In the automotive world, there has always been a lot of competition. Nonetheless, some brands have managed to dominate over others. One of which is Dodge.
Dodge enjoys a rich history that spans over 100 years in the automotive industry. It owes its beginnings to brothers Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge. According to Dodge, the two Michigan natives came to be known as “’fix it’ geniuses.” That’s because every time their mother’s sewing machine would break down, they would go on to fix it. Meanwhile, their father – who worked combustion engines for marine use - taught them how to be expert machinists.
One of the first ever projects the brothers worked on was creating their first bicycle. Several years later, the Dodge brothers would cross paths with Henry Ford. They formed a valuable partnership but later on, the brothers decided to strike on their own. The decision proved to be a good move since the Dodge Brothers Company became America’s third best-selling automaker in 1919.
Unfortunately, tragedy would strike twice in the Dodge family the following year. In fact, both brothers passed away in 1920. Nonetheless, the company the brothers built from the ground up persist. Dodge would go on to build trucks. Eventually, it also managed to increase its production capacity to 600 cars each day. Meanwhile, in 1928, the Dodge Brothers got acquired by Chrysler Corp. According to Automotive News, the deal was worth $170 million.
Over the years, several Dodge models have come out and even become cult favorites among car buyers. There’s the Dodge Charger and Challenger for starters. And then, there are the Ram trucks that continue to be popular in the market.
Indeed, Dodge has managed to do something right. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t failed in the past. Case in point would be the '90s. This was a time where a lot of Dodge cars made no sense. Just look at what we found out:
25 1990 Dodge Dakota
The Dodge Dakota is a midsize pickup truck that was first introduced in 1986, according to the website Cloudlakes. Along with a redesigned Ram 50, this truck was built in the Warren Truck Assembly plant in Michigan.
Unfortunately, just a few years after its introduction, the Dakota would run into some serious problems. In fact, the 1990 Dakota has been subjected to three recalls. One recall concerned the aftermarket ball joint assemblies that can become loose. According to the NHTSA, “This may result in loss of vehicle control, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash.”
24 1990 Dodge Colt
The Dodge Colt refers to a subcompact car that was an import from Mitsubishi. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for this car to cause some problems among its buyers.
According to the NHTSA, there have been complaints regarding the 1990 Colt when it came to its electrical system, power train, seat belts, hydraulic service brakes, structure and vehicle speed control.
At the same time, a recall on the car was also issued due to inferior active restraints. The NHTSA stated, “The safety belts would not provide adequate protection to an occupant in a vehicle crash.”
23 1990 Dodge Daytona
The Dodge Daytona is a car that came with a pretty wild history. According to Motor 1, the car was conceived as a result of Dodge’s need to own the NASCAR racetrack. This was after they saw the 1969 Dodge Charger fail miserably. And so, the 1969 Charger Daytona was conceived, and it was a performance car unlike any other. Unfortunately, its predecessor, the 1990 Daytona, did not do as well.
According to the NHTSA, there were complaints regarding the car’s electrical system, engine, engine cooling, service brakes, steering, power train, suspension, structure, vehicle speed control, and many others.
22 1991 Dodge Shadow
The Dodge Shadow is a hatchback car that was promoted as an economical choice for car buyers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that the car didn’t come with problems.
In fact, according to the NHTSA, the 1991 Shadow received as many as 112 complaints. Moreover, it was subjected to five recalls and five investigations. One of the reasons for the recall was an issue with the car’s steering wheel. It further stated, “If the steering wheel separates from the center hub attachment to the steering column, loss of control can occur increasing the risk of an accident.”
21 1992 Dodge Caravan
When you’ve got a family and you have small children, one of the vehicle types you automatically consider is a minivan. This is precisely why the Dodge Caravan has become quite popular. It’s a convenient choice. It’s got space for stuff. It has enough room for several occupants. And in some ways, it makes parents’ lives easier.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for the 1992 Caravan. In fact, according to the NHTSA, there are as many as 1,077 complaints on this car. Not only that, but it has also been subjected to 11 recalls.
20 1994 Dodge Intrepid
The 1994 Dodge Intrepid is one full-size sedan that ended up with several problems.
According to the NHTSA, the 1994 Intrepid has been the subject of 847 complaints and four recalls. Of the recalls, one of the most serious concerns the car’s suspension. The Defect Information Report on the car explained, “The lower control arm attaching brackets may crack due to fatigue and separate from the engine cradle. If this occurs, the transmission half-shaft may pull out of the transaxle and result in the loss of motive power, increasing the risk of a motor vehicle accident in some situations.”
19 1995 Dodge Neon
The Dodge Neon is a full-size sedan that is known today for its high-performance capability. However, that doesn’t mean that this car hasn’t failed in the past.
