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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
112,219 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.

2009 Dodge Caliber drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Dodge Caliber Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Nov 252014


  • 110,000 miles


This car attempted to kill me twice. First the subframe rotted out due to bad design. We noticed this as the struts were being replaced - also because of bad design. This was noticed in 2014 (on a 2009 vehicle!) cost me over $1,000 to fix - Dodge offered no help at all. Later in 2014 - the front drivers side arm separated from wheel, causing wheel to pop off. If I was going any faster than the 10 mph I was going (headed to highway!), I could have been killed. Again contacted Dodge and no assistance. They recalled the 2007 but not this model year for these problems. Pictures attached. I hope someone holds this company accountable! cars should not cost thousands of dollars to repair in year 5!!!

- West Yarmouth, MA, USA

problem #25

Jul 082016


  • 199,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power train control module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V528000 (power train). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 199,000.

- Ashland, KY, USA

problem #24

Aug 152016


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. While driving highway speeds, the vehicle began to decelerate from 60 to 30 mph without warning. The contact discovered that if the vehicle was turned off and restarted and the accelerator pedal was pressed, the vehicle would accelerate with no issues for a while before the failure would recur. The dealer diagnosed that the alternator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The certified mechanic diagonoised that the PCM needed to be replaced and the dealer verified the diagnosis. The PCM was not repaired. The manufactuer was made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #23

May 072016


  • 37,500 miles


On May 7th, 2016 I was involved in an accident. My car stalled and no matter what I did, pressing, pumping, or mashing, my brakes would not slow or stop the car. Now, my car has done this in the past usually right as I am coming to a full stop. The first month I owned the car, I casually told the service writer at my local dealership about it and they said not to use cheap gas. I told them that I use gas from shell, not cheap gas. Then it would happen again, I would mention it again, being told about using cheap gas. Which again, I told them I don't use cheap gas in my car. I believe my accident was caused by the issue listed in NHTSA campaign number: 08V528000.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #22

Mar 042015


  • 1,107,645 miles
The cvt transmission is junk. Constantly down shifting itself, even when the cruise is set, and being drove short low speed distances. I'm not the only one complaining. Several people I have talked to that own them have the same problems. Already returned one Caliber to the dealer, even after replacing the transmission it did no good. A week later it was right back in the garage

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #21

Feb 132016


  • 171,180 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. When attempting to drive above approximately 20 mph, the transmission failed and the vehicle was not able to move from first gear. The check engine light illuminated. The contact stated that the K- frame was rusted. The contact took the vehicle to a certified mechanic who advised that the contact needed to locate a dealer to have the vehicle repaired. The certified mechanic cleared all the codes for the transmission; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 171,180.

- Franklin, PA, USA

problem #20

Mar 152014


  • 68,000 miles


2009 Dodge Caliber, within 3 months of buying vehicle, as is, started having acceleration problems, brake and suspension problems. Took vehicle to dealer, was informed I needed suspension bar and struts replaced which would cost over $800. About the same time my transmission overheat light started coming on, I loose power and have to pull over on the side of the road for 15-30 minutes before vehicle would drive again. Go approx. 23 miles at a time when same problem occurs. Worse in the summer time. Today, my electronic throttle control light, malfunction indication light and engine overheat light came on and remains on every time I start the vehicle. Vehicle will not accelerate without getting up between 3 & 4 RPM's. not much power. When hitting a bump or ice at stopping point, vehicle jumps ahead instead of stopping, almost causing me to rear end several times. Tons of complaints about these same issues. Something must be done. I paid $10700 for my vehicle. Cant even afford to get it fixed as repairs are now estimated over $4200. This is not right to do to people...

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #19

Apr 012015


  • 86,000 miles
Started out when I drive more than 23 miles, trans. Overheat light comes on, loose power. Going up hills, very little power. RPM wraps between 3 & 4, normal driving, when stopping car jumps ahead if I hit a bump. Breaks squeak after replacing brand new, now engine overheat light, electronic throttle control light & malfunction indication light on. Had transmission filter and fluid replaced. Lasted 2 weeks. Worse now..

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #18

Oct 242015


  • miles
For the last 3 years I have had trouble with the car loosing acceleration after driving it for a period of time. At first it would go several hours but now I can't go for a 30 minute drive and over 70mph before it looses acceleration on the highway. I will be driving and then the RPM's race all the way to the maximum, the temp. Gauge comes on and it looses power. I can put the pedal to the floor and it won't go anywhere. I have to sit and wait for it to 'cool' off which is crazy since it's not over heated. This can take anywhere from a half hour to an hour each time. When I try to start out again after it's set, I can go another mile before it happens again and I start all over. I have had it to several mechanics and they can't find anything wrong. They don't have the time to take it out on a drive like that to have it happen to them. It's a hazzard and I've been almost rear ended a few times by semi's and other cars. This car is very unsafe but it's all I have. I now have a piece of something hanging from the undercarriage and the front end is very loose. This is a death trap yet when I call the company, nothing is done. So glad they stand by their product. At the bottom of this complaint it asks when it happened, it happens every time I get on the highway so there's no specific date, all the time.

- Lawton, MI, USA

problem #17

Oct 192015


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. The failure recurred five times. The vehicle was taken to dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine cradle needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- Seven Hills, OH, USA

problem #16

May 242015


  • miles


Have not recieved a recall. Your site says my car could have a crash without warning. Due to faulty adhesive used in powertrain control module and cause printed circuit board to break. I did have vehicle checked out by singerland, corunna, mi. 09-30-14. I asked for powertrain results and was told they would be of May 2015, I have not received any paperwork. They gave me a vehicle checkup sheet that says my wipers need to be replaced....nothing about a recall on powertrain. Please advise what to do regarding my serious car condition? have not had a crash. Your site required dates...thus dates are untrue.

