Plymouth Neon

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

July 2000

Dear Consumer:

Thank you for contacting the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) about your
Neon or your Cirrus, Stratus or Breeze. CAS has received numerous consumer
complaints on air conditioning leaks, electrical
circuits that malfunction, transmission troubles
, premature
brake wear
, head gasket failure, and
poor driveability.
The PT Cruiser introduced in 2000 as a 2001
model is little more than a glorified Neon selling at excessive prices
and can be expected to have similar problems as 2000 Neons.

Introduced in 1995 as the latest in Chrysler’s cab-forward, front-wheel-drive
(FWD) cars, these models are not as safe or as reliable as the earlier
LH models. The Neon got off to a bad start with three safety recalls in
the first month of introduction — two for brakes and one for a fuel leak.

The 1995 Neon failed its 35-mph crash test with a driver Head Injury
score of 1,088 indicating a 33% probability of life threatening injury
in a 35-mph frontal crash. The passenger did not do much better with a
27% chance of death or serious injury. Of all the 1995 subcompact cars
crash tested by the NHTSA, the Neon did the worst. By 1998, the Neon only
improved to 22% and 15% for driver and passenger respectively. The front
crash tests for the 1998 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus twins showed a 25% and
19% probability of death or serious injury.

Chrysler has issued many dozens of Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs)
to dealers on how to fix problems in all of these cars ranging from fuel
pumps that whistle so loudly they need to be replaced to bacteria in air
conditioning systems to coil springs that must be replaced to brake moans
and howls. CAS has listed many of the major TSBs in the enclosed Fact
Sheet which tells you how to find other TSBs on your vehicle. The 1995
models had so many TSBs that CAS could not list all the ones that applied
to just that model year.

You’ll find more information on these and other Neon and Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze
problems below and what you can do about
them plus a complaint box. Your information
will help us build a strong case against Chrysler on the defects we know
about and help us spot new ones.

We need you to support the Center for Auto Safety in our fight for consumer
rights and against poorly designed and unsafe cars. Your contribution
is tax-deductible and
entitles your to our quarterly newsletter, Lemon Times. Please
submit the membership form along with your
contribution and complaint. If you contribute $35 or more, we will send you the current edition of The Ultimate Car Book, by Jack Gillis. Every home should have this
invaluable consumer guide.


Clarence M. Ditlow
Executive Director

Breeze Cirrus Neon Stratus PT Cruiser
Chrysler technical service bulletin numbers are in parentheses.

Air Conditioner/Heater:
Musty odor 1995-98 All models (24-11-97); Blower motor
inoperative in freezing weather 1995-97 Neon (24-03-97);
“Bump” felt during A/C compressor engagement 1996-97 N, Breeze, Stratus
(18-20-97); Musty odor &/or defroster fails to clear
glass 1995-97 All models (24-14-96); Whistle @ higher
blower speeds 1995-96 Neon (24-11-96); Compressor failure
in hot weather 1995-96 Cirrus, Stratus (24-07-96A); Intermittent
whistle 1995-96 Neon (24-07-95); White flakes from A/C
& heater outlets 1995 N/Cirrus, Stratus (24-08-95 & 24-05-95).

Info on paint, water or air leaks, go to Chrysler Paint.

Front brakes “howl” @ 10 mph or less 1995-97 Neon (05-08-97);
Front brake squeal &/or creep/groan @ 10-20 mph 1995-98 Neon (05-20-97);
Chirping rear brake drums 1995-96 Neon (05-05-96); Rear brake howl 1995-97
Neon (05-01-98); Front brake squeal or squeak 1995 Neon
(05-08-95); Moan, grind or growl in moderate/heavy braking
1995 Neon (05-07-95 & 05-16-94A); Shudder when decelerating
from 65 to 45-mph 1995 Cirrus, Stratus (05-05-95); Premature
front lining wear w/grinding noise 1995-96 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (05-01-96).

Remote keyless entry discharge 1997-98 Neon (08-39-97);
Intermittent remote keyless entry operation 1995-97 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus
(08-08-97); Interior lights work improperly 1995-97 Neon
(08-36-96); Headlight flicker 1995-96 Neon (08-26-96);
Rear grid defogger indicator light malfunctions 1995-98 Breeze, Cirrus,
Stratus (08-06-98).

Stumble/miss @ 2 minute intervals, shift cycling 1996 Breeze, Cirrus,
Stratus w/2.5L (18-26-97); Cold engine stumble/buck,
shift cycling 1997 All models (18-11-97); Intermittent single cylinder
misfire 1995-96 N/Cirrus, Stratus (18-10-97); Vehicle
shudder 1995-96 Cirrus, Stratus (18-09-97); Sag, hesitation
or miss 1995-96 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus w/2.5L V6 (18-08-97);
Warm-up sag, hesitation & driveway die out 1996-98 N, Breeze/Cirrus,
Stratus (14-08-97); Overheats in traffic &/or A/C
becomes inoperative 1995-96 Neon (07-01-97); Overheats
&/or radiator fan continues to run 1997-98 Neon (07-07-97);
Low frequency rumble or gear noise from front between 50 & 70 mph
1997-98 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (02-07-97); New oil filter
to prevent road damage 1995-96 All (09-03-96); Erratic
idle, performance loss 1995-96 N/Cirrus, Stratus (18-04-96);
Fails to run, alarm actuates improperly 1995 Cirrus, Stratus (08-02-95);
Head gasket replacement 1995-99 w/2.0 or 2.4L (09-05-98).

