Notes: The Dodge Stratus, Intrepid & other Chrysler sedans are infamous for oil sludge problems with the 2.7L V6 engine. If someone offers to sell you a 2.7L V6 model, it's only worth the price of the scrap metal it's going to shortly turn into.

NOTE: Only the 2.7L V6 has the oil sludge problem. Our "Avoid like the Plague" designation is ONLY for models with the 2.7L V6 engine. All other available engines are very reliable with no major problems.

Even with regular maintenance, the oil sludge defect eventually destroys the 2.7L engine typically around 80,000-100,000 miles. The only true fix we know about is to put in the larger 3.2L engine, which has a great reputation. Also the 2.4L engine doesn't have the oil sludge problem.

This issue was never deemed a safety defect by the Feds, so there was no recall. In the end, Chrysler got away with FOUR YEARS worth of defective 2.7L V6 engines in their sedans.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 1
Average Mileage:
73,240 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.

2001 Dodge Stratus seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 Dodge Stratus Owner Comments

problem #20

Jul 052016


  • 135,000 miles


While driving my Dodge Stratus SE, the airbag light came on in red, the steering wheel began making a clicking noise while turning, and the horn stopped working all at the same time.

- Durham, NH, USA

problem #19

Apr 092016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated and remained on. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #18

Aug 032015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V338000 (air bags) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer 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.

- Byhlia, MS, USA

problem #17

Jul 142015


  • 106,000 miles


Stopped at stop sign. Started to make right hand turn, heard pop in the steering column, warning bell went off, airbag light came on and stayed on. Horn stopped working and no cruise control. Took vehicle in for replacement of clockspring today, 7/18/2015, at a cost of $167.99 for the part and $119.23 for labor. No airbags is a safety issue. Clockspring failure is known to Dodge/Chrysler and recently Jeep and any vehicle made by Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep that has this failure should have all parts and labor covered by the vehicle manufacturer. We did nothing to cause this and could have done nothing to prevent it. Recalls were done but not for all vehicles. Maybe that needs to change. Bad part for sure!!

- Haines City, FL, USA

problem #16

Mar 202014

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Clock-spring broke when I was backing out of a parking space and turning the steering wheel to the left. Now my air bag light stays on and everything electrical on the steering wheel does not work, this includes the horn, cruise control and the airbag. If this is not a safety issue deserving of a recall then what exactly is?

- Brookland, AR, USA

problem #15

May 122014


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact stated while the vehicle was at a complete stop the passenger frontal air bag deployed with an explosive noise that caused some hearing loss to the contact's right ear. The fire department was present. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign recall number 00V306000 (air bag). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage were 100,000.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #14

Feb 272014


  • 107,116 miles


Purchased a used 2001 Dodge Stratus and about a week after purchasing it I was backing out of a parking space at the store when I heard a snap/pop sound from the steering column. Air bag light came on and now everytime I turn the wheel I can hear a popping or clicking sound. The irony is that I bought it because my 96 Dodge intrepid is having electrical issues which included the air bag light being on and affecting the electric windows and the heater/air conditioning blower so I have no heater nor defroster. I have always been a Chrysler/Dodge person and have always owned one since I was 18, but I am beginning to think I need to change my loyalty to another make and model.

- Brookland, AR, USA

problem #13

Feb 172013

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 53,641 miles
I was driving our 2001 Dodge Stratus to park at the movie theater, going only 5 mph maybe less and I went to turn into the parking spot, I heard a click in the steering wheel, a pop, the airbag light came on and the horn does not work at all and the airbag light is still on. Everytime the steering wheel is turned, there is a clicking noise.

- Dorr, MI, USA

problem #12

Apr 152009

Stratus 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
I have had my car for a little over 3 years now. First it was the passenger side ball joint. Then a year later it was the ball joint on the driver side plus the control arm. Then it was the brakes and rotors. Then right after that I find out the ball joint I had just replaced on the passenger side needs replaced again! now my oil light comes on at idle after the engine has warmed up. Had the oil changed as always between 2000 and 3000 miles as I should. Had the oil sending unit replaced and still have a oil light on with a full engine of oil. Now my steering column just today made a cracking sound as I was backing up with the wheel turning to the left. Then the airbag light came on and wont go off. Now my steering is stiff. Talked to a mechanic and it is a safety issue.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #11

Apr 092012


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact was stopped in traffic when a vehicle crashed into the rear of her, causing her to crash into the preceding vehicle. The driver of the vehicle sustained injuries to the neck and back. The air bags did not deploy. The driver was transported by ambulance to the hospital. The vehicle was towed to a body shop but was not repaired. The vehicle was destroyed. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Ripon, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 212011


  • 130,000 miles


Upon a slow turn to street, I heard a click and grind sound in steering wheel.. airbag light and bell came on. Two days later, horn stopped working. Looked up online, and this seems to be widespread across the Dodge line of vehicles. The symptoms fit exactly to what I found online to be a faulty clockspring in the airbag assembly. I watched someone disassemble a clockspring and found the (tape-type) wires had been bent backwards by the manufacturer before being bent the other way.( within two inches of the connection point of the tape wire) upon disassembly, he found the wires to be separated where the bend in the tape was.

