NHTSA — Electrical System: Instrument Panel Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,509 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 Pontiac Sunfire accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Pontiac Sunfire:

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

2005 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #15

Dec 012008


  • 39,000 miles


I bought this car in 2007 with 27,000 miles. A little over a year later, the gauges started quitting one by one. It's been almost three years since any of my gauges worked in any capacity. After reading so many complaints about this, I really feel its a defect that needs to be taken care of by the manufacturer. Mine quit before I hit 50,000 miles!

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #14

Aug 182012

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire. While parked, the contact noticed that the fuel gauge would not display a reading. A few weeks later the temperature gauge and the speedometer also failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the instrument panel would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. Updated 11/13/12 updated 12/03/12

- Anderson, CA, USA

problem #13

Oct 012011

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
The speedometer varies in it's position. It's sometimes ok, then it will freeze at maybe 50 mph, then go up to over a hundred mph. Next time it may freeze at 20 mph, etc. I don't know how fast I'm going, and don't want to get a ticket for speeding. I'm trying to use my odometer, but distracts me to try and figure it out. I don't see a recall, but I know there are many complaints on this issue. I think it's time GM owns up to it's responsibility to fix this, not, at the owners cost. My research shows me that there are thousands of complaints on this speedometer failure. I am told by my dealer that it is the cluster, which is extremely expensive to repair. I am retired and love this car, but don't have the money make it safe to drive.

- Perrysburg , OH, USA

problem #12

Aug 102011

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


We have a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire with 50000 miles on it. The other day the speedometer started fluctuating erratically. It is now stuck on 50mph. After reading several forums on the internet, it is very apparent that this is a common problem with the Sunfire and cavalier vehicles. The instrument panel cluster is defective on these vehicles and it also affects the other gauges. GM has not issued a recall despite the numerous complaints and it is a 500 to 800 dollar repair bill to replace the instrument cluster. To me this is a serious safety issue. Not knowing the correct speed of the vehicle at any given time is an issue. There are several instances on car complaints.com where people have been driving causing panic when their speedometer starts jumping around. To me the car manufacturers are depending on unreliable electronics to do vital tasks that used to be done by more reliable and safer mechanical means. Example being the Toyota throttle problem. It is my hope that if enough complaints are filed, a forced GM recall could be obtained. We are already paying for GM's mistakes through the government bailout. It's time they paid for theirs.

- Oregon, OH, USA

problem #11

Dec 102010

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • 121,509 miles
I have a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire 4 door, VIN [xxx]. I have been generally happy with the car. Starting in early December of 2010, my entire intrument panel cluster stopped working. It started with the fuel gauge showing out of the range of the gauge and then the temperature gauge started malfunctioning and reading artificially high. I brought it to scherer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC in kitchener, [xxx] where I work. I asked if there were any hidden or secret warranties on this as I didn't feel this was something that should go on a car. They said there wasn't. they did extend me a "goodwill" discount but even with that it cost me $635.55 parts and labour to replace the instrument cluster. I intend to write to GM Canada and include copies of these other reports and try and negotiate a refund as I think this repair should be covered. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Ontario, N1h 2r7, 00, USA

problem #10

Jan 202011

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact noticed that the instrument cluster was not functioning properly. The rpms and speedometer gauges were touching one another and preventing both from moving. The contact could not determine the speed at which she was driving due to the defective speedometer. The vehicle was taken to several local mechanics who stated that the instrument cluster was defective. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage is 48,909. Updated 5/24/11 updated 06/20/11

- Lancaster , OH, USA

problem #9

Oct 012010


  • 60,000 miles


I have a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire. The gauges on the dashboard have completely gone bad. I cannot even acquire a proper speed reading.

- Levittown, PA, USA

problem #8

Nov 262010

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire coupe. The contact was driving 55 mph when the temperature gauge spiked into the red zone. The contact moved off the roadway and turned the vehicle off. Once the vehicle was restarted, all gauges on the instrument panel were inoperable. The dealer advised her that the instrument panel could be replaced but could not guarantee that the repair would remedy the failure. The manufacturer advised the contact that the repair would be at her expense yet they also could not guarantee that the repair would rectify the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 68,000. Updated 03/16/11

- Osceola , IN, USA

problem #7

Jun 012010


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire. While driving 35 - 40 mph she heard a noise in the dashboard. She stated that the speedometer, temperature, gas gauge all stopped working properly. She stated the entire instrument cluster was malfunctioning. The failure has been on going for two months. The vehicle has not been taken to the dealer for the failure. The vehicle was purchase used in 2009. The failure mileage was 78,000 and the current mileage was 82,334.

