really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,409 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Mar 132003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


There has been a startling number of ball joint failures in the 1998-2003 Dodge Dakota and Dodge durango vehicles. I own a 2003 Dakota, and had an independent mechanic inspect mine. Because my vehicle only had 8500 miles on it at the time, the ball joints checked out ok. It was his estimation that because of the greaseless fitting, however, I could expect the same problem so many other Dakota owners have had in the near future. These parts should last 100,000 miles, but the ones on these Dodge vehicles fail at about 25,000 to 30,000. I have voiced my concerns to Dodge. The person I talked to at their recall center acknowledged the problem and that their was an investigation ongoing at this time, and told me to listen for "clunking" noises in the front end of the vehicle. Of the reports I've seen of failure of the joint, few say there was any warning of this type, however.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #13

Jan 292004

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,186 miles
Upperball joint premature failure 11,000 miles.

- New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #12

Jan 162003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Dodge Dakota with 19,000 miles. I have been told that the ball joints will need replacing very soon.

- Sebastian , FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 232003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,700 miles


Upper ball joints joints worn out and attaching nut completely stripped out on left side. Heard a noise and took it to the dealer to be checked out in November 03. Dealer claimed everything checked out fine, could not find any problem. December 03 noticed tire wear on inside, took the truck to an alignment shop. It was there that the mechanic pointed out that the ball joint on the right was worn badly and the left was about to fall apart. The dealers knew of this problem in this type of vehicle. I was to leave an hour after the alignment on an eight hour trip through the mountains. I consider myself very lucky and very wronged by the dealer and manufacturer for not notifying their customers of this problem. For that matter why hasn't any safety Agency stepped up to tell us of this problem"?".

- Greeneville, TN, USA

problem #10

Jul 042003


  • 35,000 miles
Vehicle vibrated when it exceeded speeds of 45 mph. This was due to premature wear of the upper ball joints. This was a common problem, per the dealership.

- South Orange, NJ, USA

problem #9

Dec 022003

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 68,500 miles
While vehicle was getting a regular check up consumer found that the upper ball joints wore out, and the nut holding them together was stripped completely. There was abnormal tire wear seven weeks earlier. The dealer checked the front end for noise and found no problem.

- Greeneville, TN, USA

problem #8

Dec 222003

(reported on)


  • 17,000 miles


Consumer heard a noise coming from the front end of vehicle. Dealer replaced the upper ball joints, but the noise continued.

- Ivyland, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 212003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 20,000 miles
Dodge Dakota 2003 sport: First few months of ownership, I went to have tires rotated (20,000mi) and I was told that the ball joints were out of spec. By the mechanic and that I should take the vehicle to the dealer. After inspection, the dealer said nothing was wrong.I know something is wrong with the vehicle because since that time, everytime I turn left while applying brakes in a downhill situation, a terrible grinding sound is heard. The vehicle now has 54000mi and I hear about wheels breaking off. I am scared for my families and personal safety.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #6

Dec 192003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,869 miles
I recently saw a cbs news story concerning the upper ball joints of Dodge Dakotas wearing out prematurely. My Dakota is a 2002. I have taken in into my local Dodge dealorship repeatedly because I heard a knocking sound when making a turn, especially on an incline. Every time I have taken it in, they are never able to duplicate the problem. I have even taken the mechanic for a ride with me after they had it all morning and the noise, sure enough, can't be duplicated while he is in the truck. But sure enough, 3 or 4 days later the noise comes back. And the porcess repeats again. I take it, they can't find it, I take the mechanic and the noise is gone, 3 or 4 days letter - hello - its back! can you help me? fyi: For the incident date, I just put today's date. I took the truck in with the same complaint on 5/24/2002; 12/6/2002; & 9/3/2003.

- Crawfordville, FL, USA

problem #5

Dec 042003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The front upper ball joints wore out prematurely. The consumer could hear loud noises coming from the steering column. The dealership was notified but was unable to resolve the problem. The consumer contacted the manufacture but was refused any assistance for repairs.

- Hardshell, KY, USA

problem #4

Nov 252003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Rh side - upper ball joint needs replacement at 15,700 miles. Dealer found ball joint to be "out of spec" after an inspection was requested during routine service.

- Fargo, ND, USA

problem #3

Nov 022003

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,400 miles
Driving down the road heard a bang lost control of the truck and hit a parked car. Car was towed away and fixed body shop and front end shop said tie rod and ball joint snapped off clean this truck only has 5000 miles on it, also I have all the damaged parts if any body wants to test them.

- Hicksville, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 102003

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
My ball joints have worn out at about 55,000 miles. It is not covered in my 7 year 70,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

- Bristol, IN, USA

problem #1

Oct 282003


  • 14,000 miles
While driving at 55 mph on the highway consumer lost control of vehicle and crashed into the guard rail. The driver was injuried and transported by ambulance to the hospital.a police report was done. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for analysis. The mechanic detected that both frontal ball joints cracked.

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

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