8 Monthlong Dodge Charger Problem Fixed After Consumerist Post

Whenever Brian drove his Dodge Charger in the rain, all the dash lights flashed and he had trouble restarting his car, but after 8 months of strife, his problem got fixed after his story posted to The Consumerist. The next day after the post went up, Brian got a call from Paul at Danbury Dodge, his dealership. Paul wanted Brian to bring his car in so the Chrysler tech could inspect it. Brian brought in the car during a rainy day, the problems were recreated, and the Chrysler tech diagnosed and fixed the problem in less than four hours. On repeated visits before this, the dealership kept claiming they couldn’t recreate the problem. A rep for Chrysler VP TP Lassdora also called Brian up, apologized profusely, and offered five years of free oil changes and extended Brian’s service contract. “In the end, I believe that the Consumerist story forced Chrysler to get involved, whereas Danbury Dodge was content to ignore my complaints,” writes Brian. “Thank you to the staff and the readers of the Consumerist for motivating Chrysler and Danbury Dodge to fix my car.” Inside, the original video showing how Brian’s dashboard reacted in the rain.

UPDATE: Brian says the tech said the root problem was frayed and rubbing wires.

PREVIOUSLY: All The Dashboard Lights Flash Whenever I Drive My Dodge Charger In The Rain


Edit Your Comment

  1. wow, maybe i should have consumerist post a story about the problems i’ve been having with my saab!

  2. Imafish says:

    I had the exact same problem back in the 90s with a Dodge Dynasty. Some things never change.

  3. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    Uhhh…several missing/misspelled words…

    “8 month dodge charger…’

    ‘had trouble restarting his call…’

    ‘The next after the post went up’

  4. EBounding says:

    Great ending, but what was the solution???

  5. Televiper says:

    @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Obviously this one went through without proof reading.

  6. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Anyone know what the problem was?

  7. ShastaMcNasty says:

    Insert Matrix joke here.

  8. timmus says:

    For chrissake, what was wrong with the car?

  9. beercheck says:

    Clearly, the rain shorted out the Dodge Charge.

  10. ravensfire says:

    @Concerned_Citizen, @timmus

    I agree, what was the problem? This is important because other people are bound to have the same problem.

  11. danio3834 says:

    I remember reading this the first time around. I’m curious as to what the actual problem was.

  12. ravensfire says:

    @beercheck: That much is certainly clear, but what specifically was getting shorted out?

  13. beercheck says:

    @ravensfire: I was just having fun with typos (first sentence in this post, “Whenever Brian drove his Dodge Charge in the rain,…”).

  14. mike says:

    I know this has been said before.

    It’s sad that we must resort to public humiliation to get a company to do the right thing.

  15. tedyc03 says:

    This may be why working from home could be bad, Ben. Post before breakfast, before that morning cup o’ joe…bad news, friend. Bad news.

  16. andrewe says:

    What was the problem?

  17. Novaload says:

    @beercheck: Your pearls are wasted here.

  18. dculberson says:

    Has anyone posted asking what the problem was yet?

  19. danio3834 says:

    @dculberson: Did they say what the problem is yet?

  20. STrRedWolf says:

    I saw the origional post, and glad to see they finally were able to recreate the problem… although it looked like an electrical problem, maybe a bare wire that kept getting shorted out when it was being splashed on, not quite easy to replicate on demand but possible.

  21. The problem is that it’s a freakin’ Dodge

  22. VA_White says:

    This is like watching the last episode of a reality show where the host tells you, “We picked a winner! Thanks for watching!”

    Ok, but who is the winner?

    What was wrong with his car?

  23. shocker says:

    The problem was fixed by jacking up the radiator cap and driving a better car underneath it.

  24. cmdrsass says:

    In the rush to post, you neglected to proofread your submission or include important details such as what was wrong with the car.

  25. b612markt says:

    Moral of story: stay the heck away from Chrysler products. Damlier dumped them for a reason.

  26. vdragonmpc says:

    Hey my 2000 Dakota windshield washers only work in the rain… The wipers go when you hit the button but no fluid comes out…

    Some days it doesnt want to start or a lifter chatters so loud you think the engine is done…

    The power steering pump wails like a banshee but works… They replaced it under warranty and when it wailed after they fixed it they told us to ‘get over it and go away’

    I personally love replacing the ball joints like oil… nice.

    But hey who can afford to drive a 16mpg highway truck anyway…

  27. Ben Popken says:

    Sorry about the mispellings, I hadn’t had breakfast yet (not that that’s an excuse). Brian didn’t say what the root problem was but I’ve sent him an email to find out.

  28. PunditGuy says:

    Sounds like a cracked distributor cap. I had that problem on a Mustang back in the late 80s.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a car expert and I don’t even really enjoy Car Talk, so I speak only from my limited experience.

