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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2021

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.

2019 Dodge Challenger Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control

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.

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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.

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.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Barry

    My 2019 Challenger GT was running fine until all of a sudden problems started. Also, the car gets awful gas mileage in the city. 11.5 mpg and this is a V-6! This is not the first Challenger I’ve had issues with. I’ve owned a 2016 and three months after I bought it the backup camera stopped working.

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