- Portland, TN, USA

problem #6

May 152010


  • 35,000 miles
2005 Pontiac Sunfire, 36000 miles, mfg date 2-2005 beginning approximately 2 months ago, the speedometer has become increasingly unreliable to the point of total failure. The problem seems to be compounded by higher temperatures as it is worse when car gets hot from sitting in sun and less so when ambient temps are cooler as in the morning. As a lot of my driving is done in city and in lower speed limit areas, this presents a safety issue not only for myself but for others.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 032009


  • 83,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Sunfire. While driving at an unknown speed, the tachometer was not working properly. The meter would rise and fall without the vehicle changing speed. In addition, all of the other gauges were malfunctioning. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 83,000.

- Pahrump, NV, USA

problem #4

Jul 152009


  • miles
At first my speedometer would just stick occasionally, but now it never works at all. It is always either at 0 or stuck on some random number. I have been looking online and many other people with 2005 Sunfire's have had the same problem and it is incredibly frustrating. I have yet to find someone who was willing to look at my car and attempt to pull the dash apart to fix it.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 202009


  • 33,000 miles
2005 Pontiac Sunfire speedometer & tachometer quit in rush hour traffic. Gauges ran into each other - no other problems just occurred out of the blue. Only 33,000 miles on vehicle.

- Mt. Sterling, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 312005


  • 34,500 miles
Only routine driving preceded this incident. The tachometer and speedometer on my 2005 Pontiac Sunfire began to act erratic prior to 33,000 miles. At ~34,500 miles the tachometer completely failed in a position which prevented the speedometer from functioning (the speedometer needle was held down by the tachometer needle). This was a tremendous safety concern especially since my teenage daughter was driving the vehicle. This appears to be an all too common problem for several late model GM vehicles and should be considered a safety concern since it prevents the proper operation of the vehicle and can distract the driver. I can¿T imagine that a speedometer failure would not represent a safety defect and warrant action. I have had the instrument panel replaced at the dealer. I contacted Pontiac customer service and they appear to only log complaints. I was informed that recalls of this nature were based on consumer complaints regardless of how many of the specific part they know they have replaced. That is crazy ¿ if they know that a large number of a certain part is failing they should replace it without waiting for the issue to manifest itself in an accident. In addition, the driver side electric window is also not functioning properly - which also appears to be occurring in several GM models. This is also a safety concern because it could prevent the occupants of the vehicle from exiting it in an emergency. GM is aware that this is a workmanship/material quality issue.

- Farmington, AR, USA

problem #1

Feb 292008

Sunfire 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 55,620 miles
Speedometer failure- one day, I was driving to work on a residential road about 35 mph and noticed that my speedometer was registering 80 mph. This came to a great shock to me. I attempted to shut off the ignition to see if the speedometer would reset and it didn't. also, the speedometer would not return to 0 mph- it only dropped to about 65mph. I searched 2005 Pontiac Sunfire speedometer and 2005 Chevrolet cavalier speedometer in google and have found many blog postings on automotive websites about the same issue with an inaccurate speedometer and/or gauge cluster malfunction. This issue also seems to extend beyond the Sunfire/cavalier models to other GM vehicles back to 1993. My car has approximately 50,000 miles on it and while I have been out of the warranty based on the mileage for some time, if I had not exceeded the mileage restriction, I would have just passed the 3 year mark on Dec. 12, 2007. It seems that many other Sunfire/cavalier and GM product owners experiencing the same issue first experienced the issue just outside of the 3 year warranty period. There are currently law suits pending against GM to pay for speedometer repairs. One poster on the car blog said that when he saw his speedometer read 65 mph on a residential street he quickly hit his brakes and if anyone had been behind him, it would have caused a crash. For this reason, I believe that this defective speedometer issue could cause a safety hazard.

- Dover, FL, USA

Not what you are looking for?