In fact, according to the NHTSA, as many as 11 recalls were ordered on the 1995 Neon. Not only that, but it also became the subject of 1,196 complaints and nine investigations. Of the complaints, most pertained to the car’s brakes, electrical system, engine, and engine cooling. Several complaints stated that the car would simply stall without warning.
18 1996 Dodge Caravan
Unfortunately, the 1996 model of the Dodge Caravan ended up becoming plagued with problems as well. In fact, according to the website CarComplaints.com, there are as many as 2,000 complaints regarding this minivan. Not only that, it became the subject of 18 recalls as well.
Of the complaints, a whopping 324 were made regarding the engine. Meanwhile, there were also 245 complaints regarding the car’s fuel system and 192 complaints regarding the car’s brakes. At the same time, there were also 172 complaints made regarding the car’s transmission.
17 1996 Dodge Neon
Just like its 1994 model, the 1996 Dodge Neon also ended up being plagued with problems. In fact, according to the NHTSA, as many as 681 complaints were made regarding this vehicle. Moreover, the 1996 Neon also became the subject of two investigations and seven recalls.
Of the recalls, one pertained to the car’s brake master cylinder. According to the filed Defect Information Report, “The brake master cylinder may leak brake fluid due to a damaged double lip rear piston seal. Brake fluid leakage may result in diminished effectiveness of one portion of the split brake system.”
16 1996 Dodge Avenger
The Dodge Avenger is a midsize sedan that doesn’t really have the best overall reputation. In fact, The News Wheel reports that the Avenger has suffered from a “spotty track record” since it first came out in the market back in 1995.
Just to give you an idea, the 1996 Avenger became the subject of three recalls, one investigation, and 197 complaints, according to the NHTSA. We’re guessing there would have been more complaints if more people had decided to buy this car.
15 1997 Dodge Avenger
Just like its 1996 year model, the 1997 Dodge Avenger also proved to be quite problematic. In fact, according to the NHTSA, there were 94 complaints made on this particular model. Even worse, the 1997 Avenger also became the subject of seven recalls.
Of the recalls, one concerned the car’s fuel system. According to the report, “The wall of the flared fitting of the fuel pump is not thick enough to prevent the mating threaded fittings from bottoming out before an adequate seal is achieved.” This can cause a fuel leak and subsequently result in a fire.
14 1997 Dodge Caravan
Unfortunately, the 1997 Caravan is another minivan that has experienced a lot of problems. In fact, there are as many as 786 complaints made about this car. Even worse, the 1997 Caravan also became subjected to seven investigations and 15 recalls over the years.
Two of the recalls concerned the car’s brakes. One of these explained, “Loss of brake fluid can lead to a decrease in brake line pressure and an increase in stopping distance, which can result in a vehicle crash.”
13 1997 Dodge Ram 1500
As you may know, the Dodge Ram 1500 has been quite a popular pickup truck model. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it has always been reliable.
According to the NHTSA, the 1997 Ram 1500 has received as many as 800 complaints over the years. Not only that, but it has also been the subject of five investigations and 12 recalls. Of the recalls, two concerned the truck’s power train. One report stated that under hot temperatures, “the fluid line will not stay connected with the transmission and fluid can spray onto the exhaust manifold, resulting in smoke or fire.”
12 1998 Dodge Durango
The Dodge Durango is a midsize three-row SUV that is receiving pretty decent reviews at the moment. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for its 1998 year model.
According to the NHTSA, the 1998 Durango ended up being subjected to three investigations and six recalls. There are as many as 1,020 complaints filed regarding this car. Of the complaints, 546 pertained to car’s suspension. One complaint stated, “Ball joint failure and full separation with no warning, which caused extensive damage in an on-road accident to several vehicles.”
11 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan
Just like a number of Dodge Grand Caravan models, the 1998 Grand Caravan also became the subject of several problems. According to the NHTSA, this minivan has received as many as 594 complaints. Moreover, six investigations and six recalls were also made on this car.
Of the recalls, two were made due to problems involving the car’s fuel system. One recall stated, “Fuel restriction could result in loss of power and/or engine stall, possibly resulting in a vehicle crash.” This problem potentially affected 24,358 units.
10 1998 Dodge Intrepid
Unfortunately, the 1998 Dodge Intrepid also didn’t have a stellar record. In fact, according to the NHTSA, this car ended up becoming the subject of five recalls and two investigations. Moreover, there are as many as 384 complaints filed against this car.
Of the complaints, 198 were made regarding the car’s engine and engine cooling. One of these stated, “While driving 30 mph, the engine failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the engine needed to be replaced.”
