really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 10
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
276,733 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 Neon electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Dodge Neon:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Dodge Neon Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Oct 162015


  • 30 miles


Well I was driving and I had my kid in car 10-16-15 thank god I a had arrived home on time who knows what would happen if I kept driving I started to see smoke coming of dash I was on street coming from janesville wi it's like 35 min away I was driving on high way but like I said it started happening while approaching house I really don't know how to see inside but this has me shocked due to video I have seen catching on fire why isn't nothing being done no recall nothing someone can die from this I looked up problem and it's a common thing thats happening this is a serious problem and disappointed with Dodge I need something done about this please help I took a picture of when I parked it.

- Whitewater, WI, USA

problem #44

Apr 082015

Neon 4-cyl

  • 9,494,109 miles
Started vehicle during rainy, foggy, 40 degree weather. Headlamp indicator did not come on within gauge cluster. Upon checking outside the car, only parking lights were functioning despite headlights switch being in the "on" position. Burning smell occurred within 15 minutes of driving and multifunction harness connector is melted.

- Fort Wayne , IN, USA

problem #43

Jan 192015


  • 114,000 miles
Odor of burning plastic, caused by overheated wiring (pin 16) on turn signal and light control. Light would only function on low beam ; while high beam indicator was lit. Fog lamps have been lit, when switch is headlamp on position, for three years. They could not be turned off unless you used left turn signal. When headlamp malfunctioned I bought replacement switch. During installation, found wiring harness terminal was difficult to remove, as it was malformed and brittle due to excess heat. I took pictures to document wire position; there is no pin 15 or 10 : also no wire to terminal positions 15,10, and 12. There is a pin 12 on the switch.

- Waterford, PA, USA

problem #42

Oct 202004

Neon 4-cyl

  • 10,345 miles


Smoke started coming out of the vents & steering column. Took it to the dealer & they said it was spilled anti freeze from when they changed the oil. Car was ok for a little while. Now it's smoking again the front defroster doesn't work the fog lights are gone & recently my highlights went too. I took it to the shop they shown me the burnt wires in steeling column & said the heating coil is damaged making the smell & fogs the window from the fumes. Next to go will be the turning signals & wipers if not fixed.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #41

Oct 012014


  • 200,000 miles
Started to see smoke and then the headlights stopped working properly. After disassembling the wiring connector from the headlight switch, I discovered the connector had overheated to the point it was charred and crumbling to pieces. This is not a misuse by operator, but a safety failure of the electrical system. This could have resulted in a fire as the fuse protecting this circuit did not fail when the circuit obviously overheated and melted and charred the plastic connector.

- Tooele, UT, USA

problem #40

Jun 212014


  • 163,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Neon. The contact stated that smoke started to emit from the engine comparment while the battery was being charged and the vehicle overheated. The contact turned the vehicle off and after restarting the vehicle the temperature, speedometer, fuel and RPM warning lights illuminated. The vehicle failed to start. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The failure and current mileage was 163,000.

- New Haven, KY, USA

problem #39

Nov 152013

Neon 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


Smelled hot wiring and headlights stopped working properly. After disassembling the wiring connector from the headlight switch, I discovered the connector had overheated to the point it was charred and crumbling to pieces. This is not a misuse by operator, but a safety failure uf the electrical system. This could have resulted in a fire as the fuse protecting this circuit did not fail when the circuit obviously overheated and melted and charred the plastic connector. I have pictures of the part if you would like them.

- Barre, VT, USA

problem #38

Aug 032013


  • 103,261 miles
Hi, I have a Dodge Neon 03, and it cuts off while I am driving. There are no warning signs that is about to happen, everything in the car shuts off and the car comes to an instant stop on the road. I took it to the dealership on two occasions within the last three months for this issue. They thought that they knew what it was the first time and they just switched out a car part, but they didn't fix the problem because two months later my car stoped again on July 4th. I took it back to the shop, they kept it for two days to run test and they gave me my car back and said that they couldn't find anything wrong with it. About a month goes by and my car comes to a sudden stop on a highway this time, on August 3rd. There has not been any accidents at this point due to this problem, but you can see how one could easily occur and how it could possibly be fatal for the driver and others. I did some reasearch and discovered online that there were several others that were having the same problem with their Dodge Neons, and it's not just the 03's but also the 96-98, and 2000's. I just thought that it was a major safety issue and that someone should investigate this problem. Thanks

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #37

Feb 142013

Neon 4-cyl

  • miles
My wire harness/ multifunction switch has melted causing my headlight and fog lights not to work.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #36

Dec 282012

Neon 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Neon. The contact stated that the instrumental panel lights, brake lights, tail lights and directional lights failed while driving. In addition, a burning odor was emitted from the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The contact replaced the multi-functional switch and multi-functional switch wiring harness. The vehicle was repaired at a cost of $130. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 160,000.... updated 02/28/13 updated 03/11/13

- Oakville , WA, USA

problem #35

Feb 122012


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Neon. The contact stated that smoke was emitted from the steering wheel and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the main ground wiring to the engine was melted and caused the vehicle to stall. In addition, the wiring harness and multi-function switch was also melted. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 125,000.

