Dodge is an American automobile brand under the manufacturer FCA US LLC, or simply Chrysler. Their products are mainly trucks and passenger cars, and some of them are very iconic like the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger.
One of their pickup trucks, the Dodge Ram, has also been their prized product that received many accolades.
In 2009, Chrysler separated the Ram truck series from the Dodge brand in order to focus on Ram’s development and improvement.
Since then, sales have surged. However, technical issues have been marred on this pickup truck such as its acceleration problems.
Table of Contents
- 1 Dodge Ram Acceleration Problems
- 2 Dodge Ram Acceleration Solutions
- 3 Conclusion
History of the Dodge Ram
To better grasp the acceleration problems of the Dodge Ram trucks, we need to have some sort of comparison and even a bit of a connection on why it has been a big deal. By tracing its roots, we can assess how it was made to be and also what are the expectations of its performance.
Origins and Evolution
The Dodge Ram’s first line of trucks was presented in 1981. They were just 2-door style pickup back then. As the years went by, the engines and transmissions used are getting better and more powerful.
In 1994, the second generation of trucks was introduced from the idea of a less sedan-looking and more masculine-type of trucks.
The improvement of trucks continued to its third generation back in 2002 while the fourth generation was introduced in 2009. When the fourth generation was introduced, the Ram Trucks were separated from the Dodge brand, and the designs had been catering to most truck enthusiasts.
Let us highlight the most powerful models in each generation. In the first generation, the ones using the Magnum V8 engine can deliver a power of about 230 horsepower with a torque that is rated to almost 300 lbf-ft.
The second generation, the Cummins engine, is being more utilized which can deliver around 235 horsepower and can have a torque of more than 420 lbf-ft. The Cummins ISB came with an injection pump that’s computer-controlled, an electronic injection pump, and a 24-valve head design
In the third generation, Hemi engines were used in production. All Ram models were getting even more powerful. The Ram 1500 model achieved a 345 horsepower and 375 lbf-ft torque, the Ram 2500/3500 model with a 350 horsepower and 650 lbf-ft of torque, and the newly introduced model, Chassis Cab, had a horsepower of around 388 horsepower and a torque of 404 lbf-ft.
When the separation was finalized, the fourth generation of Ram trucks is getting bulkier and more accommodating to truck enthusiasts. The Ram 1500 model had achieved a 395 horsepower with a 410 lbf-ft torque.
The 2500/3500 model achieved a 400 horsepower and a torque of around 1,000 lbf-ft. Meanwhile, the Chassis Cab model also had almost the same range of power but with an improved torque of around 750 lbf-ft.
Price Points and Sales
By the time the Ram truck line utilized the Cummins engine, it saw a growth in sales. In 1994, the redesigning of Ram truck had received the “Truck of the Year” award by Motor Trend and eventually had a rapid rise in sales the years following. During the third generation, the increase in sales continued but the competition had sold way more.
By the time of Ram’s independence, so many changes were made from various details of the design which obviously saw more market on developing more powerful and convenient trucks.
Dodge Ram Acceleration Problems
To sum it up, the Dodge Ram is meant to be a really amazing pickup truck performance-wise. The company’s commitment is there and obviously the attention to detail as well. It was improving from a casual pickup truck and become a really hardcore multipurpose vehicle.
As performing as the Ram truck line may seem over the years, you might be wondering if it’s the ideal brand. After all, it was already a testament of commitment when the said truck line is its own independent brand from the Dodge line.
However, like all things, there is no such thing as perfection. There will always be problems you can encounter, and the Dodge Ram trucks are not exempted.
Over the years, each model from each generation has its own set of problems. They range from the smallest details such as bearings and bolts to the larger body structures.
Several engine issues and the much complex system of their modern pickup trucks, the Totally Integrated Power Module or TIPM, are present as well.
However, nothing is more discouraging than a problem with acceleration. It’s really disappointing to have something that is supposed to move fast and has brake controls having difficulties in moving after all.
There were complaints from various individual owners filed to the National Highway and Traffic Administration (NHTSA), the US agency handling vehicle safety.
It was mostly concern about the Dodge Ram 1500 models from the latest fourth and fifth generations of trucks. Summarized below are the statements of some of the complaints through mediums like carcomplaints.com:
- Complaints regarding Dodge Ram 2011 – 2016 model (compiled by classaction.org with reference to carcomplaints.com)
- Sudden acceleration in which the car gets faster and faster without the interference of cruise control and keeps on revving up during parking.
- The vehicle seems to undergo a sluggish start, making the passengers feel a bit of turbulence which can be problematic on merge lanes on highways.
- The acceleration is not working during a go-signal on the traffic light after cruising with a speed of 45-55 miles per hour before a stop. By the time the acceleration worked, