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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,651 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 Dodge Dakota suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #69

May 282008

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Dakota. While driving at an unknown speed, the contact would sporadically hear a loud squeaking noise. He took the vehicle to the dealer for a routine alignment and tire rotation. Upon inspection, a technician stated that the lower ball joints had severe wear and movement, and needed to be replaced. He also stated that the rubber grommets supporting the tie rods failed and created a metal to metal condition, which created a squeaking noise. The components have not been replaced. The failure mileage was 125,000 and current mileage was 128,000. Updated 09/10/08 the upper ball joints were replaced as well. Updated 09/16/08.

- Boxspring, GA, USA

problem #68

Feb 092006

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
The ball joints on the Dakota series P/U are a chronic problem. I bought an '02 Dakota 4X4 with 70K and immediately noticed noise and a loose feeling from the front end. I verified the ball joint recall had been completed. When I went to have it aligned, I learned that all four of my ball joints are bad, including the top two that had been replaced already. While researching the problem I came across this site,, which is a Dakota forum, with numerous complaints exactly the same as mine. Dodge needs to be held accountable for its failure to use quality components. Consumers should not be spending $600 every year to keep their vehicles aligned on the road.

- Lansing, KS, USA

problem #67

Mar 102006

Dakota 32-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
As a 2002 Dodge Dakota owner, I have had the upper ball joints replace once out of my own pocket and once at the dealership. I have received my refund. My chief complaint is the fact that when the dealership replaced my upper ball joints they failed to inform me that my lower ball joints also had excessive/unacceptable movement and needed to be replaced. I have also had to replace my rotors and brakes for the third time and I only have 72,000 miles. I don't do any off-roading either. I believe that the upper ball joints caused my lower ball joints to go bad as well in addition to causing the replacement of my rotors and brakes.

- North Olmsted, OH, USA

problem #66

Feb 262006

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,876 miles


: the contact stated while backing up at 10 mph the driver side front wheel detached. The dealership and manufacturer was alerted. They determined it was a lower ball joint failure, however no repairs were made.

- Cosby, TN, USA

problem #65

Jan 102006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
2002 Dodge Dakota starting making clunking sound when turning. Had received recall letter for upper ball joints. Upon bringing to dealer, was told both lower and upper ball joints needed replacement. Seems like this is common based on what I have read online. We have also had transmission replaced and Goodyear tires split. All of these complaints are posted on this website. 99.9% will never buy another Dodge. We now have 2. previous service department interactions stopped me from buying a Dodge in June of 2005 so I purchased a Nissan.

- Labadieville, LA, USA

problem #64

Mar 252005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles
Recall campaig 04V596000 was received for the upper ball joint wear. Consumer took the vehicle to dealer for the repairs, and discovered that the lower ball joints were also defective.

- Solsberry, IN, USA

problem #63

Aug 012004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • miles


Recall campaign#04V596000: The vehicle's ball joints failed prior to recall notification. The ball joints had worn out. The consumer reqested reimbursement.

- High Bridge, NJ, USA

problem #62

Jan 042005

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
No parts were available for recall D47 concerning ball joints. As of 2/20/05 the dealer still had no parts and was unable to tell the consumer when the parts would become available.

- Myerstown, PA, USA

problem #61

Feb 072005

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
NHTSA campaign 04V596000; daimler Chrysler issued an front upper ball joint recall. This vehicle was included in the recall, but when taken in for service, owner was informed that the lower ball joints need to be replaced as well. Owner was informed that the wheels can fall off if not replaced.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #60

Dec 012004

Dakota 4WD

  • miles
Recall campaign: 2002 Dodge Dakota have upper ball joints problems. Recall campaign: The consumer received a recall on his vehicle dealing with the upper ball joints. The dealer told the consumer that the lower ball joints were bad but not included in the recall. The consumer requested information on why only to replace the upper ball joints if the lower ball joints were still bad and what recourse he has other than contacting Chrysler.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #59

Jan 072005

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 33,000 miles


Recall 04V596000 concerning ball joint wear. Consumer received notification from the manufacturer regarding the recall on ball joint wear. Consumer notified the dealership and scheduled an appointment. When the consumer took the vehicle to the dealership for the scheduled appointment consumer was informed that the parts needed to repair the vehicle were not available and there is no date of expectation either.......

