2021 Dodge Charger Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Editor: Rita Roberts | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2021 Dodge Charger looks like the epitome of what a sports car is supposed to be. The automaker claims it is the “definition of muscle.” But owners are identifying faulty powertrains and other safety issues they are complaining about.   

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

Most Common Problems

The highest volume of complaints about the 2021 Dodge Charger to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relate to the powertrain. There are also problems with the airbags, wheels, electrical system and engine, backover prevention, lane departure, steering, suspension, and visibility. Many of these raise safety issues.

Additionally, there is a recall for 21,258 Dodge and Chrysler vehicles, including the 2020-2021 Charger. During the manufacturing process, the windshield may not have been properly bonded to the vehicle, which can result in it detaching in a crash. This increases the risk of injury.

2021 Dodge Charger Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Air Bags
3
3
Power Train
3
3
Unknown Or Other
2
2
Wheels
2
2
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
1
1
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
1
1
Electrical System
1
1
Engine
1
1
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
1
1
Steering
1
1

Powertrain Problems

Powertrain issues that owners complain about range from inconsistent and delayed power delivery and lack of acceleration in low gears, to gears sticking and vehicles “locking up.”

There is also a complaint from an owner in Texas who states that, after hearing “popping” under the car, he found that both rear control arms were broken.

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Lack of Acceleration

An owner from Florida states that the Charger “does accelerate (sometimes poorly with hesitation) and the RPMs climb, but the power is severely reduced until 4500 RPM. Then the power comes on strong without any change in throttle position or gear. The issue can best be described as feeling like you are towing something heavy with a rope, and at 4500 rpm, the rope breaks and the resistance is lifted.” The complaint states that multiple dealers have reproduced the issue and state it is “performing as designed.”

“I have found at least 10 other owners of various vehicle models from Chrysler with the same engine and transmission combo that have the same issue.” These all have the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 and the ZF8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission. “There is no way to know it is going to happen. One minute it accelerates normally, the next it doesn’t. It does not pose imminent danger, but it has put me in a precarious position more than once when entering a highway or pulling out into traffic and not knowing how much acceleration power I am going to have.”

Vehicle Lock up or Shut Off

Another owner states that he lost control of his vehicle. “When trying to steer my steering wheel straight, the rear end of my vehicle locked up and ended up in a guardrail. There was nothing on the road or any pedestrian or other cars — I have no idea what caused my car to lock up.” Since this incident, “my car now locks up when I do a turn like it gets stuck in a gear. And when cruising (the) vehicle chocks/hesitates to drive like it wants to get stuck in a lock mode.” Two Dodge dealers have examined the vehicle three times, but they weren’t able to duplicate the problem.

In a complaint that the NHTSA lists as an engine/electrical system problem, an owner from Florida reports that the Charger shuts off while driving. The first time, “the engine turned off while driving (and) the vehicle appeared to stall.” After that, on three occasions, the car would not start after the owner parked.

Other Problems

Other problems vary, and they relate to several other components and systems. Here are a few examples.

Airbag Problems

An owner from Texas reports error messages that state “passenger frontal squib 2 control circuit open” as well as “check airbag system.” The complaint goes on to say that “the car was in an accident, […] but when they fix the cars, don’t they have to make sure the airbags are safe and the vehicle is safe to operate. The car is financed and I am paying for it and my 3rd party warranty does not cover [the] airbag system and this does put my wife at risk when I’m driving and she’s in the passenger seat.”

Rear Camera Problems

In a complaint the NHTSA lists as a lane departure and backover prevention issue, an owner from Nevada states that the “rear camera is defective. It is too dark in most conditions and not clear, resulting in a poor view of what is behind me. At night, it is impossible to use, and relying on it will result in a collision.” The dealer and automaker maintain that “it is how it should be. Other owners of the same type [of] car online have the same complaint and had the camera changed.”

Steering Problems

An owner from North Carolina reports that, while driving at about 60 mph and making a left turn, “the power steering failed to operate properly.” This made the steering wheel difficult to turn in any direction. After the failure, an error message, “”Electric Power Steering Failure,” displayed.

Visibility Problems

Problems with windshields that crack spontaneously or with very little contact are remarkably common for vehicles in general.

An owner from Arizona states in an NHTSA complaint that, while driving at 25 mph, “a truck spun out and gravel fell from the truck causing a tiny rock to hit the driver’s side windshield and caused a crack.” He had the crack repaired, but within three months, the failure had recurred three times.

Wheel Problems

One 2021 Charger owner discovered that the inside lip of a tire had a hairline crack. He realized that the crack was why he had had to top up the air once a month. “The tire pressure would be 38 psi when I put air [in,] and [it] would drop to 30 over a month. I’ve had the tire looked at several times and they found nothing. Then around 3 weeks ago it went from losing 8 psi a month, to around 5 psi a week.” That’s when he jacked up the car and sprayed the tire with soapy water — and discovered the crack.

The dealer insisted he had “hit a pothole or something in the road.” However, the owner maintains, “No I did not, I’ve never hit anything.” After doing a bit of research, the owner says he found out, “I’m not alone.”

So, is it a lemon?

If you think you have bought a 2021 Dodge Charger that is a lemon, the best thing to do is contact a lemon law firm like Lemberg Law that can help you work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Dodge pay legal fees, so you’re not going to be out of pocket. All you have to do is fill out a Lemberg Law contact form or call our Helpline so we can assess your problems and see how we can help 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
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