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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,292 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.

2003 Dodge Dakota suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Aug 262004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 50,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2003 Dodge Dakota sport quad cab 4 wheel drive vehicle. I've had an embarrassing squeak in my steering and front end for 4 years. After listening to it for a while after purchasing, I took it to trail Dodge on 08/26/04 and complained. The service note said "customer states there is a loud squeaking noise from right side suspension area while driving. Inspected and road tested and could not duplicate customer's concerns, no noises heard at this time (wet out) did inspect front end all is tight." It took it in to fury motors, South St. Paul, mn, at about 36,000 miles and the same. They could not find it at that time. Noise persisted, till it's now embarrassing to drive the vehicle all together. Today, May 12, 2008, I brought it back to fury motors, because of the sound, that has progressively gotten worse (now 50,000 miles), and they tell me I need both upper and both lower ball joints, to the tune of $1500!!!! then I get on line and find out there has been a recall (NHTSA action #EA03023). I called fury motors to let them know and they state my VIN number is not included in the recall. It has been the same sound that was progressively getting worse and worse, and now I find out it could have been disastrous and I'm not covered"?" please help!

- St. Paul Park, MN, USA

problem #21

Dec 042007

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Dakota (pickup) purchased new (I am the original owner). The lower ball joints were replaced by the dealer at 23,000 miles (under warranty). They are now bad again at 78,000 miles (no warranty now, this bill was on me)! the upper ball joints were also replaced twice (those are under an official NHTSA recall). My complaint is about the lower ball joints. These parts should not wear out this often, and I feel this is a bad design! this is a safety issue (in my opinion) and also a big expense for the owners of these vehicles. I feel the lower ball joints should also be an official NHTSA recall!!!

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #20

Mar 042007

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
To whom it may concern, I own a 2003 Dodge Dakota quad cab slt. And I have run into a lot of problems with this truck that people I know say they had very similar problems with the same make of vehicle. To start with my truck only has about 62,184 miles on it, for a 2003 model truck, that is considered low mileage. The problems I have run into is as follows: Both front wheel hub bearing sets have prematurely failed, in particular, the right front hub tried to lock up on me and almost caused me to loose control of the truck, I have since replaced that hub but still need to replace the left front before it locks up:second is that the steering and suspension system has no provisions for preventative maintenance, I.e. no grease zircs for the ball joints, tie rods, upper and lower control arm bushings, wheel bearings, etc...causing rapid wear and failure:third big issue, I have already replaced all four brake rotors due to warpage. The brake calipers were built with some type of composite plastic pistons that distort due to excessive heat build up in the brakes. Which in turn causes uneven pad contact, that then causes excessive heat, accelerated pad wear, brake fade, rotor warpage, and an awful "squeal" when the brakes are applied. I have noticed that my brand new brake pads are actually cracked now because of a combination of the calipers and the hubs going bad: Fourth issue is that the transmission causes the engine to over "rev" in the highway passing gear especially with the over drive and cruise control on. When you're driving down the highway and you give it a little more gas to get around somebody, the engine RPM's shouldn't go up to sometimes around 7000, that in turn could cause premature engine or transmission failure. I have been in contact with daimler-Chrysler about these concerns but they just keep giving me the run around and not answering my questions. I still have the old parts also.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #19

Jan 152007

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,318 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 Dodge Dakota 4X4 pickup 1D7H32N03S124289 loud clunking noises, front end, steering loosesness, skittishness, severe vibration and poor handling felt in front end section of vehicle. (purchased from mitchell simsbury, ct )brought to local dealer who diagnosed & replaced (2)bad /defective upper ball joints 17011019 but charged for parts/service. Approx mileage:48,318 very premature for good product design & reliability. Dangerous safety related defects.

- Naugatuck, CT, USA

problem #18

Mar 292005

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
1) at about 40,000 miles my front drivers side lower ball joint started making an extremely loud crunching noise as if metal were grinding with metal. 2) I subsequently took my truck to a local dealer who notified me that the lower ball joint was loose and that it was not covered by the previous recall which covered the upper ball joint only. 3) the parts and labor to replace this part cost in excess of $270 not including the $40 inspection fee

- Fremont, NE, USA

problem #17

Apr 212005

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 31,600 miles
The right front lower control arm ball joint separated causing my 2003 Dodge Dakota to run off the road and swerve to the right. The truck hit a parked car and both vehicles were totaled. There was no noise or indication of any problem prior to the incident. Mileage was 31,600.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #16

Sep 112004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Squealing brakes, unusual front tire wear, grinding noise on left front wheel when turn hard left, worn outside walls on front tires and replacement and brake work done at midas.

