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CarComplaints.com Notes: The second generation Durango was introduced in 2004 and instantly came under fire for, well, catching on fire.

From 2004-2006 electrical overloading in the driver's side instrument panel caused numerous reports of interior fires. The interior infernos became so commonplace that Chrysler eventually issued a recall.

The problems didn't stop there, however. Owners of the recalled vehicles complained about being treated unfairly and given take-it-or-leave-it low ball settlement offers. "They offered me $2000 under NADA retail as a settlement," said one owner, "and have been rude and hostile to deal with." Nothing says awesome service like treating your customers rudely after their cars have caught on fire.

Have we mentioned all the reports of complete engine failure due to oil sludge?

9.4

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$18,000.00
Average Mileage:
43,200 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. called 911 (4 reports)
  2. instant recall and repair/replace vechicles (2 reports)
  3. not sure (2 reports)
  4. totaled (2 reports)
2004 Dodge Durango electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 262008

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

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

Christmas Day we returned from a trip to my parents house and I decided to go to McDonald's to get a quick bite to eat. I noticed that the interior lights were on for no reason but was able to turn them off at each individual light switch. Later in the evening I went into the garage to get something and the interior lights including the hatch light in the back was on. My wife and I messed with this for HOURS and took out the owners manual and could not find the fix. I typed 2004 Dodge Durango lights into the web search and whammo this site came up. I could not believe my eyes when I started reading this information and showed my wife and so we moved our truck into the driveway for the night in case something happened. Wham at 6am this morning I went out to get into the truck and the lights were still on including the hatch light. I smelled something burning and went ahead and started the truck and smike and flames came out of the front dash area. I called 911 and in the mean time the windshield exploded and flames engulfed the truck. Luckily the fire department got here very quickly and got it put out but it is totaled. I have filed an insurance claim and also Chrysler also filed a claim and said I would be contacted in 2 business days. The most aggravating part is I was at the dealers after getting the recall and asked about doing it and I was told it was a big hassle to change the board and that they have never found any problems with any of them they changed and not to worry about it. I am anxiously awaiting Chrysler's response.

- , Effingham, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 182008

(reported on)

Durango Limited 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

click to see larger images

instrument panel fire instrument panel fire instrument panel fire instrument panel fire instrument panel fire instrument panel fire

I'm 100% Disabled Nam Vet, No income other than wife's job. I owe 18 thousand on this car. This will Bankrupt me!

- , Sarver, PA, USA

problem #8

May 072007

(reported on)

Durango Limited 5.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

2004 Durango instrument cluster fire. Symptoms and result are as previously posted - lights came on, car burned. Chrysler's response had been has nothing short of insulting. There's now a recall on this problem, and they've treated me like a red headed bastard child. Their offer is essentially low book as a settlement. It was a low mileage Limited, and they offered 17K (trade in value)for a 2 1/2 year old, $40k car. The response from their recall and customer claims organizations can only be described as hostile. "This is our offer - you can accept it or reject it - we won't negotiate."

The Durango was the 6th new Chrysler product I have purchased - and it will be my last. I liked the car, and if their settlement offer had been reasonable, I wouldn't be writing this. I'm retired, financially comfortable, and I intend to spend all my free time warning other folks about Chrysler, the evil empire. My intent is to spend $40K a year (the cost of the Durango) for the next 5 years on local advertising informing my community about Chrysler and the way I was treated. I think that will be money better spent than if I were to hire an attorney to try to get a fair settlement from those bastards. I just feel sorry for those folks who don't have my means and have to bend over and accept an unfair settlement from those incompetent, uncaring SOBs.

- , Port St L:ucie, FL, USA

problem #7

May 102007

(reported on)

Durango Limited 5.7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

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

2004 Durango burned in the same fashion as described above. My issue is Chrysler's attempt to screw me into an unfair settlement. They offered me $2000 under NADA retail as a settlement, and have been rude and hostile to deal with. I intend to keep the car, rent a trailer, and tow it to every county fair, NASCAR event, and other major gathering I can find. Would really like to hear from other victims of the Durango combination SUV/toaster oven particularly with regard to how your claim was settled.

- , Port St L:ucie, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 182006

(reported on)

Durango Limited 5.7 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

On September 14, 2006 I noticed the front dome lights were on when I returned to my Dodge Durango in the company parking lot. I thought maybe I had left them on or had not shut a door, but there was no panel indication of a door or hatch being open. I got in and turned them off one at a time with the overhead switches. I drove a short distance and made a stop where I turned the truck off and left it a short time. I started driving again and noticed the rear dome lights were on. When I stopped again, I again checked doors to see if any were open and none were. I was able to individually turn off the rear lights at their individual switches. When I started it again a few minutes later all four lights came back on. I was unable to turn them off with the dash switch or the individual switches. The individual switches would make them either brighter or dimmer, but not off. I drove the truck home and parked it in my garage with the idea of checking on it later since the manual said they would go off in eight minutes. I stepped out into my garage about an hour later to find the windshield cracked, a two foot diameter circle of paint melted in the center of the front seat compartment with some pouring from the truck.. The dash melted over the odometer area and headliner dripped down on the front seats. The front dome lights, rear view mirror area was destroyed. Firefighters said the only thing that saved my house was having parked it with the windows up and the fire ran out of air and snuffed itself out.

- , Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #5

Jan 142007

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

We bought our Durango in April 2006. It is a 2004 and just reached 40,000 miles. Today when we drove it the dome lights came on like always when we got in the car, but then they never turned off. We thought maybe our switch or something was bad. We got home and parked it, then tonight when we went to get in it again..... It was filled with smoke. The whole front of our car is burned... the dash, the windshield, the seats, the ceiling is all burned and hanging down with the wires all melted and burned. We are so lucky thing didn't happen to us when we were in it, or that it didn't reach the gas tank and explode. WE think probably the lack of oxygen inside of the car killed the fire before the whole car was burnt to the ground. Anyway, I have no idea what to do. I am calling our insurance in the morning, but I can't help but think after researching the internet tonight and reading so many of these exact same reports that this is a dodge issue. I would be grateful to hear back from anyone else who had this happen as well. Thanks.

- , Evanston, WY, USA

problem #4

Dec 152006

(reported on)

Durango SLT 4.7 V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

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

Since we bought this POS last year (we bought it "like new") we have been having problems with the interior lights not coming on, or sometimes not going off. There was a humming noise within the vehicle, which we could not place. Within the first 3 months of owning the truck, we had to have it towed to the dealership multiple times because the truck would not start, the battery was dead. We were given another POS loaner for a few days at a time only to find out they didn't know what the problem was...

Again, we are having the problem, the lights won't go off and we had to unplug the battery every time we turned the engine off. (Lots of fun while Christmas shopping with 2 toddlers and a newborn in Ohio). We took it to FireStone (not the dealer) and they caught the problem right away. Apparently the instument cluster was frying, and we were very lucky that nobody was injured. We called the Dodge Dealership, reported the problem, and it's not covered. They claimed it was not the same problem we were having before, but the next guy we talked to said it was, and he had never heard of anything like this happening to the trucks (according to him I was the only one). My FireStone guy (now a very loyal customer of his) called and said that it would be awhile on this new part, as there are currently 40 in our area on backorder (of course the Dealer has no idea why, nor does Chrystler Group or anyone else, just me. This inspired me to do a little research (where I also learned of this website) and found that a few 2004 Durangos were recalled because some instrument panel parts were damaged during assembly... but again, Dodge has never heard of any problems-not to mention the countless reports of accidents, injuries and fires all related to the same car component that fried in my SUV. So here we are with a high car payment on something we can't drive, and my husband is driving the "beater" car we kept because it's paid off. A 2000 Dodge Neon that has over 100,000 miles and besides routine maintnance has never given us a reason to hate Dodge. Well, now we have one.

- , Hilliard, Ohio, USA

problem #3

Sep 192006

(reported on)

Durango Limited

  • 30,000 miles

I bought a 2004 Durango, 08/16/06. On 09/01/06, the interiors lights came on while driving down the road. The next morning, called the dealer when they opened at 9, they said to pull the fuse as they could not take the vehicle over the holiday weekend..... When I did, sparks dropped on the carpet from under the dash, smoke came out of the instrument panel. I pulled out of the garage, the next thing it burst into flames and burned to the ground. It caused damage to my house, lost time from work and stress beyond belief in dealing with the insurance company and the dealer who sold me the Durango. I filed with the NHTSA and Dodge, have not heard a word. I empathize with the folks who had their kids in the car and what a horrific ordeal this has been. The next morning, Dodge issued a recall on 2001-2003 models. The 2004 had a recall up until 12/2003 for the 2004 models. WAKE UP DODGE, THIS IS A REAL ISSUE. Sounds like this was a time-bomb, thankfully it didn't go off in our garage while we slept.

- , New Castle, DE, USA

problem #2

Feb 132006

(reported on)

Durango SLT

  • 46,000 miles

I turned car on to defrost and warm up while cleaning off snow. When I returned to enter back into the car the dome light was not working, multiple signals were on the instrument panel including: cruise control, 4WD, lamp light out. I attempted to turn on interior lights when smoke started coming out of the instrument panels, windshield wipers started at highest speed and would not turn off. I immediately turned off car. As it was dark out we went out this morning to try to assess problem. There was no interior power, but windshield wipers were still going crazy. I have brought the car to dealership immediately and have not heard from them as of yet.

- , New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #1

Jan 312006

(reported on)

Durango SLT

  • 20,000 miles

On 1/26/6 I was driving down the expressway (in my 2004 durango, not affected by previous recalls) and my dome lights came on and would not shut off. About a minute later my instrument panel filled w/ smoke and fire shot out and caught my visor and ceiling. The whole interior was on fire while I was driving. My passenger and I made it out w/o any harm. I have five children and if they would have been in the car w/ me I am not sure they wouldn't have been hurt. This was horrible. My car is totaled. I am afraid someone may be hurt if Chrysler does not recall these trucks.

- , Casco, MI, USA

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