really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,391 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 1996 Dodge Stratus:

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

problem #4

Sep 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
I purchased my 1996 Dodge Stratus in the summer of 1996 and so far I have had nothing but trouble with this vehicle, one head gasket repair through the dealership at a cost of $1600, one timing chain replacement at a cost of $600 and now again another head gasket leak. In the year 2000 this car sat in the garage for a total of 11 months due to not having the money to fix the head gasket problem which caused a severe financial and a mentally frustrating time during those months without a car. I would like to be included in the class action lawsuit against Chrysler so please forward me any information needed in going forward with this lawsuit.

- Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #3

Dec 292003

Stratus 4-cyl

  • miles
2nd request fax fwd email fm behalf of [xxx] (tx) re numerous defects on a 1996 Dodge Stratus (VIN#[xxx]). the A/C leaked, electrical circuits malfunctioned, transmission problems, premature brake wear, head gasket problems, and poor driveability. There was steering oscillation when driven above 50 mph, rough ride when there was an irregular surface, erratic idle, performance loss, overheating in traffic and or the A/C would become inoperative, warm-up sag, hesitation/die out, rear grid defogger indicator light malfunctioned, inside lights worked improperly, erratic late harsh transmission shifts, frequent rumble or gear noise from the front between 50 and 70 mph, musty odor and defogger failed to clear the glass. The vehicle was also in need of an exhaust manifold and struts. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 272003

(reported on)


  • 11,565 miles
Three head gasket was replaced three times. The consumer had experienced problems with the vehicle after one year of purchase. The consumer had been without the vehicle every other month. The vehicle had a perpetual oil leak and since the vehicle was no longer under warranty, she had to seek help from an independent mechanic. The vehicle had so much oil leaking out, the consumer placed oil in the vehicle instead of gas. Chrysler would not do anything. The vehicle had started to leak transmission fluid, also the front seal began to leak as well, the check engine light had come on, then the vehicle started missing out, sputtered, and the starter was intermittent due to a short. The consumer had requested a refund of repairs. Other repairs were as followed: The air compressor on the air conditioner, starter, replacement of the head gasket three times, once at 11565K miles and second at 20495K miles and again at 69000K miles.

- Hays, KS, USA

problem #1

May 281997


  • miles
Consumer states that car caught on fire. The fire department told owner that the fire started in the engine. The manufacturer sent an investigator down. The outcome of that investigation was that there was a defect in the power train. Manufacturer. Raplaced vehicle.

- Shepherdtown, WV, USA