hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,270 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 Mitsubishi Lancer windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Oct 122010


  • miles


A/C heater nob broke off after switching it from cold to heat.

- Turlock, CA, USA

problem #27

Dec 302003

Lancer 4WD 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I have two issues which seem to have both already been reported. 1. while driving the transmission will idle high while driving, but the vehicle is not speeding up. Then without warning the transmission catches, and the car lurches forward. This is a random issue that happens daily with the vehicle. Servicing the transmission has not fixed the problem and continues to be a problem to this day. 2.the heater/ac control know became very difficulty to change between heater and A/C. the switch has finally broke off, and now I'm unable to switch between heater and A/C. I have done research and this also seems to be a problem that has not been resolved. I have found most other auto owners have paid for the replacement, but only to have the same problem occur again. I have done research on both of these issues and is has been reported as far back as 2004, and at this point I do see any recalls by Mitsubishi to fix either of the problems.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #26

Mar 152011

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 103,700 miles
As with so many other Lancers noted here, my wife's 2003 Lancer's temp control knob has broken. Over a period of a few years the knob continually got harder to turn and recently just broke off. I also gave her a pair of needle-nose pliers to turn the plastic nub that is left, although I don't know how long this will work as each time she does it wears down the plastic some. This is obviously a wide-spread problem and not just a nuisance, as my wife needs to be able to defrost her windows as needed for visibility. Shame on Mitsubishi for not acknowledging the issue, let alone for not fixing it.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #25

May 012007

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


The heating/cooling knob has been hard to turn since I bought the vehicle. It would have to be forced to switch from warm to cool. Eventually the knob broke off. Mitsubishi was contacted and a complaint was filed but since it was not under warranty they would not fix it. The cable was replaced but the problem was not solved, it was still just as hard to turn. Approx 1 1/2 years later the knob broke off again resulting in not being able to control temperature and engage the defroster.

- Belleville, WI, USA

problem #24

Jan 112011

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 102,496 miles
2003 Mitsubishi Lancer: The temperature control knob broke off its shaft, after over two years of the control being so difficult to turn that it was almost impossible to accomlish. The wire running from the temperature control (knob) to the vent flap that controls heat/cold bent as well, leaving the vehicle without a way to change the temperature (stuck in cold position now). This is a safety issue, as I am unable to defrost/clear my windshield when it is cold outside, which results in continuous poor driving visibility.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

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problem #23

Mar 012010

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
My daughter's 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer ES no longer provides heat. As in many other cases, the knob has broken off!! why is this not the subject of a recall? she has no heat, it's winter, and she has no means to defrost her windshield. For a while she was able to turn the mechanism using needle-nosed pliers. Now, even that doesn't work and she has no heat, no means to defrost her windshield and windows reliably, and this is a safety hazard.

- The Village, OK, USA

problem #22

Jan 012009

Lancer 4-cyl

  • miles


Temperature control knob is very difficult to turn. Eventually, the control knob broke away from the plastic connector beneath, and now the temperature cannot be changed. A short internet search has shown this to be subject of a technical bulletin issued in 2004.

- Lakewood, CA, USA

problem #21

Dec 122010

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Mitsubishi 2003 heating knob is not working..

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #20

Nov 012009

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Air conditioning/heating knob was hard to turn, until it finally broke completely off. Now I have no heat in my vehicle and it visually impairs my driving when it is cold and frosts up. There is absolutely nothing I can do, except try to drive through it.

- Leavittsburg, OH, USA

problem #19

Nov 292010

Lancer 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
My 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer heater knob broke off and I am unable to get the defroster to work. This has been an ongoing problem as this is a material defect in hundreds if not thousands of Lancer automobiles. Please help force Mitsubishi to recall and fix this dangerous problem.