- Barstow, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 102004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,600 miles
While driving at 30 mph vehicle all of a sudden and without warning pulled to the right and lost steering control. It was towed to the dealer, who N informed the consumer that the entire upper and lower ball joints needed to be replaced.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #14

Aug 012004

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Uneven tire wear led me to have truck serviced at midas tire co. They reported excessive loose play in both top and bottom frontend ball joints. Vehicle is under warranty w/DaimlerChrysler so took to sales/service dealer "soutars" in barstow, ca two different times w/same concern. They reported nothing wrong w/ball joints both times. San bernardino sun telegram 12/11/04 news reports serious problems w/ball joints in Dodge Dakota 2003 models causing wheels to fall off.

- Barstow, CA, USA

problem #13

Dec 012004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
I am posting this complaint due to recent problems I am having with my 2003 Dodge Dakota slt plus 4X4 pickup. My vehicle has approx. 13,000 miles and is already displaying considerable wear due to defective front end ball joints. The vehicle is making a popping noise when turns are made into my driveway and parking deck at work. The vehicle has been checked independently and confirmed that this is the issue. I urge the NHTSA to continue in their efforts to fight for a recall of these defective ball joints from the manufacturer, DaimlerChrysler. Please feel free to contact me if you would like any additional information.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #12

Nov 302004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,985 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Recent inspection by authorized mechanic reveals heavily worn ball joints on 2003 Dodge Dakota with 24,000 miles

- Mansfield, PA, USA

problem #11

Jul 102004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Took vehicle in for a blower fan problem, and told the service manager of a squeak going around corners. Found that the ball joints were worn and require replacing. Only 32,000 miles on vehicle.

- East Burke, VT, USA

problem #10

May 182004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 29 miles
Worn ball joints at less than 30000 miles.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #9

Mar 292004

(reported on)

Dakota

  • miles
While driving 10 mph consumer heard a noise coming from the front of the vehicle. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the upper and lower ball joints needed to be replaced.

- El Segundo, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 132003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There has been a startling number of ball joint failures in the 1998-2003 Dodge Dakota and Dodge durango vehicles. I own a 2003 Dakota, and had an independent mechanic inspect mine. Because my vehicle only had 8500 miles on it at the time, the ball joints checked out ok. It was his estimation that because of the greaseless fitting, however, I could expect the same problem so many other Dakota owners have had in the near future. These parts should last 100,000 miles, but the ones on these Dodge vehicles fail at about 25,000 to 30,000. I have voiced my concerns to Dodge. The person I talked to at their recall center acknowledged the problem and that their was an investigation ongoing at this time, and told me to listen for "clunking" noises in the front end of the vehicle. Of the reports I've seen of failure of the joint, few say there was any warning of this type, however.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #7

Dec 052003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 33,500 miles
Ball joint replacement on 1998 Dodge Dakota

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #6

Jan 162003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Dodge Dakota with 19,000 miles. I have been told that the ball joints will need replacing very soon.

- Sebastian , FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 212003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
Dodge Dakota 2003 sport: First few months of ownership, I went to have tires rotated (20,000mi) and I was told that the ball joints were out of spec. By the mechanic and that I should take the vehicle to the dealer. After inspection, the dealer said nothing was wrong.I know something is wrong with the vehicle because since that time, everytime I turn left while applying brakes in a downhill situation, a terrible grinding sound is heard. The vehicle now has 54000mi and I hear about wheels breaking off. I am scared for my families and personal safety.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #4

Nov 022003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,400 miles
Driving down the road heard a bang lost control of the truck and hit a parked car. Car was towed away and fixed body shop and front end shop said tie rod and ball joint snapped off clean this truck only has 5000 miles on it, also I have all the damaged parts if any body wants to test them.

- Hicksville, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 102003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
My ball joints have worn out at about 55,000 miles. It is not covered in my 7 year 70,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

- Bristol, IN, USA

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