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Dodge/Plymouth Neon



  • mobaymobay Posts: 45

    The hassle you have gone through are incredible.
    I would suggest you do the following.Start RIGHT NOW to document all of the problems that you are having or have had.If you have any, or all, of the old bills,or work orders, start to photo copy them.

    On any other future work to be done , demand a work order.

    Now what I am suggesting is that you write a letter, or better yet have a paralegal (they're cheaper) ,write a letter to Daimler Chrysler (DC afterwards) explaining when you bought the car, and explaining all the problems that you have had with it.

    Send copies of all the paperwork you have gotten from the dealer and tell them that you are expecting them to have the dealer fix the problem.
    Also suggest to them that if they cannot give you satisfaction, that you will be forced to take the matter to Small Claims Court or to the Attorney General.

    Also send a copy of the letter to DC to the dealer.

    I would also send a copy of the letter to your state Attorney General.Make sure that you have notation on the bottom of the letter that the letter is being cc'd to the Attorney General so that they(DC and the dealer) know you are serious.

    I would then contact the DMV in your area or perhaps a lawyer and find out about the time limit for the Car Lemon laws in your state.

    More than likely DC will get on the dealers A$$ and raise hell with him.If not, I would suggest going to Small Claims Court. This will be a royal pain in the [non-permissible content removed] for you, but an even bigger one for DC and the dealer ,if they are stupid enough not to show up for the case.It's not expensive to get the case into Small Claims Court.

    Drastic I know, but the thing to do with any new car that starts to give problems as quickly as yours did ,is to document the problems. Then, apply for compensation under the Lemon laws in your state.

    I've got a 2K ES 5spd.I bought it in May and it has 7000 miles on it. Not a single problem whatsoever.I love the car.

    That's just me though. I would be mad as hell if it had given me the problems you had. But you know what?, I'd take DC and the dealer to court on the matter. The problem is that people let the matter slip into the limit of the lemon law (usually 18 months) and then it's too late.

    I'd never buy another DC product if I had the same experience as you.I'm lucky with mine, and have to hope that your case is an isolated one.

    Sorry , I can't do more man, but I hope you'll get a resolution to your problem.
  • tubbyntubbyn Posts: 6
    Well thank you for your writting me and telling me the steps and what to do ... it is greatly appreciated! i think that i will give them another chance... just to make sure that it wasn't me!... i will NEVER buy another DC product again... and i will sure as hell not buy a car from that dealer! i am planning on getting red of it as soon as the warranty runs out anyways! i am not going to put up with the crap for another 16 mos. i can garuntee you that one!
    Thanks once again!
  • Hi! I am just joining the list here for the first time! I am thinking of purchasing a nearly new 97 Neon Sport 5 spd. with only 90,000 kilometers. However, I am quite aware of all the apparent problems people are having - this car is like new and drives great with no apparent problems. I had it checked over by a mechanic friend, the only thing he could find was the rad looked like it might be wearing out already? Other than that he felt the car was ok! It's this or a nice 93 Honda Accord with 220,000 Kilometers for the exact same price. I do like the Neon, but I'm not so sure after reading the numerous complaints on these cars? Accords are supposedly known for longevity. Any advice?
  • I can completely sympathize with you on your Neon problems. Like you, I had many, many problems with mine including rough idle and believe it or not trunk release problems. I had the spoiler put on mine and I could never ever get the trunk to "pop up". I always had to pull it up at the same time as I hit the keyless remote. I also had a broken piston ring break at 3500 miles. The power steering pump went out on mine at 9500 miles and the alternator bolt broke at 11,500 miles. On top of all those things I had small problems too. The CD player broke, the console cover bubbled and the windshield was warped.

