really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,586 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.

2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 102006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving 15 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate and felt as if it was dragging. There was also a smell was coming from the front of the vehicle. It was towed to an independent repair shop who determined the front left brake was sticking. The caliper was replaced and bolts were tightened. One week later, the same thing occurred. This time the independent repair shop replaced the caliper with the original and suggested a visit to the dealer for further assistance. The dealer flushed the brake system and during a test drive the front left and the rear right brakes caught on fire. It was determined the rotors and pads and ABS system needed to be replaced.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 162006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
: the contact stated the brakes squeaked and brake dust was observed on the hubcaps. The brakes pads have been replaced and the rotors have been turned frequently at every 3,000 miles. The braking capability of the vehicle is defective and causes the vehicle to swerve all over the road. The dealer and the manufacturer determined the brake pads and the rotors are not compatible. Three dealerships and have admitted this is a design defect but because it does not affect the functioning of the brakes they are not qualified to issue a recall. According to the contact this failure does affect the function of the brakes.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #5

Apr 232003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact stated the driver's side and passenger's side air bags deployed while driving down the highway. There was no prior warning. Also, the right front brake had a loud popping and squealing noise, this caused the steering wheel to vibrate. The right front brake overheated, it turned the rim red hot. He could smell the brake dust from the right front brake. He contacted the dealer, they have repeatedly replaced the brakes, brake pads, disc caliper, and rotors. He was still having the same problem with the vehicle.

- Cape Coral , FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 012004

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles


Grinding noise when applying brakes, cracking noise when anti-lock system activated. The brake pads have been replaced at approx. 22,000 miles and the pads where worned on the driver's side to the metal. There was no pre- warning of the condition. I purchased a ptcruiser when first manufactored the brakes had the same problem.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #3

Dec 162003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,100 miles
The brakes started making a scratch/grinding sound every time I would come to a stop. There was no difficulty with braking, just the noise. So, I visually inspected them and noticed the front right rotor was worn on the outer edge. I took the vehicle to the local, reputable, tire store and they found the damage to have been caused by a clip that came loose, that is supposed to be part of the brake pad. I have kept the defective part. The car had 26,000 miles, much of those miles were highway driving.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #2

Nov 032003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
Brake warning indicator light started coming on intermittently at 27,000 miles, of which 20,000 of those miles are freeway miles. Took the car to the dealer and was told that the brake pads and rotors were both worn out. I asked for the old parts and saw that the inside pads were nearly gone. When I questioned why 1.) there was never a warning from the brake pad chirpers and 2.) the brakes were worn out so soon, I was told by the dealer that Chrysler is using lesser quality materials in the rotors and pads. The dealer also said that only the outside pad has a chirper (a worn pad warning device) and that the inside pad will grind the rotor before the outside pad is worn enough to warn the driver. In other words, you will ruin your brake rotors before you are warned.

- Windsor Heights, IA, USA

problem #1

Jul 102003

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brakes needed replacement at approximately every 11,000 miles. The first incident was approximately 11,480 miles, not only the pads needed replacing rotors were worn as well. The dealer did this under warranty stating it was early wear and tear. The second incident was at approx. 22,080 miles, this time it was only the pads but it was caught early when the vehicle lost all power steering fluid because of a break in the hose there were no warning sign of a problem with the brakes or the power steering. And the dealer stated this was not early wear and tear this time so I had to pay for the repair. When I contacted Chrysler with this issue they stated this is normal wear and tear. I may be a woman but I know a thing or two about cars and 11,000 miles for brakes is not "normal' wear and tear!

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

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