The Chrome on the driver side door handles (front and rear) had corrosion in the plating. The dealer replaced them without any problem. When I took it in to have them replaced, I also saw other new units at dealer that had the same problem.
The emblem on the rear hatch (Chrysler Wings - above latch) is also showing some of the same corrosion.
The right headlight reflector is also showing the same corrosion.
One of the vent knobs was lighter in color than the other three. I ordered a replacement in the right color, was charged for it, and it was also the wrong color. (Dealership problem - I gave up; not worth the time it would take to get it corrected).
New clutch (recall) installed at around 800 miles. I had to do the research, get the recall number and required part numbers before dealership could initiate the order for parts to do the recall. They requested that I leave the car with them overnight and at least 1 day, due to their concerns of not having done the recall before and not knowing what they might run into. Flat rate time 3.5 hours. Most other dealers completing job around 5.5 hours. The dealership is 50 miles away, and they would not offer a loaner, or a rental car. They did offer to call the rental agency for me to rent a car while I left it with them overnight. (Again - Dealership Problem)
The Turbo has a problem with engine "stutter" around 4,500 to 5,000 RPM. It is hard to tell if it is fuel starvation, plug/wire breakdown or detonation. I have heard of dealers claiming any of all 3 of these problems, but haven't heard of any across-the-board resolution. I will have my dealership give their opinion, the next time I have to leave it with them. I am due for another oil change soon...
The Rear Stabilizer Bar was eliminated off of the 2003 model. It was listed on any Window Stickers as Standard Equipment; later Chrysler decided the cure to the problem was to reprint the Window Stickers for units already released to dealers, and correct all new stickers to not list the rear stabilizer bar. The high speed cornering (especially under acceleration) is a little more "thrilling" than I experienced with my 2002 PT Cruiser Touring Edition, which had the rear bar on it. It is also a little loose when heavily loaded and cornering. I first noticed the handling difference on my way back home from buying the GT, at the first lane change I made on the interstate. I found it to be a little scary, and have since learned to compensate in cornering and changing lanes under acceleration. More on other deletions below.
In addition to the loss of the Rear Stabilizer bar on the 2003 model as compared with the 2002 build level, the following was also eliminated:
One of the Horns in the Dual Note Horn system. The mounting location was still drilled for the hardware to mount the deleted horn, and the wiring connector for the deleted horn was still on the harness and still active. I had to order the other horn and install it. The one horn still included with teh 2003 model is hardly loud enough to alert you that the security system is armed. It is not useful as a means of alerting other drivers who may stray into your lane on the highway. If it looks like they may hit you, my best advice would to be roll down the window and yell.
The light bulbs that illuminate the rear electric window switches were eliminated. The circuit board for the switch assembly is silk-screened and solder-masked for them to be installed. They were present on the 2002 model.
The Passenger Side door lock cylinder has been eliminated on all units that have the Remote Key-less Entry system installed.
The footrest on the left side of the brake/clutch pedal was omitted. Not a big think, but it was there on the 2003 model.
The outside rear view mirrors no longer swin away on contact with something. Theya are now one piece, and destructy on impact. They also no longer have the heating elements that were so good for removing morning dew or de-icing. The harness still carries the wires for the elements, the circuit is active, the connector will plug to the 2003 model mirrors; they just aren't there.
The PCM (Power-train Controller Module) is a little aggressive at limiting the potential of the engine/drivetrain combination. I can understand the idea behind this, as this is a new combination of engine and drivetrain. However, the Mopar Performance Parts division is now offering a new PCM/new injectors upgrade that includes a PCM that is "re-calibrated" to provide 20+ more HP with the addition of it and the 10% over stock delivery fuel injectors. This combination is rumored to be the same PCM and injectors that will be included on the 2004 models, but apparently doesn't have CARB approval yet and is illegal for street use. I have looked, but have noticed an extreme lack of Winston CUp Pt Cruisers, and the Off-Road guys and gals haven't been too quick to adopt the PT Cruiser as a new off-road or rally platform. Go figure...
I still think the PT Cruiser is one of the most unique vehicles on the road. It is practical, roomy, peppy and fun to drive. If the GT had the same level of attention to the build level as the 2002, I would be a little more pleased with the overall situation. However, a new buyer, who had never ridden in an earlier model wouldn't know the difference, and apparently Chrysler is anticipating a bumper crop of new buyers with the gamble they took on de-contenting the 2003 model. There is a certain appeal to the PT Cruiser that may never be duplicated, and the introduction of the PT in 2001 revitalized the customizing trend that seemed to lay dormant for years. Even the 2003 is a good host for personilization. I will enjoy mine while I have it, but it is unlikely I would buy another, if Chrysler continues with their current trend.