Notes: The second generation Durango was introduced in 2004 and instantly came under fire for, well, catching on fire.

From 2004-2006 electrical overloading in the driver's side instrument panel caused numerous reports of interior fires. The interior infernos became so commonplace that Chrysler eventually issued a recall.

The problems didn't stop there, however. Owners of the recalled vehicles complained about being treated unfairly and given take-it-or-leave-it low ball settlement offers. "They offered me $2000 under NADA retail as a settlement," said one owner, "and have been rude and hostile to deal with." Nothing says awesome service like treating your customers rudely after their cars have caught on fire.

Have we mentioned all the reports of complete engine failure due to oil sludge?


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 28
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,463 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.

2004 Dodge Durango electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Dodge Durango Owner Comments (Page 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #69

Jul 192009


  • 103,000 miles


I received a recall notice in Nov/Dec 2007 from Dodge regarding a recall on my 2004 Dodge Durango. I immediately made an appointment upon receiving the notice and had it repaired on Jan.2, 2008. The recall was for a wiring cluster behind the instrument panel, it would malfunction resulting in a fire. Recently while on a camping trip with my children, brother and sister in law and my sister and her family the car caught fire. It had been parked since approximately 5:00 the day before. We woke up on Sunday morning and were standing around the campfire and all of a sudden the horn on my car beeped. I immediately checked to make sure all the kids were accounted for and they were. My 12 year old son ran down and yelled back the car was on fire. I looked down and saw flames shooting form the windshield and the top of the car. None of us had a fire extinguisher but someone yelled grab the coolers because it had bottled water in there. We quickly doused the fire with water and extinguished it. The fire dept. Came out and said they believed the fire started behind the instrument panel in the dash. I filed a report with my insurance and the adjuster looked at the car and totaled and concurred with what the fire dept. Had said. I filed a claim with Chrysler and their response to me was that "your car is out of warranty, we're sorry but we can't help you". I am highly upset about this. If I had been driving this car when the problem occurred not only would I have not made it out but my four children(two of whom are in car seats) would have met certain death. I need your help investigating this. My car is at a salvage lot in greensboro, nc and this needs to be investigated. Chrysler didn't even take the time to look at it. Their response is not right and I should not be penalized for their negligence. I really need your help here. Thanks so much!

- Trinity, NC, USA

problem #68

Jul 252009


  • 42,000 miles
Our 2004 Dodge Durangos interior and exterior lights flash on and off intermittently. It happened only a few times in the beginning, but as we were traveling it did it more continuously on and off. During the day it was not as noticeable, but as night falls and you are driving everything goes dark for a few seconds, we have a problem. Afraid to drive at night. Asked Dodge about it and they say if it doesn't happen where they can see it there is nothing that can be done. There are only 42,000 miles on our vehicle. Checked recalls and they say we are up to date on all recalls.

- West Point, NY, USA

problem #67

May 012009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact stated that the vehicle has been randomly overheating. The failure occurs while the vehicle is being driven between 30- 55 mph. The contact must pull the vehicle over and wait for it to cool down. If the doors on the vehicle are opened for more than five minutes, the vehicle will not start. In order for it to restart, the vehicle must be jumped with jumper cables. The vehicle has not yet been taken to the dealer. Through online research, the contact found NHTSA campaign id number 07V092000 (electrical system: Instrument panel). The manufacturer stated that the recall did not apply to her vehicle. The failure mileage was 40,000 and current mileage was 80,000.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #66

May 082009


  • 71,366 miles


I bought my 2004 Dodge Durango in 2005 January with 666 miles on the truck. The first year I had no problems at all until about March 2006 I was driving from Washington state to California when I notice the check engine light came on. I took it to the dealership and had it cut off in California. Well, on my way back to Washington state after a week I notice the check engine light came back on I took it back to the dealership for repair. The dealership cut off the light and told me there was a recall out on the 2004 Dodge Durango to fix the instrument panel. So I took the 2004 Dodge Durango back in to fix the recall problem and they said it was fixed. Well, in the summer of 2006 I was driving my 2004 Dodge Durango when the lights starts to go off and on while I was on the highway. It was raining hard and then my check engine light comes on again, so I just left the light on. Now I'm driving around in my 2004 Dodge Durango in the rain when I go to put gas in it when I stop. All of a sudden all my interior lights starts to go on and off with my headlights going off and on. The windshield wipers did not work so I cut the vehicle off for a minute. When I turn on the vehicle I could not move it out of park and all the lights was on. So, I left the vehicle there in a parking spot and walk back to work. I later came back to the vehicle about 2 hours later and I started up the vehicle and the gear shift worked. So I drove back to my office and use the computer to see if anyone else was having these types of problems and what do you know I'm not the only one. I took it to the dealership like I was told by headquarters and they gave me some paperwork to go to me local Dodge dealership. The dealership made me pay for a diagnostic on my vehicle and said it was from water intrusion in the junction block and my warrant does not cover it. Headquarters told me to open a blog and try to get a recall started. But in the mean time call your insurance company. Lives are at stake.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #65

