Ram HD Owners File Lawsuit Over Brake Failures While NHTSA Investigates
A class action lawsuit has been filed over alleged Ram HD ABS brake failures in 2017 to 2018 Ram HD trucks. In the meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the issue. The problem allegedly affects both Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks.
What are the reasons for the Ram HD lawsuit?
The lawsuit alleges that Ram should have issued a recall because of “defective and dangerous” hydraulic control unit modules and anti-lock braking system modules. When these components stop functioning there is a loss of anti-lock brakes, cruise control, and traction control. If this occurs braking is more difficult, especially under wet or snowy conditions. The lawsuit also contends that Ram should have warned customers that there are problems with the HUC and ABS modules.
This lawsuit’s plaintiff is James Neu. In it, Neu states his 2018 Ram 2500 began flashing warning lights on the dash at around 24,000 miles. These indicated that the ABS, HCU, and cruise control were not functioning. Upon taking it to two different dealerships for estimates, estimates were between $1,200 and $1,700 for repairs. Once the warranty expires, owners must pay for the repairs.
Has Ram done anything about the Ram HD issues?
“Plaintiff Neu has parked his vehicle and is not driving it as of October or November 2022 as he is concerned for his and his family’s safety,” the lawsuit says. It was filed Mid-April of this year. In addition to not issuing a recall over the brake problems, Ram told him it wouldn’t cover the repairs.
For its part, Ram issued a technical service bulletin #S2005000004 to dealers, addressing the issues. “Diagnostics for this DTC are currently under review. When working on a vehicle with an active C0020-01 and testing leads to the replacement of both the HCU and ABS Module, order and replace the HCU first. Do not order or replace the ECU. Follow Service Information to replace and bleed the HCU. Then perform a test drive. If the DTC C0020-01 did not reset- repair is complete. If the C0020-01 did return active, replace the ECU and return the parts to FCA.”
What does the HCU do in the brake system?
We should note that once new HCU and ABS modules are installed, there are no more issues, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration complaints. The HCU oscillates the brake pressure during a hard or panic stop, as part of the ABS braking system. Last December, the NHTSA opened an investigation into the brake issues, but no recall has been issued so far. At the time, estimates of the number of trucks are around 400,000 Ram HD 2500 and 3500 vehicles could be part of a recall, should the NHTSA order it.
Another issue is that the HCU is mostly on back-order. That seems to suggest it is a popular component, which then indicates there are a lot of trucks that need the replacement. And in addition to that, the factory part and replacement part use the same part number. So that causes confusion for dealers trying to determine if the problematic component is a factory part or an improved unit.
We’ll update this post once there is a conclusion to the lawsuit or Ram issues a recall.