- Leavenworth, KS, USA

problem #18

Aug 032010


  • 60,000 miles


2003 Lancer - heater-A/C control knob broke and cannot adjust temperature. This should be a safety hazard and should prompt a recall by Mitsubishi - why has this not happened based on the number of complaints listed on this site" should this be forwarded to some consumer group or the ntsb to investigate"

- Washington, IN, USA

problem #17

Sep 302009


  • 48,000 miles
The heat/ac knob in my 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer will not turn. It has been difficult for years, but for fall/winter 2009 I had to have a mechanic crawl under the dash and force it with pliers, then I left it that way all winter. Not very safe or convenient. I'm looking at a very expensive repair from Mitsubishi which they should pay for. It is a safety issue, you can't defrost your windows without heat, nor should you have to use such lousy equipment. Mitsubishi needs to step up and issue a recall, I've seen this complaint all over the internet.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #16

Oct 212009


  • 79,931 miles
Since the day I purchased the car, the knob for the ac/ heater was hard to turn. Then about 2yrs ago I cant turn it without the car being parked. It took all my strength to turn. Most of the time I wouldn't use my heat. Then one night my windshield was fogged up. I tried driving with the windows down. But I had to stop to turn the heat on for the defroster.driving across a bridge with fogged up windows is scary. When I turned the knob it broke off. I have tried to get used parts for it but it is a very common problem for these cars. And the dealers what between $700 and $900 to fix the problem with their cars.

- Pinelas Park, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 282010


  • miles
I'd been having difficulty turning the temperature knob on my 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer for a while. Then, it broke off. I found out that Mitsubishi is "aware of the problem", even making a repair kit, but they haven't issued a recall, & it cost me $888 to have it repaired!!!!! a knob!!!!!! I think Mitsubishi should take responsibility for their shoddy workmanship & issue a recall.

- Cottonwood, AZ, USA

problem #14

Feb 052009


  • 85,000 miles
The temperature knob will not turn from cool to heat resulting in the failure to heat the windshield. In turn, any frost, ice, or fog will not be removed and hinders vision.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #13

Oct 192002


  • miles
Since we purchased the car we have been complaining; but told that the knobs are a little hard to turn and there is no problem. The controls finally became inoperable; which puts our safety at risk. HVAC controls have been designed with a mechanical flaw which makes the defrosting, heating, and ac components difficult to operate and eventually become inoperable. Tsb 055-003 has been issued putting the repair on the consumer for a design flaw which put motorist at risk especially in inclement weather.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #12

Dec 192009


  • miles
2003 Mitsubishi Lancer. Temperature control knob doesn't work properly. I can't turn the heat on. When I turn the knob from cold to hot there is a lot of tension and I've already broken one knob trying to force it to turn the heater on when it's cold out. The only way to turn the heat on is to look for a lever to the right of the gas pedal and manually turn the heat on. This is not safe while driving. Also, the windshield won't defrost if the heater isn't on. This has been ongoing for about two years after I bought the car and has progressively gotten worse. I have been the only owner of the vehicle.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 152006


  • miles
Temperature knob of Mitsubishi Lancer doesn't go towards heating.

- Southington, CT, USA

problem #10

Oct 192009


  • miles
Unable to turn temp control switch from heat to A/C. unable to defrost windows. Mitsubishi quoted $1200 to fix. Have had to pull car off the road to wipe down windows because the windows have fogged up while driving and there is no way to turn dial without crawling under the dash and manually pulling it from A/C to heat.

- Livingston, TN, USA

problem #9

Dec 122006


  • 37,500 miles
2003 Mitsubishi Lancer purchased in fall of 2003, ac/heater control knob was difficult to turn & eventually broke off. Since the unit is now stuck on A/C the defogging system does not work properly making it hazardous to drive the vehicle in winter months. I find the inoperable of the ac/heater control knob to be a life threatening risk. Will a life have to be lost before a recall is considered" how many more complaints will go unheard" the consumer should not be expected to fork up $900-1200 for a temporary fix to only have the issue reoccur.

- Wenatchee, WA, USA

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