really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,442 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.

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Comments

problem #16

Mar 272016

PT Cruiser

  • 112,450 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. While driving 35-40 mph, the front amber head lamps failed, which resulted in a front end passenger collision. The front passenger wheel detached from the vehicle during the crash. The contact stated that the glove box fractured and separated upon deployment of the air bags, which caused facial injuries to the front seat passenger. The front seat passenger sustained lacerations to the face, a fractured eye socket, and a fractured nasal passage. Medical attention was required. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 09E012000 (exterior lighting) and NHTSA campaign number: 08E033000 (suspension). The approximate failure mileage was 112,450.

- Lenoir, NC, USA

problem #15

Nov 192014

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The wiring harness melted, which caused the multifunction switch to burn out and running tail lights to not work properly. Replaced multifunction switch and burning smell came from steering column. Pulled new multifunction switch and noticed melted connectors.

- Trenton, GA, USA

problem #14

Aug 012014

PT Cruiser

  • miles
Battery went completely dead after only two years. Had the battery replaced and now the dashboard lights and the headlights flicker terribly and even more when on high beams.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #13

Dec 172013

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 127,730 miles


I've had this vehicle approx. 2 years. At an earlier time I had used the fog lights twice with no incident. Later and prior to 12/17/13 the fog light indicator appeared on the instrument panel, the fog light switch wasn't even turned on but the light came on by themselves. I jiggled the switch and the lights and indicator went out, after that the fog lights wouldn't work at all. On 12/17/13 I went out to my garage to find the fog lamps on. The headlights were off, the car not running, the keys weren't even in the ignition. The lights just came on by themselves. I managed to turn them off (for the night) only to find when I got to work the next morning I couldn't shut them off. I drove the car home, finally pulled the fuse for the fog lamps and returned to work. I've also had incidences where the headlights will dim slightly and then illuminate fully. According to some of the forums I've read, there are a lot of people having this problem. Some people also report burning wires and dead batteries. I wish they would file a complaint. Thank you.

- Monticello, MN, USA

problem #12

Jul 012013

PT Cruiser

  • 94,000 miles
About 3 three years ago the headlights started flickering and the radio light would totally go out. Now the fog lights are coming on with the car turned off. I am taking the car to a mechanic - hopefully they can fix the issue.

- Mt Airy, GA, USA

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problem #11

Apr 152010

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
At approximately 70,000 miles the fog lights would remain on even in the off position. Placing the turn signal in the downward position when exiting the vehicle would remedy situation, further fixed by pulling the fog light fuse. Latter on at 80,000 miles the low beams failed and would not turn on. High beams would work or the fog lights would work (after putting the fuse back in). The danger was further enhanced by when you would use the turn signal the fog lamps would shut off. This was fixed by removing the multi-stick from the steering column and replacing it with a new component. All issue were resolved by this fix.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #10

Mar 042011

PT Cruiser

  • 60,000 miles


I am having issues with my 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER. The fog light switch has worn out and is causing my car battery to be drained due to the fog light staying on. I was going to replace the part. However I was checking online for quotes when I stumbled upon a forum full of complaints for the same issue. There are over 600 comments regarding problems with the PT CRUISER, most of them with the same issue. I hope there is something somebody can do about this. I am hoping for a recall of the part, I will buy a new part I just don't want the same part again. This is a dangerous problem because I have been left stranded due to my car being drained of battery life more than 5 times.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #9

Oct 202010

PT Cruiser

  • miles
The plastic headlight lenses on my 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER have become so cloudy they are practically useless. This is dangerous. I have seen other PT CRUISER as well as other Chrysler products with this same problem. I am going to have to replace them as I am fearful of having an accident due to low visibility. I live in a rural area with alot of deer and this low visibility concerns me.

- Bridgeport, IL, USA

problem #8

May 042009

PT Cruiser

  • 85,000 miles
1. I generally drive our 2003 Chrysler PT CRUISER with the fog lights on during the day, and the headlights at night. This means I was turning the fog light switch on the turn signal unit several times a day. 2. beginning early in 2009 I experienced times when the fog lights would not turn off with the switch without a lot of cycling, or the fog lights would turn themselves on when the door closed. The vibration of the vehicle made that happen. Then, when trying to get the fog lights to turn off, the switch began to smoke. Turning off the car cleared that, so I stopped using the fog lights. The turn signals and headlight portion of the switch worked fine. 3. I contacted the Chrysler dealership and was told they were out of the switch. I then contacted a local auto maintenance company I have used in the past and trust. They quoted me a better service price, and that the switch was backordered. There were over 5000 switches on backorder and it was six months after the order was placed before we received the switch and had it installed. My concern is two fold: 1. the 5000 may well have been the tip of the iceberg in terms of failures, and 2. if I had not been sitting there, would the lights, after coming on by themselves have cause the switch to actually catch the vehicle on fire? I thought that the brief time I was smoke should have been enough to blow the fuse, but it didn't.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #7