9 1998 Dodge Ram 1500
Another Dodge Ram 1500 that’s proved to be disappointing is its 1998 model. According to CarComplaints.com, this pickup truck has received as many as 1,000 complaints. Even worse, the 1998 Ram 1500 has also been subject to 18 recalls.
Among the recalls, one of the most serious issues is a fuel line leakage. According to the recall, “The low-pressure diesel fuel supply tube located in the engine compartment between the filter and the high-pressure pump can fracture. This condition can allow fuel to leak. In the presence of an ignition source, fuel leakage can result in a fire.”
8 1998 Dodge Ram 3500
As you may know, the Dodge Ram 3500 is pretty much like the Dodge Ram 1500’s bigger brother. Unfortunately, its 1998 model was also plagued with problems.
According to CarComplaints.com, this truck has received 810 complaints. Of these, as many as 155 were made regarding the truck's brakes. One complaint stated, “While driving, the consumer tried to avoid another vehicle that was coming inside of the lane. When the consumer applied the brakes, the pedal went to the floor. The consumer was unable to maintain control of the vehicle and hit a guard rail and flipped into a ditch.”
7 1999 Dodge Avenger
The 1999 Dodge Avenger is another car that proved to be quite disappointing. In fact, according to CarComplaints.com, the car received as many as 109 complaints. Aside from this, it was also subjected to as many as five recalls.
Of the recalls, the most serious is a problem with the car’s “rubber boots on the lower lateral arm ball joints of the front suspension.” The recall stated, “This condition could cause the lower lateral arm ball joint to separate, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.”
6 1999 Dodge Dakota
The 1999 Dodge Dakota is another pickup truck that has caused a lot of headache for owners. According to the NHTSA, there are as many as 687 complaints regarding this truck. Moreover, the 1999 Dakota has also been subjected to one investigation and 10 recalls.
Of the recalls, one of the serious issues involves the truck’s service brakes. According to the recall information, “A puncture of the left front brake tube can result in a loss of braking force at the front wheels, increasing the risk of a crash.”
5 1999 Dodge Durango
Today, SUVs just like the Dodge Durango may be in great demand. However, it may be a better idea to stay away from the 1999 Durango at all cost.
According to the NHTSA, as many as 2,035 complaints have already been made regarding this SUV. Moreover, it has also been subject to three investigations and five recalls. Among the chief complaints regarding the 1999 Durango is its suspension. One complaint stated, “The pin that goes into the spindle on the 1999 Dodge Durango seems to have some huge problem, which can cause a major safety issue to its' drivers.”
4 1999 Dodge Intrepid
The 1999 Dodge Intrepid also ended up with a lot of issues over the years. In fact, according to the NHTSA, the car has been subject six recalls and 2 investigations.
Among the recalls, one was made due to problems with the car’s power train. According to the recall, “On certain passenger vehicles, the floor shifter ignition-park interlock may fail and allow the shifter to be moved out of the park position with the key removed. An inoperative interlock may also allow the key to be removed when the shifter has not been placed in the park position.”
3 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan
You can refer to the Dodge Grand Caravan as the Dodge Caravan’s older brother. Basically, it’s bigger and heavier. But other than that, the two are nearly indistinguishable. In fact, just like the 1996 Caravan, the 1996 Grand Caravan also ran into some serious problems.
According to the NHTSA, the 1996 Grand Caravan became the subject of 1,333 complaints, 11 investigations, and 11 recalls. One of the recalls involves the car’s engine and engine cooling. The recall information stated, “Inadequate sealing and retention of the plug can result in oil leakage, which could cause a fire in the engine compartment.”
2 1999 Dodge Ram 2500
As you may know, the Dodge Ram 2500 is the slightly bigger brother of the Dodge Ram 1500. Unfortunately, the 1999 Ram 2500 has been the subject of two serious recalls and one investigation.
Reasons for the recall include issues with the trucks engine, engine cooling, and steering. The problem regarding the engine and engine cooling pertains to the truck’s air intake system. According to the recall, “A jammed open throttle could cause unintended acceleration of the vehicle, possibly resulting in a crash or increased stopping [sic] distances when braking.”
1 1999 Dodge Stratus
According to NADA Guides, the Dodge Stratus is a midsize sedan that made its debut back in 1995. Unfortunately, this car would run into some serious problems just four years later.
In fact, the car has been subject to seven recalls, according to the NHTSA. One of the reasons for the recall was a problem with the car’s fuel system in which there is a “swelling of the valve material which can restrict the free movement of the valve and free flow of fuel into the fuel pump.” This can cause the car to stall or not start.
Sources - Dodge, NHTSA, Cloudlakes, Motor 1 & CarComplaints.com