really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,742 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.

2005 Dodge Dakota electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Feb 102016


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that there was a continuous noise that progressed. Also, the motor failed and caused the vehicle to stall several times. The dealer and manufacturer stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under a manufacturer recall. The manufacturer provided no repair solution. The vehicle was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V313000 (air bags) and the dealer had not been able to schedule the repair for months due to the manufacturer not being able to confirm when the parts may become available. The vehicle continued to randomly stall. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #20

Jul 012015


  • 42,000 miles
Keys partly slip out of ignition causing electrical failures. While in motion, if you bump your keys with your knee or hit a bump in the road, multiple dashboard warning lights appear and gauges, including the speedometer, will give inaccurate or nonexistent readings. Cruise control and other systems may fail. Vehicle must be pulled over and turned off to clear the electrical failures. This failure can occur multiple times in one trip.

- Harbor Beach, MI, USA

problem #19

Oct 172015


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was serviced under an air bags manufacturers recall but when the vehicle was driven to the contact's residence, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back the dealer where the clock springs in the steering wheel needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 140,000.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #18

Nov 172015


  • 120,500 miles


The 4WD transfer case motor sometimes operates while the vehicle is off, after doors are unlocked with the key fob. The 4WD randomly & spontaneously attempts to engage at highway speeds without any 4WD-related indicator lights. There is a moment of resistance - like an extreme headwind, then a violent thud in the drivetrain when it disengages. At times there is a rolling pulsation in the drivetrain, as if the 4WD is attempting to engage over longer distances. Engaging 4WD unexpectedly at highway speed could cause catastrophic failure of the drivetrain, loss of vehicle control, and potentially serious accidents. This complaint is posted literally thousands of times on internet forums and should be investigated.

- Johnstown, PA, USA

problem #17

Aug 032015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V373000 (air bags, electrical system) and 15V313000 (air bags); however, the parts to do the recall repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Harrisonville, MO, USA

problem #16

Jul 012010


  • 35,000 miles
While the vehicle is in the running and operational position, aka driving down the road, the key can be removed, by simply pulling it out of the ignition, and the vehicle will remain running, and then there is no way to shut the vehicle off. The ignition switch has been faulty since I bought the vehicle. I am amazed no one has been injured, and even more surprised no recalls for this issue.

- Galesburg, IL, USA

problem #15

Mar 232015

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • 97,120 miles


I'm left with a dilemma. I own a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4X4. This vehicle has a problem where the transmission electronically switches from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive without the driver's consent. This is a well documented problem across the internet with other owners of this vehicle. We've known the transmission has had issues for a while, but (warranty company) has a theory of can't replicate it, won't fix it.and that is what occurred. On 3/23 while driving at 70mph, the vehicle attempted to electronically shift into 4lo from 2wd, a system that should only function under 20mph. It failed to engage, causing grinding noises from the transaxle case and a slow stop on side of interstate. Upon later inspection by a in network repair facility, the vehicle failed to produce a PCM code and mechanically could not be replicated in the 2 hrs at the shop. We were charged a $112.51 and sent on our way. Today 3/28, it happened again but in worse format, the transmission did engage 4lo at 70mph and it caused rear wheels to lock up and freeze. We were forced to swerve under control to a stop in the median of the interstate again. We immediately had a local automotive parts store drive to us where he was once again unable to pull any PCM codes. He tested the vehicle in the median and was able to immediately replicate the problem.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #14

Feb 202015


  • 74,381 miles
From about November 2010 until I delivered the truck to thornton road Chrysler Dodge to install recall P40, the airbag off and seat belt warnings, with or without a passenger, chimed and the warning lights lit up. Thornton road Chrysler installed recall P40 and recalibrated front seat sensors. After I left the dealer, before I was 100 yards from the parking lot, the warning chime and lights came on and they have not gone out since. I am too angry to call the dealer.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #13

Oct 012014

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Vehicle while on highway would flash 4lo on dash or illuminate svc 4WD. Vehicle at highway speeds would attempt to engage 4lo as well. While engaging, vehicle would lose acceleration and rpms would immediately increase. This would cause loss of control of the vehicle. With vehicle off and key removed, transfer case motor would try to change transfer case position. None of these symptoms occurred while 4WD was engaged using selector switch. Vehicle was taken to dealer for service. Codes recorded in computer were for transfer case position sensor being out of range. (both high and low values were recorded simultaneously) dealer originally found leads on FCM connector between wiring harness and pcb had corroded due to faulty sealant and were possibly shorting out. Manufacturer was made aware of fault. Manufacturer replaced FCM at no cost. After FCM was replaced vehicle would still exhibit symptoms. Vehicle was taken back to same dealer. After several days of testing, tech was able to get vehicle to exhibit symptoms in shop. Tech found that the range position sensor was failing. It was found that vibration would cause the sensor to short out or go open. Manufacturer was made aware but would not cover repair. Transfer case motor assembly was replaced at cost to customer. Vehicle has since been driven over 2000 miles without further issues.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #12

Oct 132014

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 51,902 miles
Passenger airbag lights keep going on and off while driving the vehicle, and the airbag indicator next to the speedometer also goes on and off at the same time.

