hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,864 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 Dodge Dakota electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments

problem #16

Nov 122016


  • 149,000 miles


I recently bought a used 2003 Dodge Dakota. The truck was great except that at night when I would turn on the headlights all of the interior and exterior lights would flash off then back on approximately every two seconds to 30 seconds. After driving for about half an hour with this happening I became very frustrated. After doing some research on the internet, I narrowed down my problem to the Dakota central timing module. It appears as if many Dodge customers have this exact issue with these Dodge model trucks. It is very unsafe to operate a vehicle under these conditions. This issue did not depend on whether I was driving in rough terrain at night or during the day. No matter where I drive the truck, if the lights are on it will begin to start blinking off and then on intermittently. Please fix this problem! I have since had to purchase a used central timing module off of the internet because when I went to the dealer, they told me that they were not able to get the part and if they were it would cost over $500 just for the part.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #15

May 022016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the low beam headlights failed to illuminate. The dealer was notified and informed the contact that the part to repair the vehicle was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable. Updated 10/06/16

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #14

Dec 152015


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the headlamps, interior lighting, gauges, and instrument panel randomly failed. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 02V322000 (exterior lighting). The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Theodore, AL, USA

problem #13

Aug 212015


  • 200,000 miles


Pig tail connection to control blower motor for A/C and heat will melt. The fear is that it will cause a fire in the cab. There seems to be a history of this same problem and nothing is being done about this hazard.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #12

Feb 012014


  • 220,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the windshield wipers failed and the exterior lighting sporadically malfunctioned. Also, the side cap to the main radiator spewed antifreeze approximately five feet in the air. The contact shut off the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer and dealer were made aware of the failure. In addition, while driving at a low speed, a loud popping sound emitted from the vehicle. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the ball joint fractured. The contact was made aware that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V596000 (suspension). The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence where he performed the repair. The failure mileage was 220,000.

- Enta Green, IN, USA

problem #11

May 022014


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. While driving over a bump or making a turn at any speed, the contact could hear an abnormal noise coming from the vehicle. The dealer stated that the central timing module needed to be replaced. The technician also stated that the ball joint was rusted and corroded and might fracture. The contact discovered that the underbody was corroded. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 04V596000 (suspension) and NHTSA campaign number: 08E064000 (suspension). The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 92,000.

- Acron, OH, USA

problem #10

Jun 012014


  • 127,000 miles


Wiring harness going to blower fan resistor shorted out due to corrosion inside the connector and melted the wire insulation from the wiring close to the harness. I believe this could under certain situations cause a vehicle fire.

- Maineville, OH, USA

problem #9

Apr 062014


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the key fob failed to lock and unlock the vehicle. Additionally, the driver's side master window control was also inoperable and the doors could not be locked or unlocked. The contact then started the engine and the 4-wheel drive warning light illuminated. The headlights and tail lights had also failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken the dealer for diagnosis where the dealer stated that the central timer module would need to be repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 02V322000 (exterior lighting) however, the contact was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall campaign. The contact believed that the failure described in the recall was the same failure that had been experienced with his vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 128,000.

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #8

Feb 012013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the windshield wipers malfunctioned. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the body power module and the central timer module were defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 121,000.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #7

Oct 162007

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
During October of 2007 the central timer module on my 2003 Dodge Dakota went bad. All lights inside and outside would go on and off intermittently. After a lot of online searching and reading forums it seemed that a lot of other owners had the same problem with their ctm's. my truck was out of warranty at the time and the cost for a new ctm was $253 plus cost to get the auto keys reset. The dealer said no recall on this problem, so I had to pay. I put it in myself. I called Chrysler Corp. And they were no help at all. My main question was and still is, that this is a safety issue. Traveling at night with all lights going on and off could very well cause an accident. A recall should be made by Chrysler.

- Mcdonald, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 282008

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Dakota. Whenever the contact drives the vehicle, the central timing module fails and all of the lights dim. The headlights, dome light, windshield wipers, and door locks failed while driving 45 mph. Chrysler stated that his VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 02V322000 (exterior lighting:headlights:switch) and would not repair the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 33,000.

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #5

Jun 122005

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 350,000 miles
Truck was sitting in driveway and caught fire in engine compartment at firewall and windshield.it hadnot been driven in about 36 hours.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #4

Jan 042005

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Dodge Dakota quad cab sport plus is having multiple check engine light warnings. This has happened upwards of 4 times. In addition, one of these was supposedly caused by cracked hoses. Cracked hoses on a car with 16K miles on it! also, the dealer replaced my breaks because they could not find the reason why the truck makes a certain noise while backing in reverse...the problem still exists.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 012003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,822 miles
Towing package 7 pin to 4 pin adaptor for trailer lights frequently short or fail to make contact which causes a extreme safety situation when pulling a trailer. This has been an ongoing problem which has kept me from pulling my boat on several occasions.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 272003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
I keep hearing a loud "bang" and louding creaking noises in the front end of my 2003 Dodge Dakota when I turn the wheel. I have taken it to the Dodge dealer several times, but they haven't found anything. I keep telling them it sounds like a cracked coil spring or body mount. They said if I bring it in again as warranty work, then they'll charge me for the time. Also, the turn signals keep shorting out and when you turn the left one on, the emergency flashers come on. Finally, the left power window slows down excessively when I attempt to put the window up. It goes down fine, but it won't go up at normal speed.

- Derwood, MD, USA

problem #1

Aug 142003

(reported on)


  • miles
Upon parking truck owner noticed a glowing under cab. A technician serviced vehicle and noticed an electrical short.

- Galena, MO, USA

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