Trucks & SUVs

People Are Fed up With Ram’s Tailgate

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a huge player in the ongoing truck wars along with fellow top contenders Ford and General Motors. FCA’s Ram models have been among the top-selling trucks in the U.S. along with the Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado. Will widespread tailgate issues hurt Ram in this crucial competition?

Ram recalls

The RAM 1500 on display at the Chicago Auto Show
The RAM 1500 | Scott Olson/Getty Images

In 2018, a recall was issued for certain 2015 to 2017 Ram pickup trucks that featured power-locking tailgates. The original recall covered over 400,000 Ram trucks worldwide. FCA recently reviewed internal repair orders and customer warranty claims surrounding the issue.

Then an expanded recall was needed, forcing FCA to add over 693,128 Ram trucks to the list of those who needed to have their tailgates fixed. The latest recall specified Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup trucks from 2013 to 2018. 

Ram pickup trucks recalled:

  • All Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks from 2013 to 2014. 
  • All Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup trucks with 5-foot-7-inch, 6-foot-4-inch, or 8-foot beds with power-locking tailgates from 2015 to 2017.
  • All Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup trucks produced prior to April 1, 2018.

Those who owned trucks recalled in the first recall round were notified at the end of June. Those who owned vehicles in the following recall were notified in September. All were advised that dealerships would fix the affected tailgates.

Widespread problems with the tailgate

The first recall applied to over 400,000 Ram pickup trucks. The expansion added 693,128 more trucks for a total of roughly 1.1 million trucks.

The problem centered around concerns that the tailgates were opening at random. A piece in the assembly of the power-locking mechanism broke in these cases, and the tailgates would open as a result.

When the affected trucks are in motion, there’s a chance that the cargo could tumble out of the truck bed and onto the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the end result could be a dangerous road hazard.

According to Consumer Reports, a Fiat Chrysler spokesman explained via email that the automaker is unaware of any accidents or injuries that occurred as a result of the faulty Ram tailgates. The spokesman went on to say that more than a third of the trucks initially recalled have been fixed already. He went on to say that the recall didn’t include the Ram 1500 pickup trucks that were redesigned for 2019.

What affected truck owners can do

A letter from FCA to affected Ram owners explained that the unintended opening of the tailgate could result in the loss of cargo from the truck’s bed. The lost cargo, it went on to explain, could pose a hazard to the drivers and occupants of other vehicles as they could inadvertently cause a crash without prior warning.

In a message to the Free Press, FCA said that they recommended securing all loose cargo while driving as stated in the owner manuals of the affected pickup trucks. They went on to say that pickup trucks produced by FCA offered other security features like bed-extenders, bulkhead dividers, cleats, high-friction bed liners, and more.

Owners of affected pickup trucks were advised to bring them to dealerships to fix the issue. The crew at the dealerships will open the tailgate’s cover and install a block that will keep the gate from opening at random and causing unintended accidents or injuries.

Consumers Reports said that owners could contact the manufacturer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles customer service by calling 800-853-1403. They listed the NHTSA’s campaign numbers as 18V486 and 19V347.