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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,520 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jun 102007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 51,780 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The contact received a recall notice pertaining to the fuel system. After the recall repairs were performed, the instrument panel failed. The engine and all the electrical components shut off while idle as well as driving various speeds. While driving less than 70 mph, the failure recurred and caused an 18-wheel vehicle to swerve over the median to avoid crashing into her vehicle. The dealer reprogrammed the transmission controller module. On July 10, 2007, the vehicle was taken back to the dealer for the same failures. The etax relay and the controller software was updated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer on August 30, 2007. The flash controller was replaced and the air bag sensor was reprogrammed; however, the repairs did not remedy the failures. On December 28, 2007, the vehicle was taken to the dealer due to transmission hesitation. The modular engine controller was reprogrammed. The failure mileage was 51,780 and current mileage was less than 62,000. Updated 10/16/08. Updated 10/17/08.

- Florence, MS, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Feb 152006

PT Cruiser

  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving at any speed, the exterior lights dimmed and occasionally the headlights would shut off. Currently, the fog lights remain illuminated and cause the battery to fail. He also stated that by retapping the directional lights would make the other lights brighter. He has replaced the battery. He was informed by the dealer that there were no recalls and the vehicle was out of warranty. The current mileage was 109,000 and failure mileage was 79,000.

- Bow, NH, USA

problem #18

Jun 162008

PT Cruiser

  • 122,000 miles


Driving light switch failing causing driving lights to come on when switch is not activated resulting in battery drain. Has happened three times in the past 2 weeks. Pulled fuse rather than pay to have fixed.

- St. Augustine, FL, USA

problem #17

Mar 012008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The vehicle speed control was previously disconnected. While driving 25 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the steering column. The dealer stated that the failure was electrical and related to the vehicle speed control. The high and low beam switch was also burned. The manufacturer stated that there was no existing recall. The contact allowed the vehicle to cool down and was able to drive home. A mechanic will repair the vehicle since the manufacturer stated that they were unable to offer any assistance. She is unable to drive the vehicle due to the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 65,000 and current mileage was 65,100.

- Neeah, WI, USA

problem #16

Aug 012007

PT Cruiser

  • miles
My led light on the radio and the horn both cease to work at the same time. We have replaced fuses, lights and radios. Still no working horn.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 082007

PT Cruiser

  • miles


(1) problem occurred upon parking vehicle (2001 PT CRUISER) (2) fog lights couldn't be turned off, smoke and pungent odor emanated from steering column (3) fuse was removed disabling circuit.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 302006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 66,000 miles
Defective fog light switch suddenly fails & goes off and on at random running down the battery totally. This electrical problem results in owner being stranded and destroying the battery. Dealer also does not stock part & says it will be a week to get parts. Fog lamp is wired direct, therefore fuse slot shown in owners manual is not operational so fuse cannot be removed to temporarily correct problem. Now waiting for parts!!

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #13

Jan 092006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Fog lights came on, even with key turned off. Fog lights would not turn off. Puff of smoke from steering column and fog lights ceased to function.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 272005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The multi-functional switch lever on the left hand side of the steering wheel has been replaced three times. The lights will suddenly go out. The first two times, one could jiggle the lever and the lights would come back on. The last time the lights went off on a road with no shoulders, and consumer pulled up on the hazard lights so she would not get hit. This was on a 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The dealership stated this occurred due to a short in a multi-function switch. This switch has been replaced twice and broken three times. Updated 2/21/2006 -

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 212005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


Consumer bought car that had not been thoroughly inspected. After two weeks a noise in both the back and front of the car was heard. The consumer took the vehicle back to the dealership, placed a support because brake pads were gone, metal on metal. The motor mount broke, needed rotors/spark plugs, and tune up along with a pvc valve. Needed to be fixed, but dealer refused to fix anything.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #10