- Maimi, FL, USA

problem #34

May 272011


  • 122,567 miles
First the fog lights would turn on and off randomly when the headlights were on. Upon inspection of the multi-function switch, I noticed a portion of the plug had melted from extreme heat. Most likely due to a poor design in the wiring, the circuits or the multi-function switch. Had this been left unnoticed it could easily result in extensive damages, fire or personal harm.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #33

May 092011

Neon 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I have had nothing but problems with my 2003 Dodge Neon. The electrical problems have ranged from losing power completely while driving to dimming dashboard lights to corroded wires going into the power control module and fuses shorting out. This latest incident involves the seatbelt and brake lights flashing while the rest of the dashboard lights went dim. I'm tired of spending money on this car - but I can't sell it in good conscience to someone else. Dodge should be forced to recall these vehicles for new electrical wiring harnesses and power control modules as corrosion of wires and subsequent shorts in wiring appear to be common place, costing thousands of dollars to consumers and potential fatal accidents.

- North Royalton, OH, USA

problem #32

Mar 282011

Neon 4-cyl

  • miles
I have been having problem with my car for about 6 months. One of the problems were my high beams will operate but my low beams wouldn't. now my high beams will operate but I am unable to switch to my low beams. The second problem is with my battery dying several times which resulted in getting a jump from another car. I end up having a battery and alternator replaced on my car last year between Nov/Dec 2010. Just recently I noticed smoke coming from my steering column located near the steering wheel and the smell of something burning. This happen while I was driving. My car didn't start Monday 3-28-11 morning so I had it towed to the dealership where I bought the car from. The mechanic had to replace the battery. They ran a diagnostic on the car but no readings regarding electrical problems. The important question pertains to what is draining the battery.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #31

Sep 142009


  • 40,000 miles
The problems first started when the fog lights on my 2003 Dodge Neon had started to come on even when the switch was off. They would do this any time I turned the wheel, or went over a bump. This had been going on for almost 6 months. Then about a week ago, my lights would not turn off. The lever wouldn't click when I hit it to turn them off. They continued to stay on, and then would turn off when they wanted to. After about a day I was driving home at night, and all of a sudden my lights turned off, and would not go back on. If there were no street lights, I could have gotten into a severe accident.

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #30

Jan 012010


  • 96,453 miles
2003 Dodge Neon srt4. Mfs in steering column burnt to crisp. No modifications to electrical system or lights on car have been made. Caused 2000 dollars worth of damage and research shows similar problem across Neon models.

- Fort Lewis, WA, USA

problem #29

Dec 162009


  • 88,380 miles
The fog light switch stopped working, therefore the fog lights were always on. After stopping at a friends house and the lights worked fine, the headlights and fog lights would not turn on, and the bright lights could only be turned on by pulling and holding the arm back. There was an odd smell, but I thought a fuse must have blown. Changing the fuse did not allow the lights to work. I drove the car home behind our other vehicle, and was stopped by the police with no headlights. I explained the situation and they gave me a warning to have the lights fixed. So I made an appointment the next day to have the lights checked. They found the multi function switch was melted and the wiring harness had to be replaced. I am concerned that this could have happened to my wife with children in the car. No headlights driving at night.

- Shakopee, MN, USA

problem #28

Dec 142009


  • 93,000 miles
I was getting ready to drive to work. I turned on my headlights to find that they were not functioning. Later I removed the multi-function switch and located a burned electrical connector. The current repair will be to replace the multi-switch and burned connector.

- Willow Creek, CA, USA

problem #27

Nov 232009


  • 82,000 miles
2003 Dodge Neon. Problem, no headlights. Smoke and a burning smell from the steering column. Once it happened the headlights went out and will not come back on. The part is not available through auto parts stores or the dealer. The dealer told me the parts were out of stock and could take weeks to get in. He did a search of dealers around the county and no one had the part (headlight switch) he told me they get a lot of complaints about this issue. I had to buy a used one from a wrecked car at a junkyard to be able to use my car at night. I researched on the internet and tons of people seem to have the same complaint. The connections are melted in the steering column.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #26

Oct 272009


  • 48,000 miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Neon srt4 there was a fire/smoking coming from my dash/steering wheel column. The problem is from a bad multi function switch in the 2nd generation Dodge Neons. This switch is related to the headlights, so potentially this can be deadly. For example you headlights cut off on the highway, car shutting down, fire inside the cabin of the car. I still need this fix, I work nearly 9 hour days with little money to fix these malfunctioning electrical problems. Please tell Dodge to call a recall this.

- Manassas, VA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?