One of the iconic names in American automobile manufacturing, Dodge vehicles have been a fixture in this country since the early part of the 20th century. However, this long history hasn't made Dodge immune to recalls or safety complaints. While known for long-lasting and serviceable vehicles, each year Dodge issues safety recalls for both major and minor issues. Below, we review the history of Dodge, its most popular models, and some of the major recalls that have affected the company in recent years.
No make or model of vehicle, including Dodge, is immune to safety defects or faulty workmanship. If you have been sold a vehicle that doesn't meet required safety standards, California's Lemon Law is designed to help you make things right. If you are concerned you have been taken advantage of, contact The Lemon Lawyer today for a free consultation.
The History of Dodge
Although most commonly associated with the Chrysler company due to their near-100 year merger, Dodge actually predates Chrysler by 15 years. Founded in 1910 by brothers Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge, the Dodge Brothers Company started a machine shop that supplied parts for Ford vehicles. Eventually, the Dodge brothers canceled their contracts with Ford with designs on building their own line of complete automobiles. Dodge provided the U.S. military with ambulances and other vehicles in the build-up to World War I, before transitioning to passenger vehicles in 1915.
After the brothers' deaths in 1920, the company was sold, eventually merging with Chrysler in 1928. In 2014, Chrysler and Dodge were spun off from Daimler and sold to Fiat after a 2009 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. To date, Dodge continues operating focusing primarily on performance cars.
The most popular models of Dodge vehicles have changed over the years, following different trends and design goals of the company. Some of the most popular models are listed below.
First developed in 1966, the Dodge Charger is a full-size sedan that has transformed over the years from muscle car to performance sedan. The Charger has taken many different forms, with Dodge halting production of the model and restarting it three different times. The current version of the Dodge Charger has remained largely unchanged since its re-release in 2006. The 2018 model of the Charger received an 8.9 safety rating from U.S. News and World Report.
Another popular Dodge vehicle that has been in and out of production since 1969 is the Dodge Challenger. Originally designed as a “pony car” that was a value version of the Dodge Coronet, the Challenger in its current form was designed to compete with the Ford Mustang. The 2018 model of the Challenger received an 8.4 safety rating from U.S. News and World Report.
The Durango is the most popular mid-size sport utility vehicle offered by Dodge. First produced in 1997, the Durango was originally built onto the base of the Dodge Dakota. The third generation of the Durango which entered production in 2010 is built on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 2018 model of the Dodge Durango was given a safety rating of 8.7 by U.S. News and World Report.
The longest continually produced vehicle under the Dodge brand, the Grand Caravan has been in production non-stop since 1984. While Dodge has offered a number of minivan options over the years, the company has coalesced around the Grand Caravan as its long wheelbase minivan in recent years. U.S. News and World Report has given the 2018 Dodge Grand Caravan a safety rating of 8.4.
While the Grand Caravan is Dodge's long wheelbase minivan offering, the Dodge Journey is their short wheelbase option. A mid-size crossover SUV with a body reminiscent of a minivan, the Dodge Journey has been in production since 2009. In some markets, the Journey is marketed as the Fiat Freemont. The Dodge Journey was given an 8.4 safety rating by U.S. News and World Report.
Major Recalls and Malfunctions
Unfortunately, safety recalls are a frequent occurrence for Dodge vehicles. The recalls issued directly by the company can be tracked at the Dodge website here. For a more comprehensive check of potential Dodge recalls, be sure to check the NHTSA Recalls website to search for potential recalls by VIN number.
A serious design flaw in multiple Dodge models manufactured from 2010 through 2014 has led to airbags failing to deploy as well as seat-belt tensioners failing to activate during crashes. These failures are responsible for at least three deaths in the United States. The issue was traced to faulty front-impact sensor wiring that was abandoned in more recent models. In all, nearly two million vehicles may have been affected.
Engines Stalling or Failing to Start
Many of the vehicles in the 2018 Dodge lineup are at risk of stalling or failing to start thanks to a faulty voltage regulator chip installed in 2017 and 2018. While there have been no reports of injuries caused by this malfunction, there are numerous reports of Dodge vehicles stalling out while traveling at high speeds. The defect directly affects the powertrain and is more likely to cause issues starting as opposed to when the vehicle is moving. These issues are present in thousands of 2018 Dodge models including the Challenger, Charger, and Durango.
Faulty Backup Camera
Owners of 2018 model Dodge Journeys have faced issues with the loss of use of backup cameras, according to a Dodge-initiated recall. While the recall is relatively small, it still impacts thousands of Journey owners who may encounter a failure of rear view images displaying on the built-in screen. The issue is related to a software glitch which can be corrected without a physical repair.
Discuss your Dodge Issues with the Lemon Lawyer
If you believe your Dodge vehicle is a lemon or has an unresolved safety issue that must be addressed by the manufacturer, contact the Lemon Lawyer immediately. Our experienced attorneys can answer any questions you have about safety issues or the recall process. The California Lemon Law was designed to protect consumers like you; let our experienced professionals ensure you aren't being taken advantage of. Contact the Lemon Lawyer today for your free consultation.