really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,682 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 Dodge Dakota steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #18

Oct 142014

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


Rack and pinion seal busted while driving at some point resulting in loss of power steering fluid.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 052015


  • 65,500 miles
The shifter will not move from park position. I contacted Chrysler due to the recall for that specific problem with that year model. They informed me that it is VIN # related problem (it is a specific VIN numbers that it is related to). I informed them that I'm experiencing the same exact same problem that all sites, reports and blogs are talking about. The final answer is to take my car to be diagnose, depending on the report they may or may not pay for the repairs. How it is different this problem from the problem that I'm having?!

- North Augusta, SC, USA

problem #16

Jun 112012


  • 100,000 miles
Have had steering knuckles replaced twice on my truck because the caliper bolts strip out and cause my truck do dive left or right upon braking. Also caused by brake pad rails wearing too muck and not letting the calipers move the brake pads to apply the brakes. Almost caused accidents multiple times but dealer says its not an issue.

- North Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #15

Jul 152004


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph both front tires locked up and the steering became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician replaced the brakes and upper ball joints. The failure continued to occur after the vehicle was repaired. The technician stated that the front calipers had to be replaced. The contact stated the vehicle was repaired four times. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #14

Aug 222012

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 139,836 miles
Pulling out of driveway and the bottom of the control arm broke free letting the wheel come free from the vehicle.....

- Hamilton , OH, USA

problem #13

Jul 152009


  • 59,642 miles
Lower U joint in the steering shaft breaks. Mine luckly broke in my driveway but it could have been bad. The part is unavailble aftermarket. Dealer is back orderd for weeks. I had to drive over 2 hours away to get the shaft at the closest dealer.

- Rensselaer, NY, USA

problem #12

Jun 012009


  • 127,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Dakota. The contact was experiencing issues with the steering component on her vehicle. He stated that the tires were wearing quickly. The dealer stated that they could not repair the vehicle because the cv joints needed to be replaced. The contact refused to service the cv joints. The manufacturer stated that they could not cover the repairs because the previous owner already had it repaired according to the recall. The vehicle has not been repaired. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were less than 127,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #11

Apr 292009


  • 100 miles
Bought a 2002 Dodge Dakota new. Took it back 3 times for column mounted shifter problems within days of it jamming, could not get it out of park, then it wouldn't stay in park, making a crunching sound when you try to shift threw the gears. Each time I took it back, another problem came up caused buy the dealers neglect damaging the truck, I complained to Chrysler Corp and they blew me off and told me I was a troubled customer and they never would return my calls. I parked the truck in the garage and never trusted it for any long trips and such. Got stuck 250 miles from home when the shifter would not go into park, and then not stay in park. Now I was sent a recall notice of this issue ( recall G28 ignition/park shift interlock system) I took this truck to glenn E thomas Dodge in long beach California for the recall and they attempted to repair this, I did not even get out of the driveway when I noticed the shifter still did not work correct and still was having an problem. I asked for the service personnel to look at this and he told me it was normal, it clearly was not ! they attempted to take it in again, and still it did the same thing, this 3 time repeat repair before I even got off the lot. I got disgusted again and left but when I got down the street I noticed that the steering wheel was off center and not even straight anymore. This truck has only 11,250 miles on it and is like mint new condition ( except for this problem) not a scratch, mark or dirt anywhere on it. I am not trusting this vehicle it could go into reverse and kill someone. There is more I have to say about this and would like to inform NHTSA of this issue before something bad happens. Also want this fixed or for Chrysler to take it back.

- South Gate, CA, USA

problem #10

Dec 232008


  • 59,700 miles
2002 Dodge Dakota, less than 60,000 miles, corroded power steering fluid tubing, causing fluid loss and lack of normal steering control. Repair part not available for more than 5 weeks. Has there been a lot of power steering system failures for these and similar vehicles" I have parked the vehicle until repairs are completed. I've owned 13 vehicles since 1971 and this is the first time this has occurred. Is there an unannounced voluntary recall by Chrysler for this" it seems odd that the replacement part is not readily available, leading me to believe this problem is more widespread than acknowledged.

- Saint Charles, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 012007

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Dakota. While cleaning out the vehicle, the contact was able to move the drive gear shift without the key in the ignition. The contact owns three other Dodge Dakota's and none of them have experienced this type of failure. The failure and current mileages were 40,000. Updated 01-11-08. The consumer was told there parts broken in the steering column. Updated 12//12/07

- North Liberty, IN, USA

problem #8

Oct 182004

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles


Upper and lower ball joints required replacement after 2,000 miles of ownership. This was brought to the dealers attention. The dealer would not fix the problem, stating it was a wear item. It should have been caught and fixed before offering the vehicle for sale, but they claim otherwise. I was forced to replace both sets of ball joints on my own. Since then, DC has recalled the upper joints. The upper joints created a situation causing the lower joints to fail also and should be covered in their recall. They also do not specify covering the alignment needed after joints are replaced. The recall should be reissued covering upper and lower ball joints along with alignment to remedy the situation in this recall failure.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #7

Aug 012003


  • 17,000 miles
Problems with vehicle's upper ball joint, lower control arm, and steering.

- Seymour, CT, USA

problem #6

Jul 232004

(reported on)


  • 25,000 miles
2002 Dodge Dakota front end failure. When the consumer was maneuvering a curve the power steering failed and the vehicle hit a guard rail. The truck sustained some front bumper damage. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they replaced the steering shaft. The consumer still hears a popping noise when making sharp turns. The consumer plans to take the vehicle to another dealer for a second opinion. The consumer believes that since Dodge is have problems with their suspension that the dealer needs to look at the ball joint, tie rods, rack and pinion.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #5

May 072004


  • 43,000 miles
While driving/turning or braking front upper ball joints made a popping noise. Upon inspection of the vehicle by the dealership, they noticed that the upper ball joints were defective, and needed to be replaced. The ball joints were replaced. Additionally the steering shaft needed to be replaced and August 2003, the dealer replaced the steering gear box.

- Meridianville, AL, USA

problem #4

Feb 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
The truck has had sever problems with acceleration and stalling. It also makes a clunking noise when turning the vehicle. There have been numerous amounts of problems with at leat 15 days total in the shop.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #3

Feb 132004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
Airbag didn't deploy when an accident occured at 43 mph. Steering wheel locked up when my son hit the brakes to avoid the accident.

- Lewisburg, TN, USA

problem #2

Oct 052002

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
2002 Dodge Dakota quad cab V8 currently with 45, 000 miles. First noticed steering problems at 18,000 miles. The truck makes noise over bumps and when turning. Brought truck in for seat repair and to check steering at 35,000 miles. Mechanic performed front end alignment. Problems still persisted. Also, the brake rotors were warped at 18,000 miles and caused a pulsating feel in the pedal. The truck now feels as if it will fall apart over bumps and feels as if I will loose control of the vehicle on the highway. The vehicle warranty is now expired but I need this problem fixed. I have read of many complaints in Dodge trucks as well as their cars of premature steering failure.

- Emerson, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 122003

(reported on)

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Heard and felt a clunking sound in steering when vehicle hit a bump/ ball joints and arms replaced. The consumer felt and heard a clunking sound in the steering when a bump was hit or turning a corner. The dealer replaced the upper ball joints and a arm under warranty.

- Chardon, OH, USA

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