Thursday, May 1, 2008

Three On Your Side: Cracked Dashboard Complaints

By Marsha Thompson

All cracked up. That's how one truck owner describes the dashboard on his vehicle to 3 On Your Side. Hairline cracks that can turn into expensive replacement costs for some Chrysler vehicle owners.

Derek Gilmer loves his Dodge Ram truck. It's a 2002 he purchased brand spanking new. Only recently, mysterious tiny fault lines have developed in the dash board.

"The dash board is basically coming apart, " the Brandon man told WLBT.

Gilmer called 3 On Your Side to show us what he calls a potentially serious problem. While we checked it out, a small section of his air vent collapsed.

"When you've got a hole here and your dashboard basically caved in on itself, it's going to expose all your wiring. It's going to expose all your harnesses, the sun's going to get to it. It's going to melt it," Gilmer said.

He did his homework and found he's not alone. Our check on the Internet found the problem is not unique. Here's a picture of a 2003 dodge truck with a cracked dash.

["I just lost five more pieces of my vent right there, just pushing down on it." Marsha "hairline cracks, pieces breaking off. Gilmer's not the only one with this problem. A quick check of the Internet found hundreds of people complaining about this very serious defect."

There is no national recall on dashboards for these trucks. So Gilmer contacted the local dealership for help. We did as well. The problem is not covered under warranty...his cracked dashboard has been reported to Chrysler.

But at this point...there is no offer to replace it. Derek says if he has to replace the dashboard...the cost would run about 2-thousand dollars.

The dealership tells 3 On Your Side Chrysler is under no obligation to replace the dashboard. However, the complaint has been submitted to the auto maker to see if they will share in the replacement cost.

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