P/S assist loss in heavy rain &/or deep puddles 1995-97 Neon (07-04-97);
“Popping” from front suspension 1995-98 Neon (02-06-98A), 1995-98 Breeze,
Cirrus, Stratus (02-05-98); Steering wheel oscillation/vibration above
50 mph 1995 Neon (22-01-95); Rattle from column on turns
or over irregular surfaces 1995 Neon (19-06-94), 1995-98 All (19-01-98);
Rough ride on road with irregular surface & bottoming out on pothole
1995 Neon (02-10-94, 02-11-94); P/S pump moan 1995-97
Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (19-06-96); Noise on right turns,
replace steering gear 1995-96 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus, 1995-97 Neon (19-04-96A);
P/S noise on cold starts 1995-98 All (19-03-98).

Right side driveshaft vibration between 2800 & 4200 RPM 1995 Neon
(02-01-95); Clicking from left front @ rear cover of
transaxle housing 1995 Cirrus, Stratus (21-26-94); Erratic,
late or harsh automatic transmission shifts 1995 Neon (21-13-94);
Vibration felt through gear shift knob in 3rd gear 1995 Neon (21-11-94);
Squeaking when shifting manual transmission 1995 Neon (21-09-94);
Vehicle shudder 1995 Cirrus, Stratus (18-27-94); 41TE/42LE
design changes 1995-97 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (21-18-96);
41TE/42LE 1-2 upshift shudder 1995-96 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (21-11-96);
41TE/42LE transaxle shudder during EMCC shift 1995-97 Breeze, Cirrus,
Stratus (21-05-97); Burnt transmission fluid 1995-97
Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (21-14-97).

from front passenger foot well 1995-97 Neon (23-47-97);
Door glass scratched1995-97 Neon (23-46-97); Door glass inoperative 1995-96
Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (23-15-96); Broken center console
latch 1995-97 Neon (23-24-97); Fuel pump whistle 1995 Neon (14-01-95);
Tail lamp moisture buildup 1995 C (08-18-95); W/S spray
area too small 1995 Cirrus, Stratus (08-04-95); Excess engine noise under
dash 1995 Neon (23-26-94); Carpet goes bald in spots
1995 Neon (23-22-94); Exhaust rattle, buzz or moan during warmup 1995-96
Cirrus, Stratus (11-02-96); Poor AM reception 1996-97
Neon (08-11-97); Improved headlights 1995-96 Breeze,
Cirrus, Stratus (08-18-96); Delayed W/S wiper spray 1995-96
Neon (08-11-96); Erratic wiper delay intervals 1995-96
Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (08-08-96); Exhaust noise, vibration
in wet weather 1995-96 Neon (11-02-98); Remote trunk
release malfunction 1995-96 Breeze, Cirrus, Stratus (23-06-96).

Copies of recalls may be obtained from NHTSA’s Technical Reference
Division at 202-366-2768.

2,700 1995 Neon – ABS master cylinder rear seal allows air to enter brake
system (94V-026); 7,100 1995 Neon – Fluid leak due to loose hose mounting
bracket (94V-034); 151,800 1995-96 Neon w/”ACR competition” package 1995-96
Cirrus, Stratus, 1996 Breeze – Master cylinder leaks (96V-075); 90,000
1995-96 Cirrus, Stratus, 1996 Breeze – ABS solenoid valves stick open
(96V-074); 3,400 2000 Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze – Right front brake tube
damage (00V-196).

7,100 1995 Neon – Moisture in PCM, stall (94V-033); 15,000 1996 Neon –
Wiring harness short, stall (96V-026).

375,000 1995 Neon – Steering loss (97V-169); 300,000+ 1995-97 Cirrus,
Stratus, Breeze – Lower control arm ball joint separates (97V-201); 3,600
1998 Neon – Rear suspension cross member missing welds (99V-001); 1,000
1999 Neon – Front lower control arms separate (99V-114).

Other: 40,000
1995-96 Cirrus, Stratus – Engine oil leaks & fires (96V-006); 219,000
1996-97 All – Hood flies up (97V-095); 91,544 Cirrus, Stratus – Rear belt
anchors pull out (98V-063); 10,000+ 1997 Neon – Airbag deploys when ignition
turned off (97V-080); 685,000 1996-98 All – Ignition transmission park
lock fails (98V-183); 380 2000 Neon – Passenger airbag inflates improperly
(99V-043); 17,000 2000 Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze – Child safety lock label
(00V-066); 38 2000 Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze – Fuel tank strap corrodes
(00V-067); 263,278 2000 Neon – Throttle sticks in cold weather (00V-194).


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