    I know others on this board have heard my problems before but I just wanted you to know you're not alone. I too, will never buy a DC product again. (And I have family members who work for DC-Neon plant.) A word of wisdom prepared to loose your shirt when you trade yours in. I traded mine when the warranty (36K) expired and lost big time!
  • I see some folks are having problems with their new 2000 Neons and I have to say that I have been very fortunate. Except for a power steering pump replacement at 3000mi, I have had no problems and am now approaching 26000 mi. This is my So. Ca. freeway commuter and I am pleased (knock on wood) that I have had no mechanical problems. I have replaced the brakes ($50) oil changes every 3k w/o fail, and have had the transmission fluid replaced at 20k.
    Once I hit a 100k (if it makes it that long), I will get a bigger car only for crash protection. I've seen the new Neons that rental agencies have and have seen what happens in a crash. Talk about aluminum foil. Drive careful out there if you have one of these fine cars. Don't worry so much about mechanical problems, worry about the other guy instead.
  • Don´t worry your car will easly hit 100k,they are good cars,and don´t worry about a crash,drive your car and enjoy it!
  • mytchmytch Posts: 3
    0% financing for up to 60 months on 00 Neons.What will the next move of DC be to rid itself of the overstock of 2000's, 1,000 dollars under each wheel cover??, If they are SO good why does the inv\centive have to be SO big to move them?
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Some of it is not DaimlerChrysler's doing. Most small cars carry some sort of incentive these days, as even with the increased price of gasoline, people still don't buy them.
  • Want a better deal ,buy a Ford Focus 0% interest plus,you can loose rear wheels,fire because of the ignition switch,all kind of troubles with the tranny,and on and on,that´s a better deal!

    Have you owned a Ford LATELY????????
  • With 8,500 miles on the odometer and almost 12 months since it was delivered, my Neon has been a great little car. Its handling, road feel, ride, steering and braking are comparable to a 1985 BMW 318i that I owned, and the Neon is quite a bit quicker. I'm amazed with how many features I got for the money with the Neon; in fact, it has more features than my last car, a 1996 Infiniti G20. (i.e. traction control, remote keyless entry, plus everything the G20 had). The build quality of the 2000 Neon is excellent (no rattles or creaks, unlike the dealer-installed sunroof on the G20).

    The only problem that I've had with the Neon was a passenger-side electric window switch that did not work. It had not been plugged in, and the dealer merely took off the plastic door panel and hooked it up. That stopped the plug from buzzing inside the door frame, too. The car also is a bit unrefined in terms of wind and road noise, but this is not a major annoyance.

    The Neon is also great-looking, to my eyes. I am in the somewhat unique position of living in Manhattan and paying $325 a month for a parking space. The Neon costs me almost $800 a month to own. I could afford to lease an Audi or BMW, but really, there's little point. The Neon is an excellent driver's car and compares favorably with near-luxury cars from the past.
  • tubbyntubbyn Posts: 6
    well i know what you mean about loosing you shirt... i went to the mercury dealer to look at the new cougars.... they basically laughed me off the lot!!! Told me that i would at least have to put $3000 down to even think about comming close to what it would take to have the same payment on my Neon ($334.32/mo.) Basically i am drowning in this freaking car and there is no way out! i am stuck! somtimes i wish that i would have kept my old neon ('96 2dr sport 5spd.) at least i could have traded it for somthing that was a little more oh what is the word i am looking for.... humm... well i could have traded it in for something that was not such a big piece of [non-permissible content removed]!

    Well now i am having troubles with my cd player.... the darn thing keeps on spitting the lings back out at mee saying that there is a disc error???? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?.... when i get back from Vacation that damn thing is going to the shop!!! and they Will find somthing wrong with it!!!!!!!! If i have to have the head of the freaking DC Corperation come down and take a look at my car!!! this is just freakin' rediculous!!! there is only so many things that can go wrong with a car before someone should say well humm obviously there is somthing wrong with the car!.... at this point i am a VERY DISGRUNTLED DC OWNER!
    Once again any questions comments or contructive critisim.... feel free to give me a yell at or here at Edmunds!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My roommate and I share a 2000 Neon ES automatic. It's been in the shop 6 times since the end of June. Things like the dash padding cracking, the brakes (rotors/pads) being replaced (at 11K) and other things like that. Now the cassette player doesn't work and the power steering is making a terrible noise and assist is lowering. I suspect a leak. We were going to trade it, but he would he $3000 or so in the hole as well. At least he purchased a 5 year/75K extended warranty and Chrysler has to pay for everything. Only good part of this whole charade.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I can't believe people here that think if they buy a new car and want to trade it in one year later they are not going to lose $3000. This is especially true if you buy the add ons like extended warranty. I don't car what car you buy new a year later if you want to dump it back to another dealer you are going to take it in the shorts. How much do you think you'd lose on a 2000 protoge with $1000 worth of extended warranty? I bet it's at least $3000. Now try this on a BMW or mercedes, even with excellent resale value the pricetag over 5 times that of a neon would mean resale would have to be 5 times better not to lose even more money one year later. The highest to lowest 1 year resale for cars only differs buy a few percent, nothing to specifically knock the neon for when all cars will have the same problem after 1 year.

