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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,439 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Feb 062011

PT Cruiser

  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The interior wiring on the instrument panel failed; therefore, the warning lights overheated and became inoperable. The dealer stated there NHTSA recall campaign number: 01V288000, electrical system: Wiring: Interior/under dash was related to the failure; yet, his VIN was not included. The manufacturer also stated his VIN was not included in the recall. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Rhododendron, OR, USA

problem #31

Jun 152011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 28,550 miles
Parked 2002 PT CRUISER in shopping center. Upon return vehicle was completely dead. Pushed to adjacent Goodyear dealer (remained 3 days) said it needed a new battery, starter & #11 fuse. All replaced and when backing out of Goodyear, vehicle died & #11 fuse again blew. Owner had old starter examined elsewhere and found it to be in perfect working order. Goodyear replaced old starter plus repaired battery ground cable. Drove 45 miles to doctor and vehicle died when stopping in lot. Tarzana Goodyear came, replaced #11 fuse and drove to their garage. Unable to detect any problem. Owner drove vehicle home with no problem. Wife drove vehicle to dentist & when pulling out of lot and in with flow of traffic, vehicle died. #11 fuse replaced and drove home. Later took vehicle to crown Chrysler in ventura, ca & signed contract for $100 bench fee for them to locate problem. Vehicle remained there "sixteen days" until crown refused to check any further until owner would sign contract to pay $500 for further diagnosis. Crown said that it might need $700 power train control module. Crown advised that once installed, if that was not the problem, they would not remove it & owner would incur $700 plus installation charge. Vehicle was then brought to owner's residence where it remains garaged. Please assist in this matter.......................thank you.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #30

Jun 092011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 153,349 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the instrument cluster does not eliminate like other cars cluster supposed to eluminate. It, when the contact turns on the headlights the instrument cluster lights turn on but really U can hardly see the speedometer or the gauges which is dangerous. On 6/09/11 while driving home the instrument cluster lights when out I could see anything, my headlights and backlights stop working and also my power door locks are not working either all this happen on my way home around 7:30pm and I had to slow down to make it safe home..when I got home my power locks were not working when I went to lock the vehicle.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #29

Jun 092011

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 153,349 miles


Today 06/09/11. Driving home around 7:30 pm my cluster went out couldn't see the speed or RPM or any other gauges, and my headlights and backlights stop working together with my power doorlocks. I had to slow down or stop and take my time going home.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #28

Mar 172011

PT Cruiser

  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated the vehicle keyless entry system, fog light indicator, and the interior light failed. The contact did not disable the fog light switch in order to keep them from illuminating, and if the fog light was disabled it would cause the instrumental panel to fail. The vehicle will be taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 70,000.

- Perrysburg , OH, USA

problem #27

Aug 132010

PT Cruiser

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that when the check engine light came on, the vehicle began to malfunction. The vehicle was also burning oil and leaking fuel excessively. The speedometer displayed that the speed was 70 mph while the vehicle was in the park position. When the contact tried to shift gears from reverse into the park position, she had to put the vehicle in drive and then reverse. The dealer stated that the input/output speed sensor, third gear ratio and the fuel pump mounting flange on the vehicle malfunctioned. The dealer also stated that NHTSA recall campaign number 02V215000, fuel system and recall campaign number 01V288000 for the electrical system; did not apply to her VIN. The failure mileage was 85000 and the current mileage was 98100.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #26

Jan 012003

PT Cruiser

  • 1,000 miles


2002 PT CRUISER sport model. Car would not start, when sitting far a few days, had been driving car all day and turned car off to do an errand and car would not start. Car has left me stranded where I had to have it towed several times. Bought car new and have had this problem for 7 years. Kept bringing back to the dealer and couldn't find any problems every time. Finally found a dealer service manager that knew the problem. Insufficient quality parts were being used when Chrysler was about to go bankrupt. The battery wires from the battery to the alternator were not supplying enough voltage to maintain enough to recharge the battery. Upgraded the wires to a higher voltage and have not had the problem for about 10 months. It took 7 years to find the problem which caused problems of me using the car. Chrysler used low grade parts through out the car and people are getting rid of them and then someone else buys it and it continues. I will never buy a Chrysler made car again, very unsatisfied customer considering how much I paid for it. Was way over priced at the time I bought it. I could buy a much better car and higher end model for what I paid for my car.

- Scott, LA, USA

problem #25

Feb 182010

PT Cruiser

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that the entire instrument panel would not illuminate. The instrument cluster seemed to fail; she was unable to see the speedometer or any other gauges. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and was told that the vehicle was not included in recall 01V288000 (electrical system: Wiring: Interior/under dash). The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was approximately 103,000. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #24

Jul 042010

PT Cruiser

  • 60,000 miles
I own a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. This is the sixth time that the instrument panel has ceased to display any information. That is, I can not see the speed, tach, fuel gauge, or any safety warnings. Each time I take it to the repair shop, they can not find any thing wrong. When they reconnect it, I begins to work.

