Ram Tops JD Power 2021 Vehicle Quality for First Time

Things are improving for Ram trucks. For the first time ever a Ram truck has topped the JD Power for quality. Surveying thousands of vehicle owners, it tabulates their responses about different aspects of their cars. In general, quality has ticked up a few notches in 2021 for the Initial Quality Study. 

JD Power notes that quality has improved in 2021

A silver 2021 Ram 1500 towing a heavy load
2021 Ram 1500 | Stellantis

Problems recorded for new cars dropped to 162 per 100 vehicles. That is two percent better than for 2020. For single models, the Nissan Maxima scored the highest with 85 problems per 100 new cars. Lexus was the highest-scoring luxury brand. 

Overwhelmingly, it was high-tech features and infotainment systems that received the most complaints about 2021 vehicles. Android Auto and AppleCarPlay were called out for connectivity problems. Wireless connectivity has gotten progressively worse over the years. But voice recognition skipped that distinction this year, which historically was complained about the most. 

At the bottom of the quality study was Chrysler, then Audi and Tesla. Tesla’s issues tend to be more about fit and finish. Most of the complaints expressed by new owners are body panel gaps, wind noise, interior squeaks, and rattles.

Customer complaints are low for Ram according to JD Power and ConsumerComplaints.com

2021 ram 3500 driving through water
2021 RAM 3500 | RAM Trucks

Carcomplaints lists the 2018 Ram pickup as the best-used truck because of the fewest customer complaints. Consumer Reports in the past has called out the 2021 Ram 1500 as the most comfortable full-size pickup truck. It attributes this to the coil spring suspension and smooth V8. 

Consumer Reports found that the infotainment system was easy to use and that the cabin in the Limited trim was “lavishly furnished.”  So the Ram pickup, all-new in 2019, has seen best-in-class accolades piling up. But its safety recalls issued by the NHTSA have significantly lowered its overall reliability ratings.

The 2020 Ram was issued four recalls related to airbags, the backup camera, and windshields. As 2019 was the first year it looks like it has a slightly higher instance of customer complaints than in 2020 or the current year. 

The 2019 Ram was new, so reliability issues have improved since then

Ram logo on a front grille.
Ram logo | Getty Images

MotorBiscuit went over some of the issues with the new Ram at the end of 2019. Briefly, a weird issue where the steering wheel would stick in one position was a common complaint. Issues with the rearview camera, audio system, and other interior components that require electricity fail according to Carcomplaints. 

The electrical system was also responsible for engine and speed control problems. So electrical issues cover a variety of problems that consumers have experienced starting in 2019. Though the year is not over, the 2021 Ram 1500 seems to have fixed some of these early model issues. 

RELATED: The Most Awarded Brand of 2020 by J.D. Power Is Truly Surprising