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Chrysler Dodge Caliber is a Piece of Junk!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Last August, my wife and I purchased a new 2007 Dodge Caliber here in Kelowna at Okanagan Dodge SuperStore. Within seven months we have issues with the car. You know it's no wonder that car salespeople get somewhat of a bad wrap. They tend to be selfish and pushy. The at first appear to be knowledgeable but refuse to answer the tough questions. They are there, not for the consumer, but for the sale. Well it's no wonder that Chrysler sales and other auto sales are down in recent years.

So in August when we were making the deal for our new Caliber, we wanted to trade my wife's existing car in. What a joke that process was. The Okanagan Dodge Superstore (Super-ripoff maybe) gave my wife less than half of what we expected on trade in (knowing that dealerships often give lower than expected trade-ins", we were prepared for a low offer, but not that low...). Regardless we (at this time) liked the Caliber. Fast forward to today and the point of this post.

2007 Chrysler Dodge Caliber is a Piece of Junk

Two weeks ago the 2007 Caliber failed to start. Imagine that, a new automobile that won;t start. Into the shop it went. Fixed (or so we thought) in a couple of hours. Then this morning as my wife was, driving our daughter to school, on her way to work, the 2007 Caliber stalled not once but five times. Are you serious? This is a brand new car. Stalling like this in busy traffic is a safety issue. They could have easily been rear-ended or worse as one of the stalls happened in a busy intersection. This is where I have issues. When the safety of my family is involved, I believe that the dealership and Chrysler is to be held responsible. So I did a little research. Here's what I came up with:

There were a number of forums about the Dodge Caliber and the fact that there are well known issues with this stalling. Yet no t a recall from Chrysler. Here is what some of the folks on the forums had to say:
  • "I was curious if any of the problems with the knocking, thermostat, and stalling were
    associated with the 2008 model Caliber SE or SXT? "

  • "finally another Caliber driver with stalling issues, I was told by dealer after they put a
    new tramsmission in that I was nuts there is nothing wrong, I drove 12 hours from Fl. to SC and stalled on highway, brought car to sc dodge dealer, I paid for a rental car cause they wanted to test drive car all day, picked up car next am was told they drove it ofr several hours and found nothing that I was crazry, the drop off miles were on invoice and the mileage out 7 miles is all they test drove it for, 2 hrs. later I stalled called them and
    reported it to damion chrs. next day i was at a stop sign, when I went to go I stalled and was rear ended by a huge gas truck, called dealer and corp. and a lawyer, the car has not been towed and I had to rent a car to come back to fl.I am happy to see I am not crazy and was almost killed. I am taking action on 2 dealers and corporate. Brand new cars do not need tramissions at 3ooo miles and should not stall out my lawyer says it is a lemon keep in touch I may have lawyer call you for poof it is not only me I will keep you posted"

  • from another, "Our service found a very DANGEROUSLY LEAKING FUEL LINE that could have caught my car on fire. Get them to check for this."

  • and yet another:
    "My Caliber will stall often when sitting in neutral, no reason I can see for it. It's probably done it about 20 times in the last 6 months. One day it stalled 5 times sitting in the Taco Bell drive through."

  • "I am so glad I found this! What you've described is EXACTLY what's been happening to me. It's a bit of a relief to hear it from someone else as I've told my story to anyone who will listen and I think they think I'm crazy. My car stalls in neutral every so often. What it does more often than stalls is go down to 400 rpms quickly and pops back up to normal (700). I've been stopped at lights and it shudders like it's going to stall and then the rpms pop back up. I've even been parked, in neutral with the e-brake on and the the oil light went on and it the bells went off like it was going to stall and then the rpms went up over 1,000 and leveled off at 700. It's been so weird. Stalling in neutral is just strange and shouldn't be. I've stalled pulling in to parking spots...typically happens at low speeds/rpms."

  • "we are having the same problems with our new dodge caliber 1.8 se unleaded we bought it in september 06 and have had nothing but problems with the stalling when we pull away the revs drop and it stalls nearly every time unless we rev excessively also in reverse it judders before stalling. and we are currently trying to send it back as its been in for repair and still has the same problems is there any one who can help us with who we can contact next other than the dealer."