- Galloway, OH, USA

problem #9

Aug 222011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Dodge Stratus. The contact stated that while driving 80 mph, the driver lost control of the vehicle and drove into an embankment. The vehicle was air-borne and then flipped. The driver and passenger air bags failed to deploy. The driver of the vehicle was killed. The passenger sustained minor injuries. The vehicle was towed to a salvage-yard. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Baymainete, AL, USA

problem #8

Nov 182010

Stratus 4-cyl

  • 84,250 miles
Air bag light constantly on, horn and cruise control quit working at the same time. It is my understanding air bag is inoperable at this point and the cause is a broken clockspring in steering wheel. This is a major safety hazard that Dodge should be required to fix at no charge.

- Fairhope, AL, USA

problem #7

Feb 152010


  • 212 miles
I have a Dodge Stratus SE sedan, 2001 model.. while turning left into a parking lot the steering wheel almost locked up, then something snapped and broke inside. I regain steering but my airbag light was on and remains on. The other controls on the steering wheel such as cruise control and the horn do not work.. I feel the cruise control not working, the wheel freezing up momentarily until you break the ribbon wire inside the clockspring both are safety hazards. The part that is defective is the clockspring.. it is available from the dealer only at a cost over $129.. it is very cheaply made and is essentially a ribbon wire wrapped around a plastic spool. It is capable of binding up and preventing the steering wheel to turn. One should be inspected and any engineer will agree it is very poorly designed. As much as airbag costs and as much is it is engineered, to have a cheaply made part prevent it's functioning make no sense at all. Dodge and Jeep Chrysler im sure.. need to take responsibility and recall these vehicles and replace this part with a much better engineered replacement. I almost crashed and now if I do crash I have no airbag and I have no horn to warn other drivers if they're about to crash into me.

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 112008


  • 72,000 miles
Airbag self deployed for no apparent reason. I was just simply sitting in car when I notice airbag light came on. Driver airbag has deployed inside airbag light is on, now horn no longer works and feel a clicking sound at each turn.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #5

Jun 232006

Stratus 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,500 miles
I had pulled out of my driveway to return to work and when I turned the corner to leave my street I heard a cracking sound from the steering column and the airbag light came on immediately. The air bag light is constantly on, the cruise control does not work and the horn does not work either the vehicle was never involved in an accident and the vehicle had just over 35,500 miles on it.

- Goddard, KS, USA

problem #4

Jun 012006

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,086 miles
: the contact stated the air bag light illuminated constantly, the cruise control was inoperable and there was a clicking in the steering column when the wheel is turned left or right. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined a spring in the steering wheel needed to be replaced. Also, the contact stated there was a clicking noise in the front underside of the vehicle that has not yet been inspected by the dealer.

- Petersburg, WV, USA

problem #3

Jan 152004

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
Contact stated while driving at 40 mph vehicle hit black ice and she lost control of the vehicle. This resulted in an accident. Upon impact, the airbags did not deploy. The vehicle was repaired at that time. Then, she was driving at a later date and hit a deer. This was a frontal impact. Upon impact, the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was repaired after the crash. The vehicle was once again in crash while pulling out of a parking lot. The vehicle was hit on the driver's side, and upon impact, the air bags did not deploy. Vehicle was no longer under warranty. The repairs were being made at the contact's expense. Police report was taken.

- West Valley City , UT, USA

problem #2

Apr 102005


  • miles
2001 Dodge Stratus - crackling sound in steering wheel, air bag light on, no horn. The vehicle is still operating. There is also another report on your site of the same problem although I have not checked the cruise control yet. Date of prior complaint was 02/07/05.

- Ft. Myers, FL, USA

problem #1

Nov 082003

Stratus 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
I have constantly taken my car in for the same reasons. The car jerks, the whole car vibrates when it rains, if it's cold out the car refuses to start in the morning. There have been numerous transmission and piston problems.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

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