really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,726 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 Dodge Dakota brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #19

Dec 222011

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Applied service brake to avoid animal on highway and rear brake line failed. After an inspection of the brake system, it has been determined that all of the hydraulic line in the brake system should be replaced due to excessive corrosion. Vehicle has had the brake fluid replaced every 2 years for the past ten years. The corrosion is on the outside of the brake lines and is extremely excessive for the age of the vehicle. This is a major safety issue and the current state of the service brake system is that of a 20 year old vehicle. The certificate of complacency for the material used to fabricate the lines should be presented to the NHTSA.

- Hope Valey, RI, USA

problem #18

Sep 082011

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 77,216 miles
Driving within the city limits of fort collins Colorado and stopping for a traffic light the front brakes on my 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck locked up and would not release until the vehicle was allowed to sit for several minutes. I had the vehicle towed to a repair facility, where I was informed that the front left wheel bearing, both rotors and pads needed to be replaced due to excessive heat and wear. After the repairs were completed I proceeded to drive the vehicle for approximately 15 miles when the brakes again locked up after coming to a stop at a stop sign and began to smoke from excessive heat build up on the left front rotor. The vehicle was towed back to the repair facility where left front caliper was replaced and the vehicle was test driven, at which time the right front brake locked up in the same manner as the left front had. The repair facility researched the problem further and discovered via identafix.com that the hydraulic lines and calipers on both the right and left front brakes had to be replaced in order to fix the problem. This was not the only occurrence of this problem and it appears to be happening at around 70 to 80,000 miles. Had this problem occurred while I was towing my travel trailer, which I had just done, and when going down a long or steep grade at the very minimum it would have been a very dangerous occurrence. This is a safety defect that Chrysler Corp. Needs to address under recall for the affected models.

- Roseburg, OR, USA

problem #17

Aug 262011


  • 90,000 miles
2001 Dodge Dakota has had front brakes drag/lock up. Has happened twice, both times the calipers/rotors got extremely hot and smoked. After first time, truck was taken to dealer, they found nothing wrong but could see that rotors had gotten extremely hot. After allowing car to sit for several hours, the problem seems to go away.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #16

Dec 112004


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Dakota. While the contact was driving approximately 35 mph, the brakes were engaged and the vehicle began to travel into a different lane without assistance. The failure occurred four different times. The vehicle was taken to a an independent mechanic where the front calipers and brake pads were replaced. Also, the front rotors were resurfaced. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on two separate occasions for the identical failure and the same repairs were performed on the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for the third time for the identical failure occurrence. The contact was waiting on a response from the technician regarding the extent of the repair. The failure mileage was approximately 20,000.

- Mt. Sterling, KY, USA

problem #15

Apr 152002


  • miles
Front brakes lock up or drag on 2001 Dodge Dakota. Extensive research in the internet reveals numerous identical problems 2000-2005 Dodge Dakota and durango. Problem baffles all. No reliable fix found. Brakes drag and overheat, smoke, burst into flames, may cause severe damage to vehicle.

- North Bend, OR, USA

problem #14

Dec 012009


  • 61,615 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Dakota. While depressing the brake pedal, he could feel the brake dragging from the front left wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they could not duplicate the failure. The dealer advised him that the front brakes were new and that there should not be any malfunctions. The vehicle was released to the owner, however the failure persisted. There were no recalls for the failure and there were no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 61,615 and the current was 62,000.

- Baltimore, OH, USA

problem #13

Sep 022008


  • 59,776 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Dakota. While driving approximately 60 mph, there was a pulling sensation and an odor was present when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact immediately pulled to the side of the road and observed that the wheels were excessively hot. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on two separate occasions. The technician stated that the failure was related to the calipers locking up, which damaged the rotors. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 59,776 and current mileage was 59,876.

- Ocean Shores, WA, USA

problem #12

Jun 252008


  • 60,000 miles
I purchased the vehicle used with 39K miles I had it for a month and noticed vibrations when braking from 50 - 40 mph. I figured the brake rotors were warped. After about a year of this I took the rotors off and into a parts store to have them checked, they were warped and too thin to turn (lathe). I bought new rotors and pads, cleaned and greased the caliper slide pins and reassembled the brakes. After this the braking vibration went away. Recently I was driving in heavy traffic and once I got to my exit I noticed smoke from the left front of the vehicle, also the brake pedal felt hard. I pulled over to find that the front brakes were smoking. I jacked up the front of the vehicle (wheels off the ground) and found that neither wheel/tire could be turned by hand. After the vehicle sat for approximately 5 hours to cool down the wheels could then be turned. Took vehicle to repair shop that confirmed the brake pad wear indicated that for the most part the pistons and slides seemed to be operating properly. I am an a.S.E. certified master mechanic and have never seen brakes overheat like this and cause caliper lock up. Happen. I believe there is something inherently wrong with these vehicles.

- Olathe , KS, USA

problem #11

May 192008


  • 86,000 miles
Knowing the Dakota's have brake issues, I replaced the front rotors with aftermarket slotted rotors in hopes that the rotor would stay cool & not warp. However even after adding new rotors I have had on three separate occasions one or the other front rotors have locked up. After the first incident I completely drained & replaced all the brake fluid w/synthetic brake fluid. I had no problems for about 2 months before they locked up again. This time I replaced both calipers, it's only been a month everything is working for now. Dodge should recall! either there brake booster or calipers are flawed because the brake caliper tend to stick causing overheating, wrong to the point where the pads are so hot your engulfing other vehicles in smoke!

- Highland Heights, KY, USA

problem #10

Jul 062007

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 Dodge Dakota applied brake and vehicle pulled sharply to the left*** the consumer stated when the brakes were applied, pressure was being placed on the lugs/slide bars. The consumer also stated that it was also quite possible the brakes could be delayed from engaging because the backing plates are not able to ride up and over the wear spot. The consumer stated would like a full investigation performed on the vehicle. Updated 07/23/07

- Beach Park, IL, USA

problem #9

Dec 232005

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles


I have taken my vehicle several repair places (brake specialists) including 2 dealerships (multiple times). They tell me my rotors are warped, or that they can find nothing wrong!!! starting at around 20,000 miles I started getting hard vibrations in the front end, replaced rotors and pads, fixed problem. Then, 5,000 miles later it started again, had rotors turned and replaced pads, fixed problem. 5,000 miles later it happens again, I decide to deal with it for a little while. 2,000 miles of driving with warped rotors, and right front caliper locks up, nearly causing a fire!!. replaced both calipers, rotors and pads, problem fixed again. Problem recurs roughly every 5,000 miles. I drive very carefully to ensure that I am not causing any undue stress on the brake components. The expense of repairing the brakes every 5,000 miles is roughly $200 to $400 dollars depending on what I find upon inspection. I am an industrial mechanic so I do this work myself. I purchased copies of daimler Chrysler master tech videos to makes sure that I am not missing something. I have purchased several manuals for my vehicle, some from Dodge and some aftermarket in my search for a more permanent solution to this problem. This problem is very dangerous, to me and to others around me when driving. I am currently at 90,000 miles and have decided that this problem needs to be addressed by someone... I hope you can help.

- Fletcher, NC, USA

problem #8

Sep 192004

Dakota 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,130 miles
When braking any speed, the rear driver side tire locked up. This caused the consumer to rear end a vehicle. The dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. The cause was not determine. The first incident the consumer pulled into the driveway and hit own vehicle.

- Fort Bragg, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 142004

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 Dodge Dakota had many problems with the drive train and brakes. The consumer heard a clunking noise when shifting from park to drive, reverse, etc. The rear tire on the right side stuck out from the vehicle. The driveshaft seemed to have alot O slack in it. There was a popping noise in the front end when making sharp slow turns. There was a whining noise in the steering and rear end when turning. The vehicle was taken tot he dealer but they were unable to duplicate the problems. The brake, rotors, calipers had to be replaced between 55-8000 miles.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #6

Oct 122004


  • Manual transmission
  • 35,561 miles
When the consumer attempted to apply the brakes, they did not respond. As a result the consumer ran into the bushes. Provide further details.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 132004

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The consumer's vehicle rear ended an oil tanker while driving at 45 mph. Upon impact, none of the frontal air bags deployed. The driver sustained knee injuries, and the passenger sustained a hair line fracture to left foot, angle, and ribs. She also suffered from back pains. This was the second collision where the air bags didn't deploy. The consumer's husband applied the brakes, but the vehicle failed to slow down. The brakes felt like they were slipping.

- Grand Island, NY, USA

problem #4

May 012003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
Front brakes have already been turned once and are in need again at 39000 miles. The ability to stop within a reasonable distance has diminished and is cause for great concern. No modifications to the stock vehicle have been made.

- Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #3

May 012002

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Front brakes began to shudder at approximately 18K miles. Brought vehicle to westminster Dodge in boston, MA. And was quoted $400 for replacement of front rotors and pads. After doing research I realized brake rotors should not warp at only 18K miles. I driver 50/50 highway/city and do not brake unless in emergency situations. At approximately 20,000 miles the right front brake pad began to rattle in the caliper. I contacted Dodge and they refuse to cover any of these repairs under warranty. Dodge needs to realize they have an engineering problem with their brake rotors and replace them. Scc ***dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12/12/02 cut-over to artemis****770861

- Danvers, MA, USA

problem #2

Feb 242003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
Brakes shake when braking.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #1

Mar 142001

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,500 miles
Transmission continues to shift erratically, despite being seen by two different dealers. The tcm seems to be an issue. Reprogramming it doesn't seem to fix the problem. The factory tsb has been done twice but has failed to remedy the problem. Vehicle will sometimes lurch up into 2nd gear at lower speeds without warning or down to 1st from 2nd without warning despite traveling at a constant speed of approximately 20 mph. After 22500 miles the vehicle has developed a moderate to severe problem when braking. The vehicle seems to hop in the front end during braking and the brakes seem to loose effectiveness momentarily. Closer investigation revealed both front shocks had failed. The front brake system seems to be in good working order. No leaks, normal pad and rotor wear, no grooves on rotor, the front shocks were replaced but the vehicle continues to have the braking hopping pulsating problem.

- Fort Hood, TX, USA

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