- Marysville, CA, USA

problem #23

Mar 022010

PT Cruiser

  • 164,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) something you may wish to look at with cell phones and these incidents with acceleration on cars. We have a PT CRUISER and several times we have placed the phone in the storage area in the middle in the dash. With the keey off, the phone rings and the car started turning over until we moved the phone away from the immmediate area of the dash. Something to think about?? [xxx]

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #22

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 or at

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #21

Sep 092009

PT Cruiser

  • 42,500 miles
Multi-function switch (that controls the fog lamp) shorted out, causing the lights to be on no matter what position the switch was turned to. I was forced to remove the fog lamp fuse; Chrysler has several hundred or more on backorder, I've been told it may be 6 months to a year before I can get a replacement.

- Greendale, WI, USA

problem #20

Aug 282002

PT Cruiser

  • 1,842 miles
Had problems with my 02 PT CRUISER not starting for 7 years and went on line and found others were having the same problem. Called chyrsler and told them they were going to fix and pay for problem. Service manager said he knew what the problems was and notice Chrysler was putting cheap parts on their vehicles. He upgraded the cables connecting to and from the battery and have not had this problem since. The cables were under volted and weren't able to charge the battery and I got stranded sometimes. Chrysler called dealer and had this work done at no expense to me. It's not the battery, alternator or the other connection I can't remember. It has been 3 months and I haven't had any problems since. Please let your service manager know that it is the low voltage battery cables to these areas. Having problems starting, hesitation starting or wouldn't start at all happen after not driving the car sometimes for 2 days just after bringing it back to the dealer.

- Scott, LA, USA

problem #19

Jul 142009

PT Cruiser

  • 91,000 miles
Found 2002 PT CRUISER with dead battery on occasion, no consistency. Replaced battery (7.75 years old, 90K miles) after 3rd instance over 2 months, issue resolved for about 2 weeks. Car parked in hot parking lot, fog lights were dim when approaching car. Car would not turn over to start, had it jumped. Upon returning home, went to turn off car, fog lights would not turn off. Fiddling with light switch would make them go off temporarily, then right back on. Found turning left blinker in on position kept fogs off. Researching issue, found the following forum: where hundreds of people have experienced the same issue. Waiting to hear from Chrysler on replacement part, as all online sources say it is back ordered 30-60 days.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #18

May 252009

PT Cruiser

  • 98,000 miles
I purchased my 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER a few years ago now. I have sent Chrysler many letters about these problems. The most recent incident was very scary. I bought the car at about 31,000 miles. About a month later my paint started peeling off of the front bumper and my dash started to crack. Mind you I keep my car garaged and it is washed and waxed regularly by a shop that I have used for years with no problems. I went back to the dealer I bought it from and they were gone. So I contacted my next closest dealer. They said they could not do anything for me. About a month after that my cpu went out which was covered under the extended warranty that I purchased. They had to replace it twice before it finally lasted more than a day. Then my dash completely crumbled. It cracked from the windshield to the front in the center and on both sides. I wrote a letter and email with no answer. I then contacted Chrysler by phone and the lady told me to F% off and hung up on me. So I gave up. Obviously I was not going to get anywhere with them. Then about 3 months ago my check engine light came back on. I took my car to a friend who is a licensed mechanic and he scanned it on the computer and said it was my cpu again! I took it to the dealership and was told my warranty had expired. So I wrote another letter because this repair was going to be $1400 dollars. No response. But the scariest was about 2 weeks ago I was driving with my 13 month old niece in the car and smoke started coming from the left hand side of my steering column. I almost had got in a wreck trying to get us to safety. The smoke stopped so I figured whatever it was done for now. We were on the side of the road in a not so desirable neighborhood at night so I decided to take my chances with the car. We headed off on our way and my headlights started flickering. I parked the vehicle at home and the next morning my fairly new battery was dead. My flood lights would not turn off and had been on all night.

- Palm City, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 012008

PT Cruiser

  • 34,000 miles
Failure of multifunction switch: Initially the fog lights would come on when the turn signal was engaged. This first began in approximately 11/2008. Initially this happened only occasionally, but became more frequent. Now the fog lights always remain illuminated, even when the car is turned off/parked. This required that I remove the fuse controlling the fog lights so that the battery would not be drained. After researching on many different message boards, it became apparent that this is a very frequent problem with PT CRUISER. Not only is it annoying, but it is also a potential fire (electrical) hazard. I feel I recall is warranted.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 082003

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Horn and radio stopped working...I replaced the clock spring...and it started all over again after about a month. I have had to replace a radio and speakers because of the intermittent problem. It causes my radio display to "pop" in and out and when it goes out I have no horn. The problem started about a year after I bought the car in 03.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #15

Feb 202009

PT Cruiser

  • 45,000 miles
Multi function switch, lights just quit working, very dangerous. I have never had a car were something as basic as the headlights quit working. All lights failed, interior, headlights, dash lights, tail lights.

- Montgomery, TX, USA

problem #14

Nov 012004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chrysler PT CRUISER. When the turn signals were activated, the fog lights could have caused a fire in the wiring panel of the vehicle. The contact wrote a letter to the manufacturer, but they stated that nothing could be done. The current mileage was 86,663 and failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 11/24/08 when the turn signals were used, the fog lights automatically activated and would not go out for quite some time. Eventually, the fog lights stopped working. Updated 11/26/08.

- Pittsford, NY, USA

problem #13

Nov 142007

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Dashboard cracked in center from front window to inside edge, running across vent, which has falling into dash in pieces; also frequently "shorts out" and radio, inside lights, dash lights, all go out making night driving dangerous.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

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