2021 Dodge Challenger Problems And Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, airbag, & powertrain issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Dodge Challenger has been around for a very long time. It’s changed a lot since its launch in 1970, but it still has that old-school look.

There have been three generations of this car, the most recent introduced in 2008. It was last updated in 2011. Even though Dodge has announced a special edition 2022 Hellcat widebody Jailbreak, CEO, Tim Kuniskis, has confirmed that the Challenger will retire in 2024.

How this will affect potential faults and malfunctions has yet to be seen.

So far, Chrysler has issued 2 recalls for the 2021 Dodge Challenger. There are also 31 manufacturer communications on file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These warn dealers of potential problems and known malfunctions and contain information on how to deal with them. They range from problems with latches, locks, and linkages to issues that relate to the engine and electrical system.

The 2021 Challenger has not been rated for safety by NHTSA or for reliability by the independent Consumer Reports.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020

Most Common Problems

There are currently 5 complaints on file with NHTSA. These involve a range of components and systems – airbags, back-over prevention, the electrical system, engine, the fuel/propulsion system, and the powertrain. As is always the case with NHTSA complaints, some refer to more than one component.

Engine problems top the list of complaints.

2021 Dodge Challenger Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Air Bags
Electrical System
Back Over Prevention: Camera System
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Fuel/propulsion System
Power Train

Problems with the Engine & Powertrain

There are 3 complaints about the 2021 Challenger engine. The most serious describes how a car with about 16,000 miles on the clock spontaneously caught alight. According to the complaint, the car was stationary at the time.

“While the vehicle was at a standstill, it caught on fire without warning. The fire marshals extinguished the flames. A report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a tow lot.” Nobody was injured in the incident.

Another complaint filed under engine and electrical system problems states that the “speedometer is messed up and not working properly. What should I do?”

There is only 1 powertrain complaint on file and this describes how the transmission/driveshaft thumps and the car “lurches” forward on start-up. The complaint states that it seems to be related to the push-button start. The car is also equipped with a factory remote start. When he uses this there is no noise and the car doesn’t lurch on start-up.

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Airbag Problems

The airbag complaint refers to a crash that destroyed a car with only about 8,000 miles on the clock. The owner was “driving on the highway at approximately 55-65 MPH when the vehicle hydroplaned. As a result, the vehicle struck a guardrail head-on and spun out of control.”

The frontal airbags didn’t deploy. But because there weren’t any injuries, he didn’t file a police report.

“The vehicle was taken to the local dealer and deemed a total loss.”

Problems with the Fuel System

The only complaint labeled a fuel/propulsion problem is also filed under engine and back-over prevention problems. It involves a Challenger with less than 1,000 miles on the clock and there are clearly multiple problems.

The complaint describes “catastrophic fuel pump failure” while driving. Additionally, the “rearview backup camera freezes and stutters causing safety issues.” It also says that the radio volume changes constantly while driving, leading to distraction and more safety issues.

The door locks are “consistently unreliable,” and there is about a 25% chance that the door locks will fail. The key fob isn’t detected and there are electronic lock-down issues. “Uconnect freezing and stuttering” causes delays in the backup camera and other functions, which also cause safety concerns.

What to do if your 2021 Dodge Challenger is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Persistent problems with motor vehicles often indicate a lemon especially when they relate to the engine, brakes, or transmission. If you have had recurring problems and think you may have a lemon on your hands, call the Lemberg Law Helpline.

We have many years of experience in lemon law and have helped many clients get cash settlements, buybacks, trade-ins, and replacement vehicles. The law makes the manufacturer, Chrysler, pay for lemon law legal costs, so you won’t have to worry about paying legal bills.

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

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