Aug 042009

PT Cruiser

  • 35,000 miles
NHTSA 629139 exterior lighting headlights, moisture inside vented headlamp assembly. Headlights have hard water deposits on inside of lamp, with sun exposure have become so corroded they are not usable have to drive with high beams on.

- Oakhurst, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 242009

PT Cruiser

  • 122,000 miles


High beams coming on without being turned on, at first once or twice a week then everyday it would happen then everytime using the vehicle, the high beams came on after I turned them off when getting out of my car upon returning to my car would not crank, the high beams where still on, had to get my car jumped started, removed the fuse and haven't had the high beams to come on again, but I need my high beams esp. For long distance driving through the mountains, there's a shortage somewhere between the fuse and high beams lights.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #5

Sep 142008

PT Cruiser

  • 91,900 miles
Shortly after leaving the house, the fog light indicator came on even though the headlights themselves were off. Pressure on the end of the stalk turned the indicator off but it came back on when pressure was released. After parking and shutting off the engine, the indicator (and the fog lights themselves) remained on. Removing the keys from the ignition had no effect. The only thing that turned the fog lights off was setting the turn indicator in the 'left turn' (down) position. Further testing found that the only other way to turn off the fog lights was to remove the appropriate fuse from the interior fuse panel. Researching the problem online turned up several message boards with a large number of drivers reporting this exact problem going back at least three years, which turns out to be caused by a failing multifunction switch. (one such forum: www.topix.com/forum/autos/Chrysler-pt-cruiser/tf81khbdldvt92ah2/ ).

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 052008

PT Cruiser

  • 71,000 miles
Fog lights are turning on by themselves even when light switch is not on and when car is not running causing battery to drain and many headaches! this happens 3 or 4 times a day!

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 232008

PT Cruiser

  • 82,000 miles
I have a 2003 PT CRUISER bought it used and since then have kept up with the maintenance on the vehicle. While coming home from austin to san antonio at 9:30 pm the lights on the car headlights completely went out that included the fog lights. I had no blinkers no lights and had my wife and child with me. Proceeded to exit and had a relative meet me up in san marcos Texas I followed him all the way to san antonio where I made it home using my relatives car lights as help. The next morning went out to buy the part that I need it $70.25 at the local dealer ship here in san antonio since this happen I have no hazard lights and no turn signals. I have looked at the car and had trouble shoot the car with no avail I have replace the part and took the one from my Dodge intrepid and have had no luck to get blinker back on Chrysler sure one hell of a car one that can get you kill.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

May 012006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This problem started in the spring of 2006. Although I didn't know it at the time, the fog lights came on by themselves while just sitting in the parking lot or at home. No warning, so I didn't know until I went to start the car and the battery was dead. Since this was intermittent, no lights on the dash advising me the fog lights were on and during daylight hours, I never noticed that the fog lights were on. After several times of this happening. This caused me to replace the battery. While replacing the battery I noticed that the original cables had inferior battery connector leads. The cables connectors were mostly eaten through causing me to have to replace them. (I noticed that when I got the new leads that the connectors were of a better material). Due to this not having any rime or reason as to why the battery kept going dead and no one had any idea why this was happening I simply had to wait until I discovered the cause. In Dec 2007 I went to start the car and sure enough the battery was dead. However this time when I jumped the battery the fog light on the dash stayed on and that is when I found the problem. I was unable to turn them off since the switch was already in the off position. My only recourse was to remove the fog light fuse. Since removing the fog light fuse I have had no further issues to date. I still do not know the cause or the cure so, I logged on to this site to look for a service bulletin or information to tell me that and here I am. The mileage on the vehicle when this whole stuff started was approx 36,000 and it now has 42000 miles on it.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 072006

PT Cruiser 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
: the contact stated the interior and exterior lighting flickers and there is wind noise noticed near the passenger side door. Although the dealership and manufacturer were alerted no repairs have been made.

- Hawley, PA, USA

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