    My 98 neon continues to be flawless with 24,000 miles. This year I think I'll get snow tires as the factory goodyears are short of tread, especially for snow. Maybe in the spring I can leave the studded tries on the factory alloys and get a new set of aftermarket wheels and tires. We have dropped the trade in idea as we now plan on doing a big construction loan and building a house. The neon is really to cost effective and such fun to drive I don't know what I'd really gain by trying to trade up to a luxury sedan. So I an here to stay, at least the trolls may have a chance to someday hear about a bad headgasket from my perfect neon but I wouldn't hold your breath.
  • tubbyntubbyn Posts: 6
    i really do not think that i that i would of had to have given so much!.... yes i know that i would have had to of given some money down but 3000 is just a little steep! i think!... but that is just my opion i could be wrong!
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Actually, you wouldn't need an extended warranty to 50K for a Protege. The standard warranty covers them up to 50K already. And I do expect cars to loose value, especially small ones like these. But look at how Chrysler has to keep increasing the rebates and decreasing the financing rates to sell Neons. The rebate on the Neon is $1500 now and $1000 on the Protege. The only reason the Neon sells better is because Dodge cannot get rid of the tin cans fast enough.
  • jmn2786jmn2786 Posts: 15
    Just wanted everyone to know that my loaded 2000 Dodge Neon ES 5sp is still runing great at 15,000mi.

  • How could I know that my steering pump needs replacement ? Is there a particular sound you hear or it's just impossible to turn the steering wheel ?

    I have a neon 2k highline 4500 miles on it
  • mark194mark194 Posts: 15
    The pump will start to "whine", it doesn't lock up it just makes a funny noise. My son had his replaced (2K Neon, purchased 6-99). My daughters 2K is just fine (purchased 3-00).
    Vocus - the brakes on your Neon were replaced at 11K. Did you have to pay for the replacement or was it covered by warranty? Who paid for the replacement brakes on the Protege at 27K? Didn't they have a difficult time finding replacement parts?
  • It sounds like your CD player is doing the same thing mine did. Be careful, mine ended up ruining a couple of CDs in the process. When I took mine in, they just replaced it.

    I know what you mean about having to come up with more money in order to trade. I basically lost about the same amount as you're talking about. The big difference was that I ended up having to tack it on to the new loan. My payments on my new car are much, much higher than I wanted them to be. But then I really wanted the car I traded my neon in for, so I can't complain too much.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    My roommate was thinking about trading his Neon on a Cavalier. But I warned him that may be "cutting your nose off to spite your face" so to speak. They are having some really good deals on Cavaliers now though. But they are no more reliable than the Neon is.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    For the Neon at 11K, they paid for everything since it was under 12K. Now, at 18K the rotors and pads need maintenance again because there is a little pulsation when braking. That sucks, because they won't cover it this time, no matter what. I already tried.

    On the Protege, the brakes were replaced at 27K and I had to pay for it. It was very difficult for the shop to find replacement pads. They went through 4 sets and none of them fit! They finally just went to a nearby Mazda dealer and purchased the pads there. It took them 2 hours to do the brakes though. Amazing, because the Protege isn't a sports car or something, it's only an economy car.

