The Indiana State Police are having bad luck with their Dodge Durangos

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The Dodge Durango has scored reasonably well in predicted reliability ratings in recent years, but the Indiana State Police aren’t having much luck with their fleet of the SUVs. The law enforcement organization said it had experienced an almost 20 percent failure rate with its 219 Durangos, noting that the problems could cost taxpayers almost $4 million and cause weeks of downtime for some vehicles.

The Indiana State Police ordered 519 Durango Pursuits to take over for their aging fleet of Dodge Chargers, but of the 219 put into service since May 2023, the agency has seen 39 of them crippled by a failing oil cooler. Warranty repairs can take up to two months, leaving the agency without vehicles for extended periods.

Police Superintendent Doug Carter said he’d spoken with Stellantis about the issues but did not get a timeline for resolution. “ISP has used Dodge as our primary police vehicle provider for the last decade and a half; it is unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this precarious position. We’re having to sideline brand new vehicles, losing out on their value and functionality. The citizens and taxpayers of Indiana are being shortchanged and deserve better.”

Officials stated that the oil cooler issue can cause oil to leak into the coolant system, causing the engine to shut off. Drivers noticed a bad odor and saw smoke coming from the exhaust before the shutdown, and the problem can cause a complete engine failure if not addressed.

In an effort to ease tensions, Dodge’s parent company, Stellantis, will pay for the repairs, even if the vehicles are outside of warranty parameters. The automaker said that the police-ordered Durango Pursuit “meets or exceeds all applicable federal motors vehicle safety standards and is subject to severe operating conditions to which the standard, retail version of the Durango is immune.” It also noted that the problems are complex to diagnose and may cause other damage before being noticed.

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