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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,694 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 212009

PT Cruiser

  • 98,000 miles


In 2004 Chrysler recalled PT CRUISER with automatic transmissions for a fault with the power steering hose which caused fires in a few cars. They did not however cover 2001 PT CRUISER with manual transmissions. Last week (8-20-09) my wife drove to the post office (2 miles from home) and smelled burning rubber, she drove the car directly back home. I examined the car that night and could find nothing wrong with the drive belts, tires, and there didn't seem to be any leaks. I took it for a quick test drive and everything seemed fine. The following day (8-21-09) my wife again drove the car to the post office, this time it started making grinding noises and was difficult to steer. She drove the car straight home again. There still didn't seem to be any leaks but when I test drove it I could tell the power steering was non functional. I opened the fill cap for the power steering fluid to check its level and the remaining fluid in the system drained onto my driveway. It seems like there had been a leak in the power steering hose that was being burnt off on the engine. We were fortunate that we were only using the car for local trips as it would have been much more dangerous if the hose had let go while we were driving on the highway. Recall 04V268000, NHTSA action number PE04028, should be extended to the PT CRUISER with manual transmissions as well before someone gets hurt.

- Thompson, CT, USA

problem #9

Jan 102008

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,621 miles
Owner noticed a slight "puddle" (size of a silver dollar) on garage floor. Owner jacked up car to inspect and identify where leak was originating. Noted a misplaced bushing on the bracket holding the power steering hose in place under the engine. One end of the bushing had broken allowing the hose to chafe against the bracket and leak fluid. Owner immediately took car into the dealer to have repaired. Upon examination, dealer informed owner that the motor mounts (2) had broken allowing the engine to sit lower on the frame and that is what caused the bushing to fail. Owner paid over $1,000 to replace motor mounts (2) and replace bushing and power steering hose. Owner feels that motor mount failure was premature as the car only has 38,000 miles on it and has never been driven hard and has been garaged its entire lifetime. Owner has in his possession the defective motor mounts. Although there were no injuries or deaths, there certainly could have been if the owner had not been so observant and vigilant about maintaining the car. Loss of power steering function or engine detachment would be catastrophic on the road, particularly at freeway speeds.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 272005

PT Cruiser

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
My 2001 PT CRUISER which I purchased in August 2005 suddenly caught fire on deember 27, 2005 and was a total loss. There had been a recall for sudden engine fires caused by leaking power steering fluid. The dealer where I purchased the car, reseda Dodge in reseda, ca, had records showing the recall repair had been done, but my insurance company, state farm, found the the fire was caused by leaking power steering fluid. Chrysler denied my claim with no reason given.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #7

May 052005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


The contact states there is a NHTSA recall campaign 04V268000 concerning the steering hydraulic power assist hoses, piping, and connections. This vehicle experienced the same symptoms as indicated in the recall, but this affected the brake fluid lines as well. She repaired the vehicle at her own expense prior to receiving the recall letter.

- Storrs Mansfield, CT, USA

problem #6

Jul 012005

PT Cruiser

  • miles
2001 PT CRUISER developed a problem where it stalled in traffic on several occasions. The engine light illuminated before the vehicle stalled. The consumer received a recall regarding the power steering pressure hose. The consumer wanted the dealer to inspect the vehicle to see if recall related issue was causing the vehicle to stall, however the dealer wanted more money.

- Texarkana, AR, USA

problem #5

Apr 122005

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Steering fluid leaked in my car for its life--no dealer ever identified this as the problem when complaining about rough steering noise and other issues. Discovered the level of fluid was down when an employee added fluid after hearing the noise, and the noise went away. The constant leak has damaged the rack and pinion--I was told this by a service dealer and an independent mechanic. Crysler will not replace R&P. when having the recall done dealer said it was not covered (R&P)--just the hose--dealer claimed to have done recall work but a neighbor who is a mechanic inspected the car the next day and said the work was not done---old hose still there--leak still active. Crysler not responsive to this safety issue.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #4

Oct 012004

PT Cruiser

  • miles


Re: automobile recalls. Recall#04V268000 the consumer contacted the dealer to make an appointment to have the recall fixed, but was told by the dealer no parts were available.

- Lewisville, NC, USA

problem #3

Nov 042004

PT Cruiser 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer received recall 04V268000 concerning power steering hose. No parts were available. No new parts or replacements were used.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 052004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 50,822 miles
Power steering fluid leaked. Prior to receiving the power steering hose safety recall, the consumer had the power steering pump, pulley and access belt replaced after she noticed fluid leaking. After receiving the recall notice, she felt that all the replaced parts didn't need to replaced - just the power steering hose. The consumer wrote a letter to Chrysler and requested reimbursement for part of the repair cost which totalled $503.24. Campaign id number : 04V268000 recall date : Jun 02, 2004 component: Steering:hydraulic power assist:hose

- Northport, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 112004

(reported on)

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Due to the location of the power steering line, it could be struck causing the fluid to leak. The detector loss it's "ps" on the consumer's driveway. The consumer felt that this part should be protected.

- Apex, NC, USA

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