    The Neon's steering "whines" occasionally as well. It just seems like everytime I take the thing in for repair, the only thing the mechanics can say is "no problem found". Bullcrap! The car's idle speed kicks up and down (surges and almost stalls sometimes) and they cannot find anything wrong with it. The engine light flashed one time, so hopefully the computer stored the code. The only reason Chrysler doesn't wanna work on the car is because it's under warranty now. Little do they know, my friend has an extended warranty to 5 years/75K. The car would have been long gone if not for the extended warranty.
  • Yes, I did realize I was going to lose when I traded in my Neon. I agree with TubbyN that 3,000 is a little steep. When you consider that the car cost me 14,400 (all options except alloy wheels, no extended warranty), a 3,000 loss is difficult to swallow.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Took my roommate's car to Carmax for an evaluation back when it had 14K on it. They told me it was worth $9300 and he owed $14,000 on it (extended warranty with LOADED ES model- every option but sunroof and CD). Carmax even said it's a nice car and all, but they cannot give a high amount for it because of the deals on new ones. Why would soemone pay $13,000 or so for a car with 20K miles on it if they can get a new one for about the same amount?
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    Trading any car in the first year or two will result in a large loss. Cars depreciate the most in the first three years, and then less (percentage wise) after that.

    The first year is the worst, since you'll probably never recoup the "add-on" costs of taxes, fees, and title/tags - unless you trade the car and live in a state that credits the tax paid that way.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Since I drive my 1999 Protege alot (almost 30K now), I will probably never recoup the amount owed on the car. Might as well just drive the damn thing until it dies. Since it's very reliable and has only been in the shop once, hopefully I will get at least 150K out of it.

    My roommate, on the other hand, just got a job where he has to do some commuting. He will drive about 40 miles a day. He has nearly 18K now, so I know the car's value will never be recouped. BUT, he could trade it in and put down $1500 on a new car and get close to the same payments, as long as the car isn't more expensive than about $14,500 or so. Then, the extended warranty people (outside source, not Chrysler) said he could get a refund on the warranty of about $1500. That would almost break him even.

    Still trying to decide whether or not to trade the Neon on a 2001 Cavalier Z24. I think he needs something better though. But we shall see.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    That warranty at GM turns out to be 2yrs 39K,the 36 mo. 36 K is included.I wonder about the DC warranty.
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    You might want to consider an Escort rather than a Cavalier - the Escort has had a better reputation than the Neon or Cavalier for years now. I think Ford phased out all but the sporty ZX-2 for the 2001 year, though.

    The Focus is clearly a better car than the Escort (and by just about every reviewer's measure, the Cavalier and Neon as well), but it hasn't exactly come out of the gate trouble-free (a couple of major recalls, one I believe involving all of them).
  • enetheneth Posts: 285
    DaimlerChrysler's warranty is the same as GM's - 3/36 bumper to bumper, no extended powertrain warranty standard (at least in the US).
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    well I think I've beat this down before but just look at numbers from edmunds. A 1999 civic DX sedan with common options and normal mileage has a trade in of $9765 just $1500 more then a comparable 1999 neon. The accord cost $3000 more initially not counting the rebate on the neon for most of 1999 was $2000 (the rebate has always been at least $1000 on the neon, its just something chrysler almost always does on all of thier products not matter how well they are selling.) So you potentially pay $5000 more for a civic but just two years later it's only worth $1500 more then a neon. All that time you got worse gas mileage and equal repair costs (both covered under warrenty) and less driving excitement. I'll take a neon over the overpriced imports anyday.
  • tubbyntubbyn Posts: 6
    well all i am getting ready to take my neon into the shop on Monday Oct 30,2000... i ham having them look at my cd player, idol speed, the vibration and raddling in my dash board, and anything else that i can think of between now and then!!! i think that 10 to 1 says that they say nothing is wrong and that "Everything seems fine to us!" will be one of the first words to come out of there mouths! also i want to know why my damn trunck doesn't pop up! oh also i my drivers side power mirror doesn't go down it will go up and to the left and right just not down! humm... Well i will talk to you all later!
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