Nov 172004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 66,000 miles
For weeks (or months) prior to failure, I experienced occasional instances of fog lights activating upon engaging the right turn signal. Fog lights would go off after completing turn and signal automatically disengaged. It is noted that I virtually never make use of the fog lights. On day of failure, there was a pronounced odor about 1 hour into a long trip (like nylon rope burning). Fog lights activated and could not be turned off regardless of controller setting for other lights. Fog lights would not turn off even after car was shut down and key removed. After brief rest stop (during which manual was researched to learn what fuse must be pulled to avoid draining battery), returned to car to find that lights had gone off on their own. Neither fog lights nor high beams worked any longer, once car was started. The next day, upon disassembly of steering column housing and removal of multi-function switch, I discovered that an internal, spring-loaded contact on the back of the multi-function switch, located near the steering column, had melted/fused. Dealer advised that multi-function switch must be replaced (at cost of ~$103 for part). Self-repaired, with no further problems (yet). Old part has been saved. Thankful that plastic switch did not actually catch fire, and that main lights (low beams only) remained operational during remainder of long, night-time trip.

- Lemoyne, PA, USA

problem #9

Jul 132004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,176 miles
The vehicle stalls when driving. The vehicle had a hard start and stalled when approaching a stop sign or light. The owner has taken the vehicle to the dealer on several occasions. The owner also stated that the technicians were merely guessing as far as how to combat the problem. The vehicle would die out as well as when warmed, there was a hard start, and the engine would shift while in motion.

- Summit Argo, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 032004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Electric failures: 1) 4/29/03 placed key in ignition; alarm sounds and warning lights on dashboard, car would not start. Towed to dealer. Replaced ignition switch. 2) 11/15/03 drove car to work; placed car in park, turn key in off position and removed key from ignition, car engine remained running. Placed key back into ignition turn to on position, then back to off position, engine turned off. Called dealer and was told nothing could be done about this unless I could make it happen again. 3) 6/3/04 unlocked car, got in driver's seat and warning lights on dash were on (engine, oil, air bag, seat belt and alarm), turned key to on position, car started then cut out. Turn key to off position, then back to on position. Engine wouldn't start. All warning lights stayed on.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #7

Aug 222003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Bought an early 2001 PT CRUISER. About one year after purchase, battery fails, car would not start, jump starting did not work. Towed it it dealer and they replaced battery and said it was faulty. About a year after this occured, it happened again, dealer still says it is the battery's fault. It happened again on August 22, 2001 and I put a spare battery in car and drove to dealership. Again they said that the battery was faulty. I believe there is an electrical problem with the car.

- Treasure Island, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 132003

(reported on)

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Vehicle's door locks automatically locked on their own. The vehicle started to lock on it's own without activation. The vehicle was serviced six times over a period of thirteen months by the Chrysler dealership. The consumer would be driving and all of a sudden, all of the vehicle doors would unlock. The doors were suppose to automatically lock when the vehicle reached over 5 mph and randomly failed to do so, after activating the lock/security device and listening for the beep it did not activate. The dealer was unable to remedy. The problem had progressed rapidly and the correction attempts only resulted in problems with acceleration.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #5

May 292001

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles
5 batteries, radio, speakers, door locks, paint, speed sensor on transmission, fan motor on engine, output speed sensor, T14 circuit all within 27 months. Can't find cause of all these electrical problems. Chrysler is no help! customer care hung up on me. Lemon law ran out 1 month ago. Upside down can't even trade in. Help!!!!!

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 022003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,077 miles
Vehicle was parked for approx. Two days, started vehichle and all lights on the instrument panel stayed on; brake light, ABS light, engine light, security light, crusie control, etc. As well as words "no bug" over the odemeter/mileage gage. These lghts would not go off after turning the engine on and off several times. The engine light stays on and will not shut off. Scheduled an appointment with dealer to connect to computer.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #3

Dec 022002

PT Cruiser

  • miles
While driving the interior dashboard lights and the head lights goes out without prior warning. The dealership cannot fix problem.

- Boscobel, WI, USA

problem #2

Sep 132002

(reported on)

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Consumer state while vehicle was park consumer notice vehicle fog lights on. Consumer tried to turn light off but light would not turn off. Soon after consumer notice smoking coming from steering wheel consumer remove the fuse smoke stop. Nlm

- Worcester, MA, USA

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