2019 Dodge Challenger Problems And Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, electrical, brake and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Sports car enthusiasts couldn’t wait to get their hands on the 2019 Dodge Challenger. The automaker claimed it would help owners “take the streets by storm.” Still, many people are struggling just to get from Point A to Point B. The faulty electrical system, defective powertrain, dangerous steering system, malfunctioning service brakes and poorly constructed wheels are causing lots of trouble.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Considering the electrical system runs everything in modern vehicles, having a small glitch can cause massive headaches.

That’s what is revealed in this Edmunds review. “Brand new 2019 Challenger R/T Hemi with 8 speed auto with only 150 miles and driver window stuck and no power!! Search youtube and found a solution to recalibrate the window stuck position. Had to restart car a few times to get driver door to work again. It’s under warranty but a new car shouldn’t have these issues with 150 miles on it. Got a hunch there will be other issues with this car. No more Dodge products for me!! Going to stick with Lexus, Toyota and Honda.”

It turns out that there is a larger electrical problem with the Challenger. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V203000 states that some vehicles don’t have illumination to let drivers know when there is a warning. This instrument cluster failure could prevent the driver from getting the pertinent messages needed to make life-saving decisions. So, if owners want to “take the streets by storm,” they have to do so without the right information available. It’s like driving blind.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Challenger Electrical Problems:

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 DODGE CHALLENGER. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHEN REVERSING HIS VEHICLE TO PARK, IT JOLTED BACKWARDS. THE SERVICE SHIFTER, SERVICE TRANSMISSION, SERVICE ENGINE, AND THE PARK CAR AND TURN OFF THE ENGINE WARNING LIGHTS ILLUMINATED. THE GEARS WERE STUCK IN THE PARK POSITION AND THE ENGINE WAS STILL RUNNING. THE DEALER  REFUSED TO HELP TOW THE VEHICLE. TWO DAYS LATER THE DEALER CALLED BACK AND ASKED THE CONTACT TO PICK UP THE VEHICLE AND SAID THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG. THE CONTACT PICKED UP THE VEHICLE AND THE SAME ISSUE OCCURRED WITH ALL OF THE LIGHTS FLASHING. THE CONTACT STATED THE STEERING WHEEL WAS HARD TO CONTROL. THE CONTACT SLOWLY DROVE THE VEHICLE BACK TO THE DEALER. THREE DAYS LATER THEY FOUND OUT THERE WAS A TRACKING DEVICE. THE TRACKING DEVICE DESTROYED THE WIRING IN THE VEHICLE. THE DEALER STATED THAT THEY WERE GOING TO REMOVE THE TRACKER AND REPAIR THE WIRING. THE CONTACT HAD INFORMED THE MANUFACTURER AND HE WAS GIVEN A CASE NUMBER. THE DEALER REPAIRED THE VEHICLE AND THE SAME ISSUE OCCURRED AGAIN WHILE THE CONTACT WAS DRIVING AND HE ALMOST GOT INTO AN ACCIDENT. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN BACK TO THE SAME DEALER. THE DEALER TEST DROVE THE VEHICLE FOR AN EXTENDED MILEAGE FOR OVER 100 MILES. THE ISSUE OCCURRED AGAIN DURING THE TEST DRIVE. THE DEALER STATED THAT THE ENTIRE WIRING SYSTEM HAD TO BE FIXED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 5,750.

Problems with the Transmission

Considering the Challenger is designed to be a high-powered sports car, it better have a potent powertrain under the hood.

This Cars.com review states otherwise. “I am not pleased with my 2019, it has had transmission issues sine I bought it brand new. Finally 7 months later they discover I need a new transmission! This is a new car…not used.. quality should be checked differently on new releases if this is the type of issue a new car will bring. I have a new car with a used transmission… How long will that last?”

Even Dodge recognizes that there are major transmission problems. Service Bulletin #18-100-19 states that some owners are experiencing a pre-detonation noise in the engine while attempting to accelerate. This is due to a defective PCM that requires a software update. In the meantime, drivers can attempt to take over the streets, but the noises their car makes are sure to draw some unwanted attention along the way.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Challenger Transmission Problems:

WHILE DRIVING ON A CITY STREET RECEIVED A TRANSMISSION MALFUNCTION WARNING. VEHICLE HAD BEEN DRIVEN LESS THAN 300 MILES. VEHICLE STOPPED IN MIDDLE OF TRAFFIC AND TRANSMISSION WOULD NOT ENGAGE. LUCKILY I WAS NOT REAR ENDED. ENGAGED EMERGENCY FLASHER. AFTER SEVERAL EFFORTS TO START/STOP THE VEHICLE TRANSMISSION DID FINALLY ENGAGE. THIS TOOK ABOUT 15 MINUTES. MANAGED TO GET VEHICLE HOME AND TOOK IT TO DEALERSHIP NEXT DAY. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT A TRANSMISSION CONTROL MODULE WAS REPLACED. STILL LEARY ABOUT DRIVING THIS VEHICLE.

Problems with the Steering

When a car is barreling down the highway, it’s vital that the operator can steer it correctly. Otherwise, a crash is imminent.