Apr 042004


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact has experienced several failures with this vehicle from the date of purchase. In rainy weather conditions, the instrument panel completely fails, the headlights blink on and off, the windshield wipers do not work, and the gear shifter will not shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they found water in the junction box, which caused corrosion to the wiring system. They also found a small crack in the windshield, which allowed water to leak into the junction box. The vehicle is being repaired at the cost of $3,800. The contact called the manufacturer and was informed that no compensation would be provided because the vehicle was not under recall. The failure mileage was 12,000 and current mileage was 71,000.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #64

Mar 162009

Durango 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. After the vehicle had been parked for an hour or so, it caught fire. After further inspection, it was concluded that the blower motor was the possible cause of the fire. The insurance company is in the process of investigating the failure. The contact has pictures and a report from the fire department, which both describe the failure. The failure and current mileages were 80,000. Updated 04-14-09 updated 04/15/09.

- De Pere, WI, USA

problem #63

Feb 282009


  • miles


On Saturday 2/28/09 I noticed my cars thermostat elevated to H=high. I called the dealer they advised me to bring I in. They held the card for 4 days, but called on the 3rd day to tell me the diagnostics stated I need to change the fan clutch although it's working fine, he also stated while he's in their he might as well change the thermostat and a belt near the fan.. however when questioned if this would solve the problem his response was I cannot guarantee anything. Today I'm having the same problem and I took it back to the dealer and his reply is oh -well we need to look for something else and by the way you car is 5 years old and things car is 5 years old with 43K miles. My concern is in regards to the recent recall on some 2004 Dodge Durango having a problem with the electrical panel catching fire. I would like to find out moore specifics regarding the reason for such a problem. I'm trying to trouble shoot my problem to see if I'm within the scoop of the recall.

- Monroe, NY, USA

problem #62

May 142005


  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. When the contact first purchased the vehicle, the oil light would illuminate, indicating that an oil change was needed. The vehicle also shut off at least five times on the freeway. It would usually immediately restart, but then kick back after it would start. She took the vehicle to the dealer and asked about recalls and other complaints and was informed that none were available. She received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 03V528000 (electrical system:wiring:interior/under dash). The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer and was informed that they did not have the parts available. She took the vehicle back to the dealer numerous times, but was informed that the parts were unavailable. She constantly changed the oil in the vehicle and would go three weeks before the oil indicator would illuminate again. The vehicle began to smoke under the hood and she returned to the dealer. The contact noticed a chemical smell and used an extinguisher to prevent any further damage. Someone attempted to place the vehicle into drive, but it would not budge. The vehicle was then placed into reverse, which caused more smoke emission. The vehicle was towed to the new dealer and the cluster was replaced with a defective part. The contact then noticed headlight, dome light, vanity light, and window issues. She took the vehicle back to the dealer and they charged her for the diagnostic and stated that the cluster was defective. After they repaired the cluster again, the issue seemed to worsen and the horn began honking intermittently. She spoke with the dealer and manufacturer, but they offered no assistance. The current mileage was approximately 72,300 and failure mileage was approximately 5.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #61

Jan 172009


  • 69,940 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. The contact took his vehicle to the dealer for routine inspection and various warning indicators were illuminated on the instrument panel. A technician stated that NHTSA campaign id number 07V092000 (electrical system: Instrument panel) was outstanding on his VIN. The technician further stated that he would have to replace the cluster at the cost of $700 because the remedy was to repair the dome lights. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 69,940.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #60

Jan 022009


  • 89,000 miles
Component: Unknown or other details: 2004 Durango within the past 12 months has stalled 3 times while driving and was able to immediately start back up. Also, the radio from time to time will not work, same issue with the keyless entry. I've taken the car to dealerships and no one can pinpoint a problem. The engine light also been on and off for a year. The dealership "flashes" it's computer to reset the light.

- Jamestown, NC, USA

problem #59

Jan 101997


  • 60,000 miles


2004 Durango within the past 12 months has stalled 3 times while driving and was able to immediately start back up. Also, the radio from time to time will not work, same issue with the keyless entry. I've taken the car to dealerships and no one can pinpoint a problem. The engine light also been on and off for a year. The dealership "flashes" it's computer to reset the light.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #58

Jan 072009


  • 52,578 miles
My 2004 Dodge Durango is having electrical issues. Most of my lights on my instrument panel stay on at all times, my speedometer or odometer will not work and my heating and A/C will not work. My rear defrost and rear wiper will also not work. Dealership reflashed my computer and updated computer but had no affect at all. Everything on the exterior works great and runs great.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #57

Dec 262008


  • 55,000 miles
2004 Dodge Durango interior lights would not go off. Next morning went to start the truck smoke and then flames engulfed the trucks had to call 911 to have fire put out. I was told by local dealer after recall came out not to worry about the recall that it was a pain to change the part out and that they never saw any problems with any of the ones they had changed before.

