Whenever Brian drives his Dodge Charger in the rain, all of the dash lights flash and has trouble restarting his car. He’s taken the car to the dealership multiple times, but they say they’re never able to recreate the problem. Above are two screencaps of the video he took last time this occurred. He’s now taken to writing a letter to Chrysler CEO Big Bob Nardelli, which is most likely a futile effort. You might instead email Cerberus, the company that now owns Chrysler’s ass. Maybe the dealership will find it’s able to recreate the flashing signals if Brian rides along the next time they test the car. Maybe call the Car Talk radio show. Inside, a video of this bizzare phenom in action, and his letter to the CEO.
March 13, 2008
1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2766
Dear Mr. Nardelli:
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I am writing about a serious and very dangerous condition that exists with my 2006 Dodge Charger. My name is Brian. I own a 2006 Dodge Charger that I purchased new at Danbury Dodge in Danbury CT on February 18, 2006. The current mileage of the car is 37200 miles. I am writing to bring a serious trouble with my Charger to your attention. While driving the Charger, usually during a rain or inclement weather, a tone will sound and the brake assist and stability control lights on the dash cluster will come on.
Soon after, all of the lights on the dash cluster will begin to flash randomly. This includes the oil light, the check engine light, and even the speedometer and rpm meter. The engine and transmission will experience trouble shifting gears or accelerating or climbing hills. Sometimes the car will engine will shutter and not move. Once the vehicle is stopped and the engine shut off, the engine will not turn over for 5 to 10 minutes. Eventually the engine will turn over and the car will continue as normal or under partial power. This trouble has occurred four times.
I have taken the Charger to Danbury Dodge for repair three times and Meadowlands Dodge in Carmel, NY once. Neither dealership has replicated or repaired the trouble. The dealers will not do any further work on my vehicle until they replicate the problem. Unfortunately the trouble happens intermittently and without warning. So now I am left with little option but to contact Chrysler to resolve this problem. The first serious trouble occurred at approximately 7PM on or around August 18, 2007. The Charger was parked outside in the rain all day at my place of employment. The rain stopped shortly before 7PM that evening when I started the car. When I started the car the BAS and ESP lights came on instantly. The engine was making pinging noises and not driving under full power. I took the car to Danbury Dodge for repair. I dealt with Derek Thomas, the service advisor at Danbury Dodge. The technicians repaired the rocker arms. Derek mentioned codes for loss of communication and claimed the trouble was fixed.
The same trouble occurred a second time at approximately 6:30AM on September 9, 2007. I was driving on the highway in a light rain. The ESP and BAS lights came on followed by the other lights on the dash. I stopped the car, turned off the engine and had trouble starting the car. My mother was in the Charger at the time and witnessed the trouble. I took the car to Danbury Dodge, and they repaired a tube gasket and were unable to replicate the trouble.
The third instance occurred on October 10, 2007 at 7:21AM. The dash lights came on, reacted randomly, and the car was not able to climb any hills without stopping. I stopped the car, turned off the engine, and experienced trouble turning the engine on again. After about 10 minutes I was able to start the car and drive to work. I took the car to Danbury Dodge and they were unable to replicate the problem and did no repairs. I then took the Charger to Meadowlands Dodge in Carmel, NY. I dealt with Billy O’Brien. They were also unable to replicate the trouble despite driving the Charger down an interstate highway in the rain.
The most recent instance occurred on March 7, 2008 at 7:30PM. I was driving the car in heavy rain and, like clockwork, I heard the tell tale tone and all of the dash lights began to flash. I stopped the car, turned the key and was unable to start the car for 5 minutes. I was able to start the car and make it home. I took pictures of the dash lights using my cell phone. The problem occurred during the evening so I was unable to take my car to a dealer right then and there. I could not leave the car running until the dealership opened at 8AM on Saturday. I have not had the opportunity to take my vehicle to the dealer since. I know what to expect at this point.
I also took a video of the third instance, and it on youtube.com for the world to see. I believe that by showing as many people as possible proof that the problem with my Charger exists, maybe that will motivate your company to do something about it. The url is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDjwvHVMD6s. Please be sure to read the comments left by other visitors as well. I am also sending a copy of this letter to the consumer website The Consumerist at http://www.consumerist.com. The website is very insightful and I look forward to sharing my story with people across the world.
My Charger has undergone 4 repair attempts with no resolution. The dealers are unable to replicate the trouble and are therefore unwilling to do any necessary repairs. My vehicle has been out of service for around 15 days thanks to Danbury and Meadowlands Dodge. I am constantly afraid that my car will malfunction during a rainstorm, or at any time, and put my life and the life of my passengers in danger. In my experience Dodge and Chrysler dealers are not obligated to honor the warranty or fix obvious troubles. You and your fellow corporate leaders at Chrysler have the power to produce and maintain safe and reliable vehicles. That is the way to solid profits and loyal customers.