2019 Dodge Journey Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

Many people purchased the 2019 Dodge Journey because of the low cost, but they still expected decent performance. Even the automaker claims this model offers “muscle on the run,” but that’s not what owners found. Instead, drivers are dealing with a defective powertrain, faulty engine and glitchy electrical system.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Dodge Journey

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
4
Service Brakes
4
Air Bags
3
Electrical System
3
Engine
3
Unknown Or Other
3
Seats
2
Fuel/propulsion System
2
Seat Belts
1
Vehicle Speed Control
1

Problems with the Transmission

If the Journey has plenty of muscle, it needs to have a reliable powertrain to transmit that power. However, this system is quite defective.

Just look at this Cars.com review. “I absolutely hate this vehicle! It’s very basic, and boring the interior design sucks. Car has a hard time picking up speed, some electrical issues with the dashboard, car is also very ‘jerky’ seems to be some issues maybe with the transmission feels as if it is pulling and I’m getting rear ended at the same time, no automatic start, it has a manual lift hatch which I hate. I almost feel like I’m riding in a ‘hoopty’ it gets me from point a to point b. I’m literally in and out of the car just because it doesn’t satisfy my interior needs at all. Probably will never buy another Chrysler Vehicle ever again after this experience and I’ve only had this car for less than a month.”

Dodge isn’t hiding transmission issues. Even Service Bulletin #9004182 talks about harsh shifting but claims that the system just has to learn the customer’s driving style. In the meantime, the Journey is creating a bucking bronco feel for drivers across the nation. It might have muscle (which is also questionable), but it can’t possibly take it on the run.

Problems with the Electrical System

Again, the Journey isn’t hailed as a luxury vehicle, but it should contain enough capability to run everyday systems, yet it doesn’t.

Here is an NHTSA comment worth looking at. “You can be driving and what shows up in the dashboard is that your key is not in the vehicle when the key is in the vehicle. Then, the warning signals start the blare. The vehicle was stationary at the time, I had to cut the vehicle off then it wouldn’t start back until some time had passed. Then, the vehicle started again.”

There are other electrical system problems outlined in communications. Service Bulletin #08-083-19 talks about concerns that require software updates, including trouble with the hands-free system. Whether the car is having trouble determining if the key is in the ignition or it’s dropping phone calls, customers aren’t happy with the small price paid to drive the Journey.

Problems with the Engine

Again, the Journey isn’t going to win any awards for the most powerful engine or quickest acceleration time, but the engine should still be durable enough to work. Yet, that’s not what customers suggest.

Here is one more NHTSA complaint. “The vehicle’s Check Engine, the ESC, and the Electronic Throttle Control warning lights would all come on and the vehicle would bog down and not be able to go above 40 mph. This has happened 5 times now, it is back at [dealership] for the 4th time. No answers have been found and Chrysler is not replacing the vehicle. Every time it happened while driving. The vehicle has been back at the dealership more than I have driven it since purchasing it on June 29th.”

Sadly, it doesn’t seem like this issue, and the many others out there are going to be resolved. To create the low dollar Journey, Dodge took a lot of short cuts, and the company is aware of the problems. Even Service Bulletin #18-089-19 talks about leaks within the engine system that could cause trouble. The old saying – you get what you pay for – rings true in this situation.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

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Complaint Data

CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System, Engine
DateMay 08, 2022
StateNY
Description
Rear ended and side swiped by truck going over 75 mph. Collision disabled engine and vehicle. Air bags did not deploy.
CategorySeats
DateFeb 03, 2022
StateMD
Description
Seat wont close in back seat second row wont close at all it broken itself
CategorySeats
DateFeb 03, 2022
StateMD
Description
All seat have side power move for open and close in second row and front row press down n up area plastic area holder it broke all of 4 of them seat broken for no reason
CategoryAir Bags
DateOct 26, 2021
StateTX
Description
Ever time I drive my airbag light will come on and stay on for 5-10 mins then go off for 5-10 mins then come back on. Something is seriously going on with my cars air bags
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 24, 2021
StateMA
Description
While driving I came to a stop sign on a hill and the vehicle shut off on its own and started rolling backwards down the hill. I tried to brake but it wouldn't let me so I was forced to throw it into park so it would stop. This is the second time this has happened where the car shut off on its own while in drive.
CategoryPower Train
DateFeb 08, 2021
StateTX
Description
Car "clunks" when going from reverse to drive, sporadically. Also the transmission "slips" occasionally. I have brought it to the dealership, changed all engine mounts, november 2020. Brought it back a week later when I could get an appointment, still doing it. They claim I am not "stopping fully" before going from reverse to drive, and say they have done all they could. Spoke to friend who also owns a dodge journey. She has the same problem. I feel this is a safety issue since it is obviously damaging the transmission each time this happens, and that it is not slipping when accelerating and changing gears (auto transmission).
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 23, 2020
StateTX
Description
Transmission sporadically clunks from reverse to drive. Dealer replaced all motor mounts. Still does it.
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 22, 2020
StateNY
Description
Transmission bang when taking of from a stop
CategoryAir Bags, Seat Belts, Service Brakes
DateDec 17, 2020
StateTX
Description
I was traveling on a very busy highway going 50 miles an hour. I noticed a lot of congestion ahead so I had to lean over because the car has bad blind sites due to headrests on all seats. When I turned back there were many cars stopped dead in front of me. I slammed on the brakes but didn't even slow down. I rear ended the car in front of me. My air bag did not deploy nor did my seat belt even tighten. My entire body especially on the right side slammed the steering wheel. My knee slammed the column or something underneath the steering column. I have a permanent mark. I had a small punctured lung on the right side and my right shoulder and arm were injured which has now turned into rsd. Extremely painful . I had chrysler test it but will only send me an email saying no problems. No report. Just an email saying exactly that.*dt*dt*jb*jb
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Power Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateOct 04, 2020
StateIL
Description
The transmission is stalling at 25739 miles. I bought it in april of 2020, 6 months ago. When accelerated the engine struggles to get over 65 miles and revs incredibly. Then the tachometer shoots up and down giving me unstable speeds. This happened on the expressway continuously. It is still under warranty and I am taking it to the dodge dealership tomorrow. There is also a shake I feel and vibration.
CategoryExterior Lighting, Service Brakes
DateSep 03, 2020
StateWV
Description
I recently took a trip to pigeon forge tennesee from charl3ston west virginia. The speed most of the drive was 65mph. My vehicle only has 43,000 miles on it. I bought it used but that doesn't mean that the brakes should already be wearing down. Braking down hill at 65mph the brakes seemed to almost be pulsating but felt like the rotor may have been warped and the sound was horrible! I felt the vibrations every time I would brake. I don't know what to do about it as I just spent a lot of money on the car itself! City driving is not as bad but it is still concerning that interstate speeds may be an issue.
CategoryService Brakes, Structure:body, Wheels
DateAug 30, 2020
StateMI
Description
I had an accident this passed july 4, 2020 where I had no brakes. That experience will never be forgotten (pstd). I traveled that day 110 mile on the freeway and reached my destination stopped to check address, then turned slowly into a driveway. My friends pulled their car up so I can park behind. I pulled in pressed on brakes and realized there were no brakes when my foot went all the way to the floor and car started accelerating. My friends drive is on a decline. Very hilling area in harrison mi. I starting praying asking god to not hit their car, then not hit their houses and I saw bushes thinking they would stop me. But to no avail the car drove through them just missing a telephone pole. My car headed back to the street going towards the house across the street. I am still pumping the brakes. So I turned to my left and went thru a wooded fence hit a stone stump and went sailing (according to the neighbor of the house) four feet into the air and came crashing down on a tree. In my mind I was thinking this tree will stop my car praying not ending my life. The car hit the tree and landed on the ground proceeding to the street again. I am now driving down dodge hwy with oncoming traffic on the wrong side of highway. I put the car in park but the car still did not stop. A street was coming up on the left side and I turned to get out of traffic and this street was going uphill and the car stopped. The car has been with dealership since july 6,2020 and 5 weeks later on august 17, I received a letter from fca stating "we are not led to believe that the incident was due to a manufacturing responsibility."
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Service Brakes
DateJul 01, 2020
StateAL
Description
When pushing the start button the vehicle continues to turn over but takes awhile before it cranks and it usually happens when it's a cold crank and it's been sitting for awhile I'm pretty sure it's the fuel pump. Also whenever your getting in and backing out the brakes squeak pretty bad and this vehicle has less the 25k miles on it. *tr
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMay 20, 2020
StateNY
Description
Burning smell of fluid, plastic or metal when driving the car. *tr
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 19, 2020
StateGA
Description
Uconnect dont work half the time, uconnect says its a dealer problem dealer says its a uconnect problem, ready to get it all back
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateJan 17, 2020
StateIL
Description
You can be driving and what shows up in the dashboard is that your key is not in the vehicle when the key is in the vehicle then the warning signals start the blair the vehiclewere stationary at the time I had to cut the vehicle off then it wouldn't start back until some time has passed then the vehicle started again
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Sensing System: Camera
DateDec 11, 2019
StatePA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 dodge journey. While backing out of a parking spot, the vehicle's back up camera failed to alert the contact of another vehicle in the rear. As a result, the contact struck the parked vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 4,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Electronic Stability Control, Engine
DateAug 19, 2019
StateIL
Description
The vehicle's check engine, the esc, and the electronic throttle control warning light, would all come on and the vehicle would bog down and not be able to go above 40 mph. This has happened 5 times now, it is back at dempsey dodge dealership for the 4th time. No answers have been found and chrysler is not replacing the vehicle. Every time it happened while driving. The vehicle has been back at the dealership more than I have driven it since purchasing it on june 29th.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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2 COMMENTS
  • Spring S

    Hello. I bought a 2019 Dodge Journey used. It came with a 30 day in house warranty on the power train. I had it one week took a two hour trip and ended up stranded with my family. It would not start. We got a jump and made it home but not without it running hot. It had been struggling to start before and seemingly losing power with ac and display. I pulled the Carfax and notice several checks on engine and computer modules ie electrical. I’m now the proud owner of a 600 a month car note buying a 23k car for 42k after all’s said and done but can’t drive it. Please help

  • Zonda H

    I having problem with my 2019 dodge journey and the dealership will not take it back. I only had it for 2 weeks

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