That’s the scary situation this NHTSA user experienced. “I was driving in the highway and as I turned to merge my steering wheel locked and I could not move the wheel. Once I stopped the car, I turned it off and on and it said ‘Steering Wheel Motion Off.'”

This Challenger had no trouble expressing the error message, but it was a little late. It would have been far better to get warning that the steering was going to fail. Dodge hasn’t issued any steering-related company communication, so there’s no indication of what could have caused this situation. What is clear is that the Challenger is only prepared to “take the streets by storm” if no steering is required.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Challenger Steering Problems:

WHEN THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION THE STEERING WHEEL WILL LOCK. IT HAPPENS WHEN DRIVING ON THE HIGHWAY OR ON A CITY STREET. THIS HAS HAPPENED WHEN CHANGING LANES AND WHILE MAKE A TURN. ON 1-11-2020 I WAS AT THE DEALERSHIP TO TEST DRIVE THIS CAR, BUT WHEN I STARTED THE CAR THE DASHBOARD LIT UP WITH MULTIPLE CODES. THE SALESMAN HAD ME TEST DRIVE ANOTHER VEHICLE WITH THE SAME SPECS SO THAT A TECH COULD LOOK AT THE CODES. THE TECHNICIAN LOOKED THE VEHICLE OVER AND CLAIMED EVERYTHING WAS FINE. PURCHASED THE ORIGINAL CAR THAT HAD THE CODES ON THE DASHBOARD. WHILE DRIVING HOME ON 1-11-2020, THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED WHEN ATTEMPTING TO CHANGE LANES ON THE HIGHWAY. ON WEDNESDAY, 1-15-2020 WHILE IN MOTION ON A CITY ROAD THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED WHEN MAKING A RIGHT HAND TURN. THE CAR WAS NOT DRIVEN AGAIN UNTIL TUESDAY, 1-21-2020 WHEN IT WAS DRIVEN TO THE DEALERSHIP. WHILE THE CAR WAS IN MOTION AND MAKING A RIGHT HAND TURN THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED. THE DEALERSHIP HAD THE VEHICLE FROM 1-21-2020 UNTIL 1-25-2020. I WAS TOLD THAT THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKING WAS DUE TO A BAD BATTERY AND THE DEALERSHIP CHANGED IT. WHEN DRIVING HOME FROM THE DEALERSHIP ON 1-25-2020, THE STEERING WHEEL LOCKED UP ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS WHILE MAKING A LEFT HAND TURN AND A RIGHT HAND TURN. THE CAR WAS PARKED AND NOT DRIVEN AGAIN UNTIL 1-27-2020 WHEN IT WAS TAKEN BACK TO THE DEALERSHIP. THE CAR IS STILL THERE AS OF 1-29-2020 WITH NO UPDATE ON THE ISSUE.

Problems with the Brakes

With all the defects discussed so far, it would be helpful to know that the 2019 Dodge Challenger came equipped with reliable brakes, but that’s not the case either.

Here’s another NHTSA complaint to read. “Stock, factory built, rear brake pad surface area is substantially different than the rear rotor diameter. Sweep of brake pad is substantially narrower than the rotor. This is causing an improper wear pattern on rotor. Reduces stopping force and will create a ridge in the rotor. This ridge will make future replacement brake pads incompatible, and could affect brake system performance negatively.”

Again, Dodge hasn’t issued any communications about the braking system, except for a wheel-related issue that will be talked about in a second. To be safe, owners who want to travel at the speed of lighting should remember that stopping power might be hindered. It may be better to take the streets by way of a small windstorm instead

Problems with the Wheels

Moving onto the wheels, which cover the brakes, there are more concerns evident.

Here is one more NHTSA comment to illustrate the problems. “When turning the steering wheel in either direction to its full extent, the tires begin to scrape against the body of the vehicle while making a turn.”

It turns out that this isn’t the biggest issue. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V758000 states that some vehicles were built with an incompatible brake package and front wheel. This allows the front wheel to contact the car’s steering knuckle, which results in front tire damage. While taking the streets by storm, owners could experience a sudden loss of tire air pressure, which could result in an accident, especially if the steering locks up at the same time. Does any part of this highly acclaimed sports car work the way it should? Challenger owners are ready to make the switch to another brand after driving this lemon.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Challenger Wheel Problems:

I KEEP HEARING AND FEELING THE WHEELS RUBBING/WOBBLING. THE DEALER HAS REPLACED 2 TIRES AND 1 RIM SO FAR. MY CAR IS BACK IN THE SHOP TODAY AND THEY INSIST THAT THEY DON’T HEAR/FEEL ANYTHING. THAT IS NOT THE CASE SO THEY ARE TESTING IT AGAIN TODAY. I HAD THIS CAR BUILT JULY 2019, CHALLENGER GT AWD. I DON’T SEE ANY RECALL FOR THIS. THIS PROBLEM IS MAKING ME VERY UNCOMFORTABLE SINCE I COMMUTE DAILY VIA HIGHWAY. I THINK THIS NEEDS TO BE RESEARCHED FURTHER. MY ISSUE IS STILL PERSISTING.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Dodge pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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