- Oakville, CT, USA

problem #11

Mar 032014


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. While driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road and able to be restarted. The failure occurred on several occasions. The dealer stated that the key fob connection failed and a new key fob was needed. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #10

Jun 112014

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I am a tall driver standing 6'9" even with the seat all the way down and all the way back. After inheriting the 2005 Dodge Dakota SXT quad cab pickup truck from my step father that pasted away in October of 2013. I was driving along and my right knee hit the key while in the on position knocking into the auxiliary position turning the truck almost completely off. All the check engine lights came on the ac shut off turned over to heat and started getting very hot inside the truck. We when to the local Dodge dealer they hooked up of a machine that gave them a code that said our computer was out of factory spec's. the guy said if we wanted it to be looked at to be diagnost.we would have to pay $198 to have them Sep up an appointment for us to bring it in and put it on the "big computer" and if the computer in the truck can be restored to factory spec's that would be done with T the $198. The same guy said if they can't get it back to factory spec's and we need a new brain computer for our truck which my step father purchased new in 2005 from a different dealer. The guy said the new computer would cost us $2000 since this first incident it has happened four other times with the same thing happening each time. I am disabled and can't afford this headache off these issues.

- Lafayette, GA, USA

problem #9

Feb 272014

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I turned on my heated seat, as I have done several times this winter. After approximately 15 minutes, I smelled something burning. I reached around the back of me as I was driving because a spot on my back was very heated. I actually stuck my finger through a hole in the seat that had burned through both the seat and my coat. (also my finger, at this point.) I immediately turned the heat off and went directly to the dealership. Their solution was to contact Chrysler's customer claims resolution center, who in turn inspected the vehicle and my coat on March 3, 2014. The next contact I had was a letter dated March 10 that stated, "the inspector found no indication of a manufacturing defect that caused or contributed to the incident..." I subsequently called their general office counsel and was told they would not be doing anything further and I should make a claim to my insurance agent. They refused to answer my questions regarding how many vehicles had similar problems and that there were no "higher ups" that I could contact. Needless to say, I'm not happy with the outcome and would welcome any suggestions you might have for me. Thank you.

- Oxford, MI, USA

problem #8

May 012008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the vehicle emitted a squeaking noise upon entering and exiting. The noise was also present while the vehicle was driven. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the head was rebuilt and the electrical harness was replaced. The manufacturer was notified and was working with the contact to repair the vehicle. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 87,000.

- Middletown, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 202012

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 101,253 miles
I started vehicle and turned on the drivers side heated seat switch prior to cleaning the snow and ice off windows and hood afterwhich I let my coworker clean his vehicle off. I went back to my vehicle to smell something burning and noticed the left side of the seat smoldering through the cloth. I turned the switch back off and wiped the area with snow thus stopping the impending fire. I would estimate the time running/warming up; to be approximately 6 minutes.

- South St Paul, MN, USA

problem #6

Mar 082011

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • 118,943 miles
March, 2011, as I was in the front passenger seat, smoke filled the truck. We immediately stopped and I got out. The seat back was smoking and burning and a hole was burned in my coat. I reported this immediaely to Chrysler. It was investigated and Chrysler replaced the element and put a new seat cover on the seat back. I did not ask for reimbersment for the coat. On 12/27/11, the same seat, now the bottom, caught on fire. I immediately called Chrysler again, bought the truck for an inspection along with my new burnt coat. I received a letter this time saying that they found no defect. I asked for an explanation as to why it was not defective this time and was told that the decision was final and no explanation was necessary. I do not want heated seats and told them I didn't even want this seat fixed, just my coat replaced. Why, if the seat back was defective, then the seat bottom catches on fire a year later, I feel that I need more of an explanation than too bad. Heated seats are apparently very dangerous.

- Rensselaer, NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 042012

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 72,324 miles
Drivers seat shorted out and overheated, causing a 1 inch square burn on the seat, and also burned a hole in my jeans. Heated seat fuse did not blow. Concerned that a fire could have started while the vehicle was not occupied.

- Winchester, TN, USA

problem #4

Dec 152009

(reported on)


  • miles
2005 Dodge Dakota key will not turn to start vehicle.

- Spokane Valley, WA, USA

problem #3

Jan 022009


  • 41,000 miles
I bought my 2005 Dodge Dakota new. At about 40,000 miles going to work at night and in a snowstorm my headlights flickered a couple of times then started to intermittantly go off then back on. Only my fog lights below my bumper were on. Fortunately there was no accidents. Later I looked at all the wiring and connectors and found nothing. The problem went away for about 3 months then came back. This is very dangerous and at certain instances could be dangerous: Fog, winding roads, etc. I spoke to a Dodge mechanic and he informs me that there's a know problem with the interior instrument cluster light intensity switch (its part of the headlight assy). This needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt. Thanks bob paulding

- Wakefield, NH, USA

problem #2

Mar 282008

Dakota 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought a 2005 Dodge Dakota V6 4 X 4 less that three months ago. The power steering pump went out. I bought a new pump at the dealership for $172 & put it in. The truck is still not working. I believe the new pump is also shot now. The hoses have been cleaned out & the rack is not leaking. There was always fluid in the power steering reservoir. None of the fluid is circulating.

- Kings Beach, CA, USA

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