rattling, the owner stated when he took the vehicle to a shop they put it on the rack. The shop notified the owner that the vehicle shouldn't be driven, both steering knuckle bushings, ball joints, front right suspension parts were all bad and needed to be replaced. Chrysler should recall this vehicle for as it not just mine as I ask the shop and they has several vehicle of that make come in with same problem. We as tax payers bailed them out, and now it time for the government to tell them they need to fix this issue and any other issues with the vehicle. There are still a lot of PT CRUISER on the road today, but I guess they greedy son of B** in detroit took the money and left the customer paying for the safety of their families. Nobody should have to die in car in order for something to be done.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #9

May 172013

PT Cruiser

  • 127,500 miles
Driving down highway oil light came on and the car began to slow down, had to pull over. When checking under the hood there was oil on the cap. Just had an oil change a couple of days ago, car had been running fine.....before this incident my power steering fluid was leaking, took my car to the dealership because there was a recall dealing with the power steering and the hose, they said that it was something else. I took my car to another person he put my car on the lift and there it was fluid leaking from the hose something that should have been fixed by the dealer but wasn't.

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Apr 012005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 64,690 miles
I have had to replace or repair the front and rear wheel bearings several times: Front-April of 2005 at 64690 miles, front-April 2006 at 89223 miles, front-May 2006 at 91750 miles, front wheel bearing-July 2009 at 153048 miles, front wheel bearing-April 2011 at 182684 miles, rear wheel bearing-October 2011 at 191072 miles. I have replaced or repaired the suspension parts: Front bushing control arm, ball joint lower control arm-March 2006 at 86643 miles, left inner tie rod had excessive play-January 2007 at 107087 miles, two outer tie rods replaced-January 2008 at 127121 miles.

- Allenton, MI, USA

problem #6

Jun 272002

PT Cruiser

  • 121 miles
You can remove the key from the ignition switch in any of the positions. Also, you can move the gear shift and the car will move. There is no incident date. It's been that way since I bought it new.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #5

May 242009

PT Cruiser

  • miles
May of 2009, car would not start. No clicks, nothing. Then after several tries, turned over. Progressively got worse until had to have the car towed to shop. Mechanic advised it was the entire steering column and Chrysler told them to look at a junk yard. Cost several hundred dollars to replace. Starting to have identical problem almost 1 year later. Low miles, one owner. Scared to go anywhere because car won't start.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 192007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,181 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. She noticed a loud rubbing noise in the steering wheel every time she drove the vehicle. The dealer stated that they could not find the cause or reason for the noise. She received recall notice (04V268000) for the power steering and the repair was performed according to that recall; however, she noticed that the recall repair did not remedy the issue. The dealer later stated that they could not hear the noise in the steering wheel and were unable to diagnose the failure. While driving away from the dealer, she smelled smoke, drove back to the dealer and smoke began to "bellow" from underneath the left front tire. The dealer provided assistance and replaced the hose, caliper, brake pad, rotor and the wheel cover. She was charged $406.60 for the repairs. The manufacturer was advised of the repair cost; however, they advised her to take the matter up with the dealer. The following year the failure recurred, the same dealer told that the caliper was leaking. They caliper was replaced according to the warranty. She asked the dealer why they had not replaced it the first time according to warranty and was told that the first time, it was a new issue. She went back to the dealer the following year for the identical failure and was billed $239 to replace the caliper since the warranty had expired. Recently, she smelled smoke and an authorized dealer stated that the caliper was warped because of intense heat and the brake line had soot in it and that the warped caliper was holding the wheel in place. She provided the dealer with a reference number from the manufacturer. The dealer tried to speak with the representative and was unsuccessful. The current mileage was approximately 37,900. The failure mileage was 21,181. Updated 12/7/09 updated 12/08/09

- Livingston Manor, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 202007

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Was driving along and the transmission went out at about $35,598 miles. The brakes make a god awful noise I have had them checked they say nothing is wrong but I don't believe them the brain box went out the same time as the tranmission. The dashboard on top has cracked for no reason the car is garage kept it pulls to the right for no reason they say and it has started making rattling noises from the passenger side the trunk lid shocks are given out and the car just turned to $40,000 miles I think they make them to break at a certain tine and no one will do anything about theses problems I think my next car might be a Toyota at least they don't fall apart so easy because I baby this car like its the only one I will ever own if Chrysler wanted to do the right thing they would take this lemon back and give me a new one free of charge and I would do the Chrysler adversement all over it for them as long as it looks good. Because I have no money for another new automobile have a family to take care of and im not allowed to work anymore this would be a great thin tanks for listening.

- Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 162005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,383 miles
Both front lower control arm bushings were worn and pushed out of control arm. Replacement required to pass NY state inspection, therefore this is a safety item. Vehicle has only 16383 miles.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 042002

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
In three instances on the interstate highway the PT CRUISER will downshift into first gear where it will remain after the check engine light appears. This has happened all times when driving, in excess, of 45mph. After the problem, the PT CRUISER can be driven, but is limited to crawling along at 15 - 20mph. We have taken the car to 2 different dealerships for repair, however the problem has not been corrected. Currently, this is the 34th cumulative day in the shop, and a total in 37 days in the last 3 months.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA