2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake, electrical, suspension, powertrain and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Purchasing a full-size truck is a big deal for most consumers. It’s vital to get the right balance between durability, capability and function. That’s why most people just assume that anything receiving the Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award must be a winner. Sadly, that’s not the case with the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500. It has more complaints than can be counted, between the suspension, electrical system, powertrain, steering and service brakes.

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Suspension

The suspension is a vital system that ensures the drive is comfortable and smooth. When one aspect of the system doesn’t work the way it should, it can make any excursion miserable. That’s precisely what Ram 1500 owners find.

Read this review left on the NHTSA website. “While driving sometimes there is a noise underneath by the steering suspension area. Feeling like if something is loose. Most notable when hitting a hole, ditch or uneven road as the wheel turns. Took vehicle to dealer even though they hear it also, all vehicles make the same noise.”

What’s implied here is that even though the dealer hears they noise, they claim it happens on all the trucks. What this dealer failed to share with the customer is that there is a service bulletin dealing with this problem. In Manufacturer Communication Number 02-002-19, the noise from the front sway bar link is talked about. The technicians are even told to tighten the sway bar link nuts better. This shows that the noise isn’t something to be expected, especially from a new full-size truck that wins awards. While we know that the ram (animal) makes some strange noises, no one wants to hear them from a truck, even if they share the same name.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Suspension Problems:

THREE DIFFERENT TIMES I HAVE HAD TO RETURN THE VEHICLE TO THE DEALERSHIP DUE TO SUSPENSION PROBLEMS. EACH TIME THE VEHICLE JUST STARTED BOUNCING OUT OF CONTROL WHILE DRIVING AND SHORTLY AFTERWARDS THE ALERT WARNING MESSAGE CAME ON THE SCREEN INDICATING THAT I SHOULD “SERVICE THE SUSPENSION SYSTEM IMMEDIATELY”. THE FIRST TIME IT HAPPENED THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT STAFF INDICATED “INSPECTED UNDER CARRIAGE AND FOUND A RUPTURED AIRBAG ON RIGHT REAR, NO PHYSICAL DAMAGE REPLACED RIGHT REAR AIRBAG ON SUSPENSION AND FILLED WITH NITROGEN. TEST DROVE TO VERIFY REPAIR”. THE SECOND TIME THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT STAFF INDICATED “SCANNED VEHICLE FOUND DTC C152-2A/C1562 INCORRECT OPERATION OF PUMP, RIGHT REAR SPRING IS BROKEN, DUE TO HEIGHT SENSOR FAILURE”. THIS IS THE THIRD INCIDENT AND THE VEHICLE HAS BEEN IN THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT SINCE APRIL 29, 2019 (9 DAYS) FOR THE THIRD TIME WITH A SUSPENSION PROBLEM AND I HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD WHAT THE PROBLEM IS AND WHEN I WILL GET MY TRUCK BACK.

Electrical

What happens when an electrical system on a vehicle begins to malfunction? It can show itself in many ways, from a non-starting engine to trouble using the interior accessories. Any one of these problems becomes more than just an inconvenience.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what Ram owners face. Just read this Edmunds review, “Since buying this truck the same day out the dealership my left fog light would flicker in and off immediately took it back the next day got it fixed, a wiring issue, next issue about a month owning the truck it won’t start one Sunday morning no lights come on my key fob don’t work either tried jump start and nothing so I stopped messing with it and then about 4 hrs later I try again and everything comes on like nothing happened to it, I take it back to the dealer again and they just say it was an electrical issue and they updated the system, and then exactly 1 month later on a 2/4/19 it won’t start again trying to go to work and this truck won’t turn on for nothing I have to call mopar care to get it towed to the dealership they look at it and get it to run only by smacking the power distribution component but once you turn it off it won’t start again so this part will take 3-4 days to come In and the dealership doesn’t have any loaners and I would have to buy a rental and then Chrysler would reimburse me back but on 35 dollars a day when a small little gas saver car is the cheapest at 55 dollars a day.”

While this review continues to go on, it’s easy to get the point. Ram isn’t afraid to share electrical problems with everyone. In fact, there are already three electrical system recalls owners should know about. The first talks about an instrument cluster failure that doesn’t keep the driver informed. In the second recall, the automaker acknowledges that the auxiliary battery terminals might overheat. Finally, in a third recall, it’s evident that the cruise control might fail to cancel and cause an accident. Bottom line – there’s nothing right with the electrical system in a 2019 Ram 1500. They might as well rip out all of the wires and components and start over.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Electrical Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 RAM 1500. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE AUTO START/STOP FEATURE WAS NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY AS THE VEHICLE HAD LUNGED FORWARD SEVERAL TIMES CAUSING THE CONTACT TO APPLY EXTREME FORCE TO THE BRAKE PEDAL TO SLOW DOWN AND STOP THE VEHICLE. THE DEALER HAD NOT TEST DROVE THE VEHICLE YET TO DETERMINE IF THEY MAY BE ABLE TO REPLICATE THE FAILURE. THE CONTACT WAS UNCERTAIN IF THE FEATURE MAY CAUSE A CATASTROPHIC CRASH DUE TO THE INTERMITTENT FAILURE. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE TO DETERMINE IF THEY HAD A REMEDY. THE VIN WAS NOT AVAILABLE. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 11.

I STARTED MY 2019 RAM 1500 IN A PARKING LOT AND SHIFTED TO DRIVE, I STARTED TO SLOWLY MOVE FORWARD WHEN I HEARD A ENGINE REVVING A COUPLE TIMES THEN ACCELERATE. I STOPPED LOOKED AROUND AND SAW NO VEHICLES IN MY PROXIMITY (OPEN SHIPPING DOCK). THEN I REALIZED THE SOUNDS WERE COMING FROM THE INSIDE OF MY VEHICLE. I STARTED TO MOVE AGAIN AND THE NOISES PERSISTED. I THOUGHT IT WOULD GO AWAY SO I PROGRESSED ONTO A PUBLIC STREET FROM THE SHIPPING DOCK PARKING LOT AND THE NOISES CONTINUED. I WAS FORCED TO PULL TO THE EDGE OF THE ROAD AND CYCLE THE IGNITION. IT TOOK TWO CYCLES OF THE IGNITION TO MAKE THE ISSUE CEASE. THE SECOND ISSUE WAS A ELECTRIC THROTTLE CONTROL FAILURE THAT RESULTED IN MY VEHICLE HAVING ZERO THROTTLE RESPONSE AND RESULTED IN THE VEHICLE GETTING TOWED TO THE SERVICING DEALER. I LIVE IN A RURAL AREA WITH A LOT OF 55MPH CURVY ROADS AND THIS THROTTLE FAILURE RESULTED IN A DISABLED VEHICLE THAT COULD HAVE EASILY BEEN HIT BY SURROUNDING TRAFFIC.

WHEN THE CAR IS RUNNING AND PUT INTO REVERSE THE BACKUP CAMERA RANDOMLY QUITS WORKING. GET A BLUE SCREEN. HAS HAPPENED SEVERAL TIMES SINCE I BOUGHT IT IN JANUARY 2019. DEALERSHIP CLAIMS THAT THEY HAVE NOT HEARD OF IT. TOOK IT TO THE DEALERSHIP YESTERDAY AND OF COURSE CAMERA WAS WORKING FINE. TODAY IT HASN’T WORKED ALL DAY

Powertrain

Okay, maybe the powertrain is durable and reliable? That would be a reason this truck might have won so many awards. Nope, that’s not the case, yet again.

In fact, this driver wrote about a big problem on Edmunds. “Drove this truck for exactly 5 days. Transmission completely went out. Dealer told me it was a fluid leak. Drove at 2 miles after picking it back up from service and the whole thing went again. Wouldn’t come out of first gear. 212 miles on the truck total. Now I’m told transmissions are on back order and I have no date when I will get the truck back.”

And yet once again, there are two more powertrain related recalls. It appears that’s one thing this truck is good at – receiving recalls. The first one talks about how the driveshaft could fracture and separate. It’s labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V324000. In the next recall, with NHTSA Campaign Number 18V556000, the automaker talks about the rear axle failing and locking up the wheels. What truck did Motor Trend drive when they awarded this as the best? Was there a special model made just for them, because the current owners would love to have that one instead of all these issues.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Transmission Problems:

2019 RAM WITH 13,000 MILES. AFTER MY FIRST ENGINE OIL CHANGE AT 10,000 MILES CONDUCTED BY THE RAM DEALERSHIP. DURING NORMAL DRIVING CONDITIONS IN THE STREET AND IN THE HIGHWAY WHILE IN MOTION I FEEL THE TRANSMISSION SLIPPING, LIKE IT TAKES A COUPLE OF SECONDS TO FULLY ENGAGE. THE TRUCK IS NEW AND IS HAPPENING DAILY. I FEEL THAT THIS IS A MANUFACTURE DEFECT THAT NEEDS TO BE REMEDIED IMMEDIATELY.

ON A BRAND NEW 2019 DODGE RAM 1500 WITH LESS THAN 200 MILES ON IT, WHEN SHIFTING FROM PARK TO DRIVE, WITH THE TRUCK STATIONARY, THE TRANSMISSION DOES NOT ENGAGE RIGHT AWAY, BUT SUDDENLY ENGAGES AT 1,000 OR HIGHER RPM AND RAPIDLY LUNGES FORWARD. THIS IS AN ELECTRONIC SHIFT TRANSMISSION SO IT APPEARS THAT DESPITE THE VEHICLE SHIFT INDICATORS BOTH SHOWING THE TRUCK IS IN “DRIVE” AND READY TO MOVE FORWARD, IT IS NOT ACTUALLY SAFELY READY TO MOVE FORWARD. THIS IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SINCE THE SUDDEN LUNGING OF THE TRUCK MAKES IT VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTROL AND COULD EASILY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH IN ANY CROWDED AREA, SUCH AS A PARKING LOT OR URBAN STREET

Steering

Imagine driving down the highway and having the steering wheel lock while making a turn. That would be a scary situation, yet it happens to Ram owners across the country.

Here’s what one of them had to say on Edmunds. “The steering wheel locks when you turn left, please google it in RAM forum, Fiat/RAM refuse to knowledge it, maybe they waiting for few accidents/ death before issue a recall. (like the Boeing 737 max).”

Again, we see two steering-related safety recalls on these trucks. The first labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V020000 talks about how consumers lose power steering ability and have to put forth extra effort to steer the vehicle. What’s even scarier is NHTSA Campaign Number 19V201000 which addresses how drivers might end up with a steering wheel that detaches from the column. This is no joke; it’s like a real-life cartoon playing out in Ram truck cabs everywhere.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Steering Problems:

THE STEERING WHEEL DOES NOT RE-CENTER WHILE MAKING LEFT TURNS – EITHER ON EXIT/ENTRY RAMPS (BROAD SLOW TURNS) OR HARD LEFT TURNS. STEERING FIGHTS YOU TO BRING WHEEL AND TRUCK BACK TO CENTER. THIS HAPPENS AFTER DRIVING FOR AT LEAST 30 FOR 40 MINUTES AND IS ONLY FOR LEFT TURNS. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN FOR RIGHT TURNS. HAPPENS AFTER AND DURING HIGHWAY DRIVING. WHEN TURNING RIGHT, THE TURN HAPPENS AND THEN THE WHEELS NATURALLY RE-CENTER. THIS IS HARD TO DESCRIBE AND A SHORT TEST DRIVE DOES NOT PRODUCE THE PROBLEM. IT HAS TO BE DRIVEN FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES MOSTLY AT HIGHWAY SPEED. THIS IS HAPPENING FREQUENTLY..

WHILE STEERING LEFT AND RIGHT, THE POWER STEERING SEEMS TO INTERMITTENTLY GO OUT, IT HAPPENS OFF AND ON, AND YOU HAVE TO HOLD ON TIGHTLY TO THE STEERING WHEEL OR YOU WILL LOOSE CONTROL, I TOOK IT TO THE DEALER AND THEY TELL ME IT IS NORMAL FOR THIS TRUCK WHICH I STRONGLY DISAGREED WITH THEM, A NEW TRUCK OR ANY NEW CAR DOES NOT JUST LOOSE STEERING

WHEN DRIVING FOR ABOUT ONE HOUR WHEN TURNING TO THE LEFT THE STEERING STICKS AND I HAVE TO MANUALLY BRING IT TO CENTER. IT WILL NOT RETURN TO CENTER UNLESS I TURN IT TO THE RIGHT. ITS ENTERTAINMENT AND IVE HAD IT INTO THE DEALERSHIP MENY TIMES. THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS AND MAY LOSE CONTROL BY OVERCOMPENSATING FOR IT. I HAVE HAD ALL THE UPDATES AND RECALLS PERFORMED ON THE TRUCK BUT NOTHING HAS RESOLVED THE PROBLEM. DOGE NEEDS TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUES ASAP.

Service Brakes

When someone steps on the brakes of a full-size truck, it’s supposed to stop. That’s not the case in this award-winner.

One customer wrote on the NHTSA website, “Engine was started on the vehicle. Vehicle was put into gear with the brake pressed firmly down. The vehicle started moving even while brake was pressed very firmly in. Brake pedal was engaged as far as it could be, but the truck continued to pick up speed until it collided into another parked vehicle. The brakes were not working at all. It caused a crash which caused damage to both vehicles, mine being a bent up bumper on a two-week old truck.”

So far, it’s been addressed that the steering wheel on these trucks can come detached and it’s also documented that the driveshaft might separate. With the braking system, we see something very familiar. In another recall, labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V067000, we see that the brake pedal might separate from the assembly. This stops owners from having braking power and leads to a crash. Maybe all the parts are attempting to get off of this truck because they recognize how dangerous it is. They are all jumping ship and so are loyal owners.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Brake Problems:

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 RAM 1500. THE CONTACT TOOK THE VEHICLE DEALER TO HAVE THE FRONT BRAKE PADS REPLACED. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE REAR BRAKES FAILED WHEN REVERSING THE VEHICLE AND CAUSED THE VEHICLE TO JERK VIOLENTLY. THE DEALER INSPECTED THE VEHICLE AND WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE A FAILURE CODE. THE DEALER TEST DROVE THE VEHICLE WITH THE CONTACT AND WAS ABLE TO RECREATE THE REAR BRAKE JERKING FAILURE; HOWEVER, THE DEALER STATED THAT THE JERKING WAS NORMAL. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT CONTACTED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,000.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 RAM 1500. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE BRAKES FAILED ON THREE OCCASIONS. THE BRAKE PEDAL WOULD EITHER BECOME REALLY SOFT OR IT WOULD TRAVEL TO THE FLOORBOARD WHEN DEPRESSED. THE FAILURES OCCURRED WITHOUT WARNING. THE VEHICLE WAS DRIVEN TO DEALERSHIP TO BE DIAGNOSED, BUT THE FAILURES COULD NOT BE REPLICATED. THE SERVICE MANAGER STATED THAT NEW BRAKE MASTER CYLINDERS MAY NEED TO BE INSTALLED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURES AND PROVIDED A CASE NUMBER. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,100

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