really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,906 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2001 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Oct 252003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,102 miles


I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota 2X4 with 38,000 miles. Both upper ball joints are bad. This is the same ball joint that is in the durango. I work at a small family owned tire store. I have replaced many, many, many sets of Dodge durango/Dakota upper ball joints over the last year. 90% of them go bad before the vehicle reaches 100,000 miles. I have been disappointing several times over the last few weeks with Chrysler's customer service. All distributors are back ordered on the parts so I can not even get the parts to repair my own Dakota. I have heard through our parts distributors that there is an investigation underway. These ball joints are not safe! they develop extensive play in the socket part of the joint in a short period of time. The only saving grace is that they usually start to make a lot of noise (a popping or squeaking sound when the suspension flexes) before they fall out. The sound usually scares people into have it checked. I believe this is the only reason that they have not had more fall apart and cause a wreak. Wes campbell.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #21

Nov 242003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Defective ball joints on 2001 Dodge Dakota quad cab.

- Big Water, UT, USA

problem #20

Nov 082003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 31,900 miles
On Saturday November 8 2003 I was going through a intersection at approx. 10 mph, I hit a small bump in the road and the next thing I know my tire is almost laying flat on the ground. I cannot believe a vehicle with 31,900 miles the upper ball joint would completely come appart. I cannot imagine if you were on the highway and this happened, Dodge has to fix this problem.

- Spotswood, NJ, USA

problem #19

Aug 072003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


Upper balljoint defective 35000 miles Chrysler would not replace. This found when a alignment performed. I replaced both balljoints. I have all bills and defective parts.

- Battle Ground, WA, USA

problem #18

Oct 262003


  • 64,050 miles
While driving there would be heavy vibration in the steering wheel. Dealership/mechanic informed consumer that front ball joints were wearing out.

- Gretna, VA, USA

problem #17

Jul 012002

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,456 miles
The upper ball joints have become loose, causing front end to produce a loud thumping noise.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #16

Nov 292003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,400 miles


I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota with the left side upper ball joint wore out. I have only 36400 miles on the truck and saw a news report on tv about the ball joints and inspected my truck and to my shock sure enough I jacked the tire up and it has lots of play. So much play im afraid to drive it. If I would have not seen this news report I could have been killed if this came apart. So now I have to figure out how to get it to the dealer to see if they can fix it. I am scared to drive my truck like this. I then did some more investigating on the internet and to my supprise this has been going on for years. You would think Dodge would have noticed this by now. The thing that scares me is that my 2 year old son has ridden in the truck with me a lot. If those ball joints would have failed going down the road at 55 mph what would have happened to us. Something needs to be done before people start getting hurt.

- Senoia, GA, USA

problem #15

Oct 272003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Front suspension problems identical to that of the Dodge durango. Have had both lower and upper control arms/ball joints relaced with less than 50,000 miles on the vehicle. Parts were replaced by dealership with same defective parts as originally installed on vehicle. Personally, no accidents related to this problem yet. Concerned about overall safety of Dakota owners. We have a 2001 Dodge Dakota.

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #14

Sep 062003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Recently had to replace the following: Drivers side upper ball joint and control arm, drivers side spindle retaining plate and locking nut. The simptoms were, a slight thumping noise when going over smal but sharp bumps (like entering a driveway), and a sound similar to a spring being stretched and compresses. The work was done under waranty (29,000 miles). The thing that bothers me is that it took 2 attempts at the dealer to get it fixed, and that all the things I've been reading indicate problems on the passenger side! am I just a disaster waiting to happen" is daimler chrystler going to own up to defective design and manufacture or do a bunch of people have to die first"

- Imperial Beach, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 202003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,400 miles
Front upper ball joints on both sides are worn out before 38,612 miles (mileage at time I am sending this email). Took Dakota dealer (rainier Dodge, olympia, Washington) last Monday, October 20, 2003, and was told that it was safe to drive and would only take a few days to get new parts. They still don't have the parts to fix it and we just saw a news report (on durangos that also mentioned Dakotas being worse) showing how dangerous it is to drive a vehicle with bad upper ball joints (broke off and wheel and all went across 4 lanes of traffic). On their word that it was safe to drive, we took an out of town trip this weekend. I thank god that we made the trip safely! when is a recall going to be made on both the Dakota and durango? our Dodge dealer seems to be dragging their feet getting the parts to fix ours, and I am afraid to drive my Dakota until it is repaired. People need to know how dangerous this condition is and Dodge needs to accept the responsibility to correct the problem asap!

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #12

Apr 012003


  • 28,000 miles


The upper ball joints wore out prematurely. The consumer had to replace the part within four months. Dealer stated there was no grease fitting in the ball joints and the joints became dry. Please provide additional information.

- Windermere, FL, USA

problem #11

Oct 202003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,690 miles
Upper ball joint on both right and left side are failing. Vehicle only has approximately 40000 miles on it. Just out of warranty.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #10

Sep 122003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,258 miles
Took my 2001 Dodge Dakota to get alignment at local Dodge dealer and was told upper ball joints were worn excessively and needed to be replaced. The truck only has 45000 miles on it, this if you ask me is unacceptable. Also the truck was in the dealer 2 times before this because of a noise in the front end, and they could never find anything wrong, and I believe this could be related.

- Haw River, NC, USA

problem #9

Jun 092003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Both upper ball joints went bad at about 40,000 miles. Everyone I talked to said that was much too early. Had to replace both upper control arms. Also made for early tire replacement because of wear. Dodge should really have a recall on these items. Alot of Dakota owners have gone through the same problem.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #8

Aug 182003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,655 miles
Early failure of vehicle ball joints. Vehicle has 51000 miles on it, and ball joints are failing.

- Bonne Terre, MO, USA

problem #7

Jul 292003

(reported on)


  • miles
While driving passenger's front tire separated from vehicle without warning. Dealer diagnosed cause as defective upper ball joint.

- Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 222003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
I have a 2001 Dodge Dakota quad cab 4X4 and had the passenger side upper ball joint fail (luckly I was pulling into a gas station at the time). Why is it that you cannot purchase a replacement ball joint from Dodge (you must purchase the whole upper control arm assembly?)

- Sterling, MA, USA

problem #5

Jul 252003

(reported on)


  • 22,000 miles
Vehicle has a clucking noise in the front suspension when making a turn. This is caused by the ball joints wearing out, and needing replacement.

- North Tazewell, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 242003

(reported on)


  • 46,000 miles
Consumer states when the vehicle goes over a bump in the road, theres is a banging noise. Took to dealer, and dealer is replacing the front upper ball joints.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #3

Dec 032002

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,342 miles
My balljoints snapped while turning in my sons school one morning, resulting in my front wheel and brake assembly falling off completely from my 2001 Dodge Dakota 4X4 truck in December 2002. I had 1000 miles passed factory warrenty

- Modesto, CA, USA

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