- Elsie, MI, USA

problem #15

Feb 152014

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
When driving for long distance with two or more in car, transmission overheats and slows car until it cools. It will not cool unless stopped and shut off. This takes about 20 minutes.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 022013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I had been driving approximately one hour when I began to climb the incline over sb 5 fwy (grapevine) and the engine began whining, rpms rose to 4 and remained there, the transmission overheat dashboard light illuminated, speed dropped to about 30 mph and I was unable to continue up the incline. Had to pull off and let the vehicle sit for 30 minutes at which time I continued up the incline making sure that the rpms did not go above 2.5 - so keeping the speed low - and had no further incident. This happened again on 8/21/04, same circumstances, at approximately 79,000 miles. There was a recall on this model and model year vehicle for this same issue (recall #08V528000) on November 10, 2008, but according to my dealer, my car's VIN was not included. I believe this warrants investigation into whether or not this was a more widespread issue than was originally thought and whether my vehicle should have been included in the recall.

- La Crescenta, CA, USA

problem #13

Jan 012010


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while driving various speeds. The failure occurred numerous times. A certified mechanic performed a diagnostic, which located a failure code at the power train computer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V52800 (power train). The failure mileage was 33,000.

- San Juan , PR, USA

problem #12

Sep 232009

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 7,166 miles
2009 Dodge Caliber presented problems at 7,166 miles, brand new. I was driving while suddenly without warning the car stalled. It had to be towed. I took it to the Chrysler dealer for service and I was told the power train control, the totally integrated power module and the evaporative detector systems needed to be replaced. Two weeks later, I had to take the car back to the dealer because of the same problem, while driving the vehicle stalled in the middle of the highway. Then the battery presented corrosion, the dealer made me pay for the services, they didn't honor the warranty. After that the car kept having problems with the new battery that it was replaced by the Chrysler dealer. After that, the car was towed again, it was took to the dealer again and the PCM was replaced again, but the part came in and it didn't work, my car was on the dealer for over 2 months because de PCM sent by Chrysler was a defective part, so I needed to keep waiting. Another PCM was ordered and they made me pay over 2,000 dollars for repairs; and after two weeks out of the dealer, the car started to have the same problems again. This car was defective from day one, having problems with the PCM, tipm and all the electric systems and detector evaporative system and the Chrysler dealer doesn't want to honor any warranties, and has not been able to fix any problems. This 2009 Dodge Caliber was defective since it was manufactured by Chrysler. It is to risky to drive a car that without any warning stalls in the middle of the highway, it is also a big safety issue, it is dangerous, and the Chrysler and its dealers should be responsible and extend the recall and respond to many customers who bought this car thinking it was a reliable car, with a good warranty that now they refuse to honor. Please investigate!

- Canovanas, PR, USA

problem #11

Oct 302013


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that the steering wheel began to shake out of control after the vehicle was turned on. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where a diagnostic test was performed which located the failure within the power train control module. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign recall 08V528000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 78,000.

- Sioux Falls , SD, USA

problem #10

Oct 152013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
While driving my vehicle to work, the vehicle failed to go above 30 mph while accelerating, and a loud clunking noise began under the hood. I brought vehicle to the nearest mechanic who indicated it was a transmission issue and to bring to a dealer. There is no Dodge dealer near me that would tow the vehicle and the tow would have been at my expense, so I towed the vehicle for free to the dealer whom I purchased the vehicle and they diagnosed a major mechanical failure with the cvt transmission. Chrysler has been contacted, however they are being difficult to work with due to the vehicle not being at a Dodge dealer. There is no repairing the transmission it can only be replaced at a cost of over $4000! the vehicle only has 65000 miles.

- Wareham, MA, USA

problem #9

May 172013


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that that the vehicle decelerated while the accelerated pedal was depressed. In addition, the engine rmps increased however, the vehicle did not accelerate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where a diagnostic was performed, which located the failure at the transmission control module. The manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 08V528000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 67,000 and current mileage was 68,000.

- Pisgah Forest, NC, USA

problem #8

Jan 072013

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Dodge Caliber. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer and was told that the power train control module had failed. The contact spoke to the manufacturer regarding NHTSA campaign id number:08V528000(power train), but was told that the vehicle was not included. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #7

Sep 142012

Caliber 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Driving the car with A/C on for about an hour and half down the interstate when the illumination light turned on in dash panel. The car started to lose acceleration and would not go over 50mph, by the time I pulled off at next exit the car would go not faster than 20mph, and was accompanied by a loud whinning noise coming from engine. Car sat for 30 minutes cooling off. Turned on car and light was off. Started down highway again 30 minutes later light came back on pulled over again, turned car off, waited 30 minutes. Turned on car and light was off. This happened in September 2009, April 2013, and again July 1st, 2013. $1,600 later of trying to fix different things because Dodge didn't know what was the matter with it and 3 trips to Dodge dealership, "they can't duplicate the problem". I am a woman and can not be stuck on the side of a highway so the car I haven't paid Dodge off for yet will cool down to drive. I found 219 similar complaints on, and Everyone knows there is something wrong with the transmission. Please issue a recall. Im sure Dodge would not let their daughters drive this car out of town on the highway. Better yet, lets not wait until someone is injured in a crash because their car decelerates on the interstate.

- Liberty, MO, USA

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