1997 Dodge Dakota
NHTSA Defect Investigations
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 1997 Dodge Dakota, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:
INVESTIGATION: UPPER BALL JOINT SEPARATION
NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA03023
Suspension:Front:Control Arm:Upper Arm
Suspension:Front:Control Arm:Upper Ball Joint
Summary: DaimlerChrysler corporation (DCC) is recalling the target population of approximately 600,000 MY 2000 through 2003 durango and Dakota vehicles with four-wheel drive to replace the front suspension upper ball joints with redesigned parts that do not have the joint integrity concerns and have substantially improved joint retention capacity (NHTSA recall no. 04V-596).though DCC does not admit to a safety-defect in the subject components, ODI believes that the facts in this investigation show otherwise.because of the low rates of separation incidents in the remaining subject vehicles, a safety-related defect has not been identified in those populations and further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists in those vehicles.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.for additional information, see the attached closing report.