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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,532 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 142008

PT Cruiser

  • miles


Fog lights stay on draining battery. Internet research indicates problem with the multi-function switch. Also indicates that hundreds of people have had this same problem - some multiple times - replacing switch at dealer for apx $200 - and manufacturer has yet to issue recall or assistance.

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #11

Mar 262007

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The 2001 PT CRUISER fog lights came on by themselsves when the switch were in the off position, draining the battery when the car was parked. If the left turn signal was turned on the fog lights went off. I had to pull the fog light fuse to remedy this problem.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

problem #10

Apr 092007

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The fog lamps on the 2001 PT CRUISER come on and stayed on their own Accord. This caused a dead battery 3 times. When I opened the door the alarm went off. Sometimes the instrument panel worked correctly, sometimes it did not. Sometimes the keyless entry worked and sometimes it did not. When it did work, I could not get the door to unlock with the key, it relocked by itself, leaving me locked out of my own car and stranded on several occasions. I could not lock the door on driver's side with electronic door lock. Must individually lock all doors. Smoke came from the top of the steering column, through hazard light switch on two occasions. Dealer suggested $200. Replacement of multi function switch - but research showed thiswas not a remedy to the problem. I live in a remote, rural area, and do not feel safe or secure with this vehicle.

- Cass Lake, MN, USA

problem #9

Mar 242007

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


My 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER's fog lights will not go off even when the car is not running unless the left turn signal is turned on. If the turn signal switch is not turned on the fog lights drain the battery leaving me stranded and requires recharging or replacement of the battery. Multiple forums I've read lead me to believe this is a massive problem with the PT CRUISER. It requires replacement of a multifunction switch at a cost of over $200.

- Freeburg, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 182007

PT Cruiser 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles
Control switch for 2001 PT CRUISER headlights and fogl ights had intermittent short, causing repeated battery drain. Exact same problem noted by 20 other PT CRUISER owners this year on some suggested a fuse replacement for $200 may fix the problem. No word from Chrysler on the subject. Why was there no recall?

- San Jose, CA, USA

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problem #7

Jul 272006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Over the past 6 months I have had 50 plus times where I have found my battery dead and the fog lamps on. Over the last 3 years I have had fewer, but, regular times when this has also happened. I check to see that they are off as I exit the vehicle, and return to find them on and the battery dead. The switch on the end of the light control stick is not a good arrangement. It wears out the stop and then ( as mine is now ) you can not turn the fog lamps off. Any little bump while I am driving and they come on. I have had to unplug these lamps ( rather than pay the ridiculous dealer replacement fee ) to keep my current ( 3rd this last 2 years ) battery from dying. I got the first retail pt delivery in wi on April 12 2000 and am sure in time all owners will find this problem.

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #6

Jul 242006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,324 miles


The connector plug for the fog lights shorted out causing it to smolder and the lights to remain on even though the key was removed. There was fire but no flame. The plug melted and cracked and will need to be replaced.

- Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #5

Jul 112006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,654 miles
Fog lights difficult to shut off even with key out of ignition, caught early enough to avoid fire/wiring meltdown. Upon removal of switch assembly and disassembly of component plastic arm worn out allowed spring loaded contact to make light and constant contact producing a short circuit. Once plastic fails no way to turn fogs off.

- Strasburg, PA, USA

problem #4

Apr 172006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,700 miles
: the contact stated the fog lights illuminated without warning and only went off when the turn signal switch was manipulated. On Monday the contact noticed smoke coming from the top of the steering column, but no fire. The vehicle was taken to the service dealer who determined the multi function switch was melted and needed to be replaced.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Sep 302005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,700 miles
My fog lights would not turn off and could turn on even when the car is not running. My car battery drained a couple of times, and I had to obtain a jump to start my car. Called car dealer, and they pulled the fuse to the fog lights and said there is a short in the multi-function switch and it would need to be replaced. Called Chrysler, and I am out of warranty and they will offer no assistance unless there is a recall on this issue. I see there is a prior complaint dated August 2, 2005 for the same issue on three other PT CRUISER and my car dealer states they have had to replace the switch on several PT CRUISER. I have also read about this problem on some online forums. I will keep my service records in case of recall per Chrysler.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #1

Aug 022005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
Consumer owned three 2001 Chrysler PT CRUISER. Each of the vehicles had problems with the fog lights and turn signal light switch, which was replaced free of charge when one vehicle was out of warranty and the fog lights and headlights stayed on and would not go off. The second and third cruisers fog lights would not go off, consume R removed the fuse. There was a flaw in the design of the PT CRUISER headlight switch, which would run down the battery. The switch should be replaced at no charge to the consumer. Also, there should a be a redesigned switch, and a full recall/replacement after the switch was redesigned. In order to have two PT CRUISER pass va state inspection consumer removed fog lights bulbs, socket and wiring.

- Oak Hill, VA, USA

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