Notes: Chrysler has taken the boring small car frame of the Neon, grafted a 1930s-era roadster body on top and named it the PT Cruiser. While the new look may appeal to some, the vehicle has unfortunately also inherited many of the same problems as the Neon.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,047 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.

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 102010

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


Web site topix will confirm the incredible # of folks that have had fog lamps turn on after car is shut down causing battery drain. 100's have paid for replacement part multi-function switch. This controls fog, head, accessory, & dash lighting. To prevent the fog lamps from coming on by themselves, most have removed fuse # 8 to remove the fog lamps from the circuit. People report smoke coming from turn signal lever, & the complete loss of all lighting is quite common. I personally have replaced the multi-function switch 3 times on my wife's 2001 P.T. cruiser with only 50,000 total miles & she being original owner. By parking her car minus fuse # 8, not using dome lighting, & always parking with the signal lever in the down or left turn position has prevented the mystery fog lamp issue, & kept her battery functioning. This "temp" solution has allowed her about 6 or 8 months of driving w/O the problems other pt owners struggle with. Sooner or later someone will lose lighting or a fire will occur inside the steering wheel which will cause serious injury, loss of vehicle & possibly death. Chrysler denies any knowledge, but wants more than $1,0000 to analyze & repair. Through the topix P.T forum I was able to learn how to do the work myself for far less than $100. Many are getting ripped off for hundreds while Chrysler knows full well of the issue. No less than an investigation, perhaps started with the topix forum will demonstrate the incredible number of failures that still plague the P.T. on later models such as 2001 thru 06 or 08. Also need 3rd. Brake job, & the rims do not seal causing low tires that hurt mpg. Driving comfort, & safety. Dealer & I have tried Michelin tires hoping the problem was with the factory installed goodyears. I still hear every 100 miles or so that my wife's P.T needs additional air pressure.

- American Canyon, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 152008

PT Cruiser

  • 34,837 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact stated that she replaced her entire brake system in August 2008; however, the failure has recurred. A second Chrysler dealer also advised her that she had to replace the entire brake system. The Chrysler manufacturer informed the contact to take her vehicle to a dealer to have it repaired. There were no recalls and the warranty has expired. The failure mileage was 34,837 and the current mileage was 47,420.

- Mardela Springs, MD, USA

problem #3

Nov 272007

PT Cruiser

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact purchased the vehicle in November of 2007 and the wiring harness was replaced due to electrical failures. In April of 2008, while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle accelerated on its own. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they replaced the brake pads and calipers. Recently, the engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer's diagnostic indicated that the transmission solenoid switch needed to be replaced, along with the power steering pump. The dealer stated that the warranty does not cover the parts. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls that applied to her VIN. The failure mileage was 68,000 and current mileage was 75,551.

- Wisconsindells, WI, USA

problem #2

Jan 222003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
On 1/22/ 03 we took our 2001 PT CRUISER (odometer 12,000 miles) into the dealer because the front disc brakes were squealing. We had previously noted that the passenger side front disc brake had locked when we tried to back the car out of the garage. After hitting the brakes several times, the brake finally unlocked. The dealership told us that the front rotors on both sides were grooved and could not be turned because the metal was so thin to begin with that there was not enough to machine even on a brand new rotor. The dealer also told us we didn't need to replace the pads yet, just the rotors. We opted to replace both the pads and the rotors at the time due to the labor costs. It is now 8 months and 5,671 miles later and the brakes are again squealing. We called the dealership to see if they would do something about the problem. They said their hands were tied and they could not help us other than to replace with the same parts. According to the service manager, Chrysler is very much aware there is a problem with the disc brake rotors and premature wear, but they refuse to take any remedial steps. We have the same tires that originally came on the car and they are barely worn indicating we are not the kind of drivers who are hard on a car. The service manager appears to be just a frustrated with Chrysler's lack of attention to this problem as we are. Our only reasonable and intelligible recourse is to have the rotors and pads replaced with after market products. We will not use oem rotors & pads again. This is not normal wear and tear. This is faulty manufacturing or faulty design or both. In checking your website for 2001/2002 PT CRUISER, we see that several other owners have had the same problems with their disc brakes. This is a safety issue as well as a monetary issue. Please investigate.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 112003

PT Cruiser

  • 35,400 miles
The left front brake engaged itself without warning, which caused the consumer to lose control of the vehicle.

- Quincy, IL, USA

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