  29. linkura says:

    My youngling Dodge Charger also crapped out on me, but it turns out it was squirrels and not the mechanics of the car. The dealership was excellent and got the problem fixed that day despite requiring 5 hours of labor (mostly inspection to make sure they fixed everything the critters screwed up). Of course, it was a different dealership than in this article.

  30. kc2idf says:

    @PunditGuy: There probably is no distributor cap. I would expect a car this new to have a fully electronic ignition.

    I knew a guy in college who was very fond of this rhyme: Drive a Chrysler, they’re the best! You Drive a mile and walk the rest!

  31. Hyman Decent says:

    The problem was Bush’s fault and the repair was Obama’s doing.

  32. PunditGuy says:

    @kc2idf: Showing my age — I thought the Charger was a 70s muscle car. In my defense, I can’t see the picture of the dash or the video on my work computer. 8-)

  33. sp00nix says:

    When was the last time you thought getting anything with the word charger in the name wet was a good idea?

  34. stu-rock says:

    Good that the problem is fixed. Intermittent electrical faults are very challenging to diagnose.

    To the few “oh, it was a Chrysler” folks—take it easy. This can happen to any car. I’ve seen it happen on vehicles from all the major US, Japanese, and German manufacturers.

    Also, I think “VP TP Lassdora” is actually “Tom LaSorda,” the president and vice-chairman of the company.

  35. trujunglist says:

    Challenger ftw

  36. danio3834 says:

    @Hyman Decent: Youre looking for that other Gawker site…


  37. sirwoj says:

    The problem was frayed and shorted wires. I wasn’t able to speak to the Chrysler tech to find out exactly which wires were causing the short. When I picked up my car the rep at Danbury Dodge wasn’t around when my car was repaired.

  38. Buran says:

    @trujunglist: … for 73 seconds, anyway …

  39. Buran says:

    @PunditGuy: It was… welcome to retro-fever aka VW New Beetle.

  40. weakdome says:

    @pepe the king prawn: No… the difference is, you’re SUPPOSED to have those kinds of problems with your Saab :)

  41. hossfly says:

    I’m still amazed at how many people on here are more concerned about how somebody mispelled or had a “typo” rather than what this site is “supposed” to be about…
    Is there a BONUS ROUND for multiple posts that my dumbass/redneckass hasn’t signed-up for?
    If i have not posted before, people, a car dealer is not much more than a grocery store….they sell stuff that SOMEBODY else made.
    If you buy a can of green beans and open the sealed can and, low-and-behold, there’s a condom inside…it’s not the store’s fault.
    It’s who manufactured the product.
    If a car dealer cannot/willnot resolve the issue, you simply HAVE to take it to the next level; the company that manufactured it.
    The dealership CAN and SHOULD help you set up an appointment with a factory rep,(i believe, THAT would be customer service!) which come around once a month REGARDLESS of what anyone says; they are there; they get PAID for it.
    I can say this because i have experienced this.
    Spell-checkers….just deal with it!!
    If someone posted this same response above…..good job!!!

  42. @Imafish: I had a Dodge Die-Nasty. That’s one reason I’ll never own another Dodge product.

  43. econobiker says:

    @sirwoj: I bet he wasn’t around when the car was repaired. The dealership got a great call from the regional rep and higher. You know that was a pain in the butt to someone…

  44. LUV2CattleCall says:

    I see this as a Phyrric victory in a way…. I’m glad he got the problem solved, but my blood is boiling that it took 8 months and media attention to fix this problem that, sans bad publicity, was “undiagnosable.” I thimk “Probe” would have been a much more appropriate name for the car.


    When United lost my suitcase and my phone had a dead battery?

  45. LUV2CattleCall says:


    Tell that to NASA…

  46. dazzlezak says:

    The problem was that he bought a Chrysler product.

    I had a leak in the door/frame of the car (brand new), transmission main seal leak at 30k miles, A/C that needed recharging every summer (4 x in 5 years)

    My solution was to replace my Dodge with a Mazda Protoge. I’ve only replaced brakes, tires, 1 anti-roll bar, 1 o2 sensor, never touched the A/c (I moved to Las Vegas too)

    Friends don’t let friends buy Chrysler…

  47. dazzlezak says:

    BTW the Mazda has 110,000 miles and is 9 years old, 1999 model

  48. wiring problems SUCK. My car acted like it was possessed by the devil for a while, my spedometer would jump from 120 down to 15, the power steering acted like it didn’t exist, or worked intermittently, try getting on the interstate with a vehicle that took 2 MINS to get up to speed, jerked, sputtered, the works. After 4 days in the shop, they finally replicated the problem, took another 3 days to fix… It was a rusted out ground on my ECM computer, screwed up my entire car. But it still cost $300 to fix.