The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: ENGINE COMPARTMENT FIRES

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE04028

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Hydraulic Power Assist System
    Steering:Hydraulic Power Assist:Hose, Piping, And Connections
    Steering:Hydraulic Power Assist:Power Steering Fluid

    Summary: PE04-028 was opened to investigate seven complaints alleging that the engine compartment caught fire on MY 2002 PT CRUISER vehicles.on June 3, 2004, DaimlerChrysler (DCC) notified NHTSA of a safety defect in MY 2001-2005 PT CRUISER vehicles equipped with naturally aspirated 2.4L engines and automatic transaxles (recall 04V-268).the notification identified variation of the high pressure power steering hose routing, which allowed the hose to contact the transaxle differential cover, as the factor contributing to this defect.contact between the power steering hose and the transaxle differential cover can cause hose damage and power steering fluid leakage, which can potentially result in a fire. (note: The failure data in this resume is limited to MY 2001-2003 vehicles per DCC's PE04-028 information responses.)this condition was limited to vehicles with automatic transaxles as vehicles with manual transmissions have substantial clearance between the transaxle differential cover and the power steering hose due to a smaller transaxle design.this condition also does not adversely affect vehicles with turbo engines, which have a different power steering hose routing that provides substantial clearance between the transaxle differential cover and hose.DaimlerChrysler will instruct owners to bring their vehicles to a dealer to have the power steering hose assembly inspected and relocated, or replaced, as necessary, and to confirm the torque of the hose fastener at the steering gear end.