    There may be a fix, here are some more comments:

    • I'm stationed in Germany and I have the 1.8 Liter 5 speed. I had the same stall problem that everyone seems to have the garage here wasn't able to duplicate it but they did down load the latest computer flash for the caliber. This Flash is the one that the 1.8 5 speed Calibers that are being built now come with. All they did was hook up my car to the diagnostic machine and down load and reflash everything with the latest and greatest. Apparently this is standard procedure overhere in Germany. My car was fixed in 1 hour. It hasn't stalled since they flashed it a month ago. The RPMs are more stable and I can feel a little more power and my gas mileage hasn't changed. Just have your service center give you the most current flash, it will fix the stall problem. I don't have the flash number with me but if you need it just let me know.

    But will the dealerships even fix it? From yet another Caliber owner:

    • "My dealership does not want to acknlowledge that there is a stalling issue. When I asked for them to put it in writing to me they won't. I have sent the certified letter to DaimlerChrysler and will give an update if they respond. I also filed a complaint at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ and if they do not comply then will follow up with: http://www.800helpfla.com/lemonlaw.html "

    and another:

    • "Customer Service is at 1-800-853-1403 how long have you been waiting? I waited 9 weeks and I hear that some waited up to 16 weeks." Ooh that's great customer service.

    and yet another one:

    "I brought the car in 3 weeks ago for the stalling. The dealer contacted Chrysler and they said there wasn't an 'exact' fix for it yet but suggested the dealer reflash the computer and do a 'few other things'. The dealer told me Chyrsler said they should have more info by the end of the year. The rpm's still drop down and pop back up, but the car has only stalled once in the past 3 weeks. "
Only once? the fact that a brand new vehicle is stalling period is an issues. My faith in Chrysler products has dropped. It's no wonder why people are moving towards imports. The Kelowna Chrysler dealership is just another Chrysler dealership that is selling these stalling Dodge calibers. You pay good money for a brand new car for it to stall? Not acceptable. I would advise ANYONE considering to purchase a Dodge Caliber not to. You would be better off with a Toyota or Mazda, GM, or even Ford product. The fact that there are well known issues with the Caliber is disheartening. Take for instance:
  • the "Caliber Ping"
  • the "Caliber Stall"
  • the "Caliber Transmisson Issue"
In terms of the stalling problem,one owner commented:
  • "After reading some of the past forum discussions it looks like most people got the TSB 18-033-06 flash update (the recall that came out last year), I also had that done. This time the mechanics reflashed my PCM with TSB 18-020-06 and my car is fine now. So I'd recommend both of those TSB's to anyone with the stalling issue." We'll see what the dealership suggests."
In this day and age, the fact that a new car has so many problems is ridiculous. I have a real problem when safety becomes an issue. There are numerous reports of injuries being suffered as a result of the stalling. That is unacceptable. The Caliber that we owned was purchased in August of 2007. We had in in the ship two weeks ago because it wouldn't start. Now this morning it stalled 5 times for my wife as she was taking our daughter to school. In busy traffic we are fortunate that they were not rear-ended by another motorist. Chrysler via a known problem with their Dodge Caliber products has put my family at risk. This is unacceptable.

How the sales team and management at Okanagan Dodge Superstore (http://www.okanagandodge.com) can continue to sell these defective automobiles is beyond me.

For any media persons that read this post I would be willing to conduct interviews to discuss my dissatisfaction with our experience with Dodge products. For people looking to purchase a Chrysler product, you might want to think again. For you die-hard "Dodge" folks out there, you've been lucky.

What's Next?

You know what would be ideal is if this post went viral and prevented people from purchasing a Dodge Caliber or prevented them from going to Okanagan Dodge SuperStore here in Kelowna that would be satisfaction, for you see, Chrysler does not care about the consumer. The team at Okanagan Dodge SuperStore do not care about the consumer (in fact when my wife took the car in to the shop at the dealership this morning, they were fairly rude in typical dealership style.). The fact is, that we will most likely never purchase a Chrysler product again. If we can use our experience and warn others of the issues with Dodge Calibers then maybe we can save other some grief as well.

For users that read this post, all I ask is that you pass it on. Link to it, forward it to news aggregators, social bookmarking sites etc.

For my money the 2007 Dodge Caliber is a piece of junk!


posted by Jody @ Monday, March 10, 2008  
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Home: Kelowna, BC, Canada
About Me: SEO guy by day, family man 24/7.
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