- Effingham, IL, USA

problem #56

Nov 302008


  • 52,000 miles
Our 2004 Dodge Durango seems to have a problem with its ctm unit. The interior lights will not turn off properly. I have found numerous instances of this same problem in my searching the internet. This unit should be recalled by Dodge since the previous model year had a problem with the same ctm component.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #55

Oct 152008


  • miles
I purchased a 04 Dodge Durango 1-1/2 months ago. I was only given 1 key. They keyless entry and key are one. The keyless entry does not lock or unlock the vehicle. The prong that holds the battery down breaks off easily. If you try to manually unlock the vehicle it sets off the alarm.I am unable to lock my vehicle unless I set the alarm off. I have changed the battery, still doesn't help. I looked up on the internet and found this happens with this vehicle often because it is poorly made. I was told I had to pay $200 to replace the key and it will most likely happen again. There should be a recall on this item as it happens often and I am unable to lock my vehicle which makes it more likely for my vehicle to be broken into. The warranty does not cover this item, however I read on other cases that eventually this issue leads to the security system locking down and the vehicle not working. My issue has yet to get to that point but I don't want to wait for that to happen. Please look into this issue as Dodge refuses to be cooperative.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #54

Mar 012007


  • 50,000 miles
I have found that my electrical system, specifically the alarm at the moment, fails periodically. The car has shut down while running before. Took to dealership and was told that they could not duplicate. Now the alarm is malfunctioning in that it goes off by itself the key won't shut it off, and turning the engine doesn't stop it either. Further, the car is manufactured with a kill switch in the oem alarm. I have read many complaints similar to this on this vehicle with no satisfaction or acknowledgement from the manufacturer. I am the sole owner of this vehicle. The fact that the alarm/electrical system is oem and that the alarm can disable the engine poses a problem. The car recently fell out of warranty, admittedly, but the fact remains that there appears to be a letent defect in the alarm/electrical system that can be and is very dangerous. The first time the car shut off while driving my wife had our two small children aboard. Luckily, she was on a surface street vice a highway at speed. The dealerships avows no knowledge of there being technical service bulletins (tsb) or the safety hazard this poses. The oem alarm problem hasn't caused any moving safety issues for me as I can tell, but since the car has shut off while in operation previously, I am drawing a novice conclusion that the two problems could be related. The alarm problem now is occuring daily several times a day. Initially, the dealership insisted I buy a new reprogrammed key at over $200 to fix the problems. I believe that manufacturer tsb is 0802404. It is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of the shut off and possible alarm problems. Check or to verify what I am saying as being a latent defect.

- Quantico, VA, USA

problem #53

Sep 012007


  • miles
Last year I received a recall notice for my 2004 Dodge Durango concerning an electrical component. I took the vehicle to berryville Dodge in berryville, ar to have it fixed. They did the recall and when I picked up the car the driver door lock would not work along with the radio/cd/dvd/sat radio component. I complained they said to call Chrysler. I called Chrysler and they denied responsibility. They said it was coincidence! I went to 2 other Dodge dealers and both said the same thing had happened at their dealership but they fixed the radio and door locks. The berryville dealer refused and Chrysler refused to repair unless I paid for it.($80 for the lock, $600 for the radio). Is there anything I can do about it? calling Chrysler is a waste and the dealer wont do anything either.

- Blue Eye, MO, USA

problem #52

Sep 042008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Durango. While the vehicle was parked in a public parking lot, it erupted into flames. There were no prior warnings or injuries. The fire and police departments were called to the scene and a report was filed. The fire department marshall stated that the cause of the failure was electrical due to defective wiring within the instrument panel. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to the contact's residence. The contact was concerned of the safety risk involved. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Mathis, TX, USA

problem #51

Jun 212008


  • 110,000 miles
Electrical system - engine management software update - since update, several functions are not operating as they did when the vehicle was new. Prior to the upgrade interior lights dimmed before shutting off, they no longer do, after the upgrade, the driver memory system that remembered seat and mirror positions, heat/ac settings and radio settings now functions differently.. also, not sure if this is related but the drivers door, when closed would not turn the interior lights off. The frustration is that there is no longer a mechanical switch to accomplish this so it appears that this process is software controlled. Also within the past two weeks, the engine overheated for no apparent reason. To date, the problem has not recurred.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #50

May 272008

Durango 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
On May 27th I drove my car home from work and noticed that my interior lights wouldn't cut off. When I got home around 5:30 I went inside my home. My niece come in the door around 6:15 and told me that my 2004 Dodge Durango was on fire. My husband tried to put the fire out with a garden hose. I called 911 and the fire department come out and filled out a report. I have contacted Chrysler about this problem because I was told by my insurance company that there was a recall that could have caused this.

- Evans, GA, USA

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