- Chatham, IL, USA

problem #58

Apr 152004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Consumer could hear a clicking noise while driving at any speed. Vehicle was taken to a repair shop, and mechanic determined that both front upper and lower ball joints needed to be replaced.

- Marietta, OH, USA

problem #57

Jan 032005

Dakota 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • 43,500 miles
Vehicle was taken to dealer for the upper ball joint recall. Dealer told consumer that the lower ball joints wore out as well, and needed to be replaced. Manufacturer stated no recall. Recall campaign; NHTSA campaign id number : 04V596000 dealing with upper ball joints. The recall did not include the lower ball joints with the same defect. NHTSA campaign id number : 04V216000; dealing with the windshield wiper motor. The consumer stated that the windshield wiper motor was serviced and had at least one failure since the repair. NHTSA campaign id number : 03V389000 dealing with the dash wiring harness repaired by the dealer.

- Evergreen, CO, USA

problem #56

Dec 242004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Vehicle is 2002 Dodge Dakota sport plus quad cab 4X4, with 58,000 miles on it. When I took the vehicle to a brake repair shop for rotor / drum resurfacing, it was discovered that the ball joints in the front suspension of the vehicle have worn out, are loose, and need to be replaced, at a cost in excess of $850. I have not replaced the ball joints yet, but will have to soon. I feel the ball joints should have lasted longer than 58,000 miles.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #55

Oct 182004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
Upper and lower ball joints required replacement after 2,000 miles of ownership. This was brought to the dealers attention. The dealer would not fix the problem, stating it was a wear item. It should have been caught and fixed before offering the vehicle for sale, but they claim otherwise. I was forced to replace both sets of ball joints on my own. Since then, DC has recalled the upper joints. The upper joints created a situation causing the lower joints to fail also and should be covered in their recall. They also do not specify covering the alignment needed after joints are replaced. The recall should be reissued covering upper and lower ball joints along with alignment to remedy the situation in this recall failure.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #54

Dec 272004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer received NHTSA recall 04V596000 concerning ball joint wear. Dealer refused to honor the recall because the vehicle was not purchased at that particular dealership.

- Lakeville, PA, USA

problem #53

Jul 182004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles
Front end of truck would make noise when hitting bumps the steering wheel would shake violently. Oth ball joints on the passenger side were defective. The upper had nearly 1/4" of up and down travel and the bottom was completely broken. It is amazing that the wheel didn't fall off completely. Replaced both passenger side ball joints. Had to purchase them from an aftermarket vendor do to Chrysler having them on national backorder. The only part that they had available was a complete a arm assembly at a price of $250 each versus the $50 for the ball joint itself. I find it somewhat strange that 2wd versions of the Dakota and durango are not being covered under the recently announce recall. Having managed auto parts stores for several years, are customer complaints and sales are just as high on the 2wd parts as the 4WD.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #52

Nov 142003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
Had to have the balljoints replaced at less than 50'000 miles.

- Presto, PA, USA

problem #51

Oct 102004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
1. preparing to drive from California to North Carolina ib 2002 Dodge Dakota quad cab 2wd. Having tires replaced and front end alignment. Front end ball joint and assy needed to be replaced due to extreme wear. Mechanic stated I was lucky the wheels didn't fall off. Had front end ball assy replaced.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #50

Dec 092004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
There has been no failure of my front end yet, however I have noticed a rattle in the front. I have not notified my dealer yet. I dont believe the ball joints are under warranty. Just wanted to express my concern.

- Neptune, NJ, USA

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