This is my first post and thought I'd try to start out by making a contribution.I started looking at mid-size trucks but wanted one that could tow a compact (race) car on anopen trailer and the Dakota seemed to fit the bill. I hit the various forums and read a few bad things but not enought to scare me away. I went shopping the week after Christmas for a 05-07 Dakota and noticed none of the center consoles would open. I ended up with a nice 06 SLT QuadCab with the 4.7, towing package and a nice Leer topper but the console wouldn't open! The dealer promptly pulled a latch handle from a new Dakota on the lot and switched it for me but I immediately saw the problem;
The plastic handle has a fin molded into the backside that acts like a wedge when you push it in against a metal extension on the latch to rotate the mechanism and release. The problem is that the plastic is trying to slide under the sharp edge of the metal stamping which then cuts into the plastic and makes a notch and tends to lock the two into position. I covered the metal part with a piece of 1/4" plastic tubing about 1/2" long and it works like butter! A piece of drinking straw or a couple wraps of tape would probably work just as well. Enjoy!