Ram Trucks, often stylized as RAM, continues to be one of the top-selling pickup truck manufacturers in the United States. The line of trucks was originally known as the Ram Truck Division within the Dodge company, but in 2010 parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spun the division off into a wholly-owned subsidiary separate from the Dodge brand. Gone were the days of the Dodge Ram; these vehicles would be marketed simply as Ram Pickups going forward. Ram Trucks can trace its history back to the 1970s, where the line of trucks replaced the previous Dodge truck subsidiary known as Fargo Trucks. This relationship continued until the subsequent spin-off in 2010.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Ram exclusively builds trucks and vans; former parent company Dodge focused their efforts exclusively on cars after the 2010 split.
While Ram produces a number of smaller trucks like the Ram 700 as well as vans like Ram ProMaster, the flagship vehicle of the brand is the Ram Pickup. The Pickup comes in five different models, including the popular Ram 1500. In fact, the fifth-generation 2019 model Ram 1500 was awarded Motor Trend's 2019 Truck of the Year. This is the fifth time the Ram Pickup has taken this award home. Each model has different versions, including the Club Cab and the Extended Cab.
Ram Safety Ratings
Safety ratings for Ram in 2019 have been a bright spot after a series of years with middling reviews. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, the 2019 Ram 1500 Extended Cab a “Good” crashworthiness rating across the board as well as “Superior” for front crash prevention. This was an improvement from past years, where the model had a “marginal” safety score for some areas.
2019 Ram 1500 Crew Cab had likewise stellar marks, with good ratings on every available rating other than a marginal rating for headlights and ease of use of safety seat latches on certain trims.
Recalls, Defects, and Other Issues
Despite the improving safety rating and the recent accolades for the Ram 1500, there are still plenty of concerning safety and regulatory issues regarding Ram trucks. Since their severance from Dodge, Ram has had a series of serious recalls, safety issues, and legal battles over the safety and reliability of their vehicles. Some of the most noteworthy are outlined below.
While Volkswagon will likely hold the crown for modern diesel emissions scandals, Ram and its parent company have been entangled in a similar scandal that has led to more than $300 million in fines and even more than that in required payments to defrauded owners and state governments. This includes more than $280 million for Ram and Jeep models that were fitted with software that generated false emission data.
While Ram has been steadfast in arguing that it was a mistake rather than intentionally falsified data, federal regulators have pointed to the enormous size of the software involved as evidence of an intention to hide the fraudulent coding. According to regulators, the software used by Ram to dupe emissions tests used over 100 million lines of code that had to be parsed in order to discover the trickery. A Boeing 787 only has around 14 million lines of code, as a point of comparison. This scandal was not without its costs to consumers. Not only were drivers unknowingly polluting at a much higher rate than they could have known, but their gas mileage was also suffering as well.
Power Steering Loss
A major safety defect affecting the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck led to a March 2019 announced recall. The issue led to the potential loss of power steering in more than 182,000 2019 Ram 1500 models. According to Ram, a fastener used to ground the battery wasn't properly secured at the time of manufacturing. This loose grounding could potentially lead to electrical issues that can cause the entire power steering system to short out and fail altogether. The majority of these vehicles were shipped to the United States and Canada, and at the time of writing there had been reported crashes or injuries related to the defect.
Brake Pedals Detaching
Ram also issues a February 2019 recall related to its adjustable brake pedal. The recall affected more than 193,000 2019 Ram 1500 Pickups but was limited to those that came with the adjustable brake pedal option. The adjustable brake pedal was designed to allow drivers of varying height better reach the pedal, but a number of consumer complaints claimed that these pedals had a tendency to detach after the height of the pedal was adjusted. Thankfully, there have yet to be any accidents or injuries attributed to this safety issue as of the time of writing.
Over 1.1 million Ram Pickups were recalled in 2018 over the potential for the tailgate to fly open unexpectedly while driving. While no injuries were reported from this defect, reports of tailgates swinging open were prevalent.
The issue involved a failure in the power-locking mechanism in the tailgate of certain Ram trucks, including Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 Picks from model years 2015, 2016, and 2017. The issue was exclusive to the power-locking mechanism, which meant any Ram trucks with manually locking tailgates were unaffected. The system for the power-lock tailgate doors was replaced in more recent model years and to date has not had similar issues. Ram was also quick to release a statement shifting the blame for any possible injury or damaged property by reminding users that the truck's manual requires all cargo to be tightly fastened in the truck bed.
Ram Problems? Get the Legal Help You Need.
If your Ram is subject to a recall or has had a serious malfunction like those described above, contact The Lemon Lawyer right away. Our experienced attorneys can help answer questions regarding your rights and protections under the California Lemon Law and other consumer protection acts. To get the answers you are looking for, contact The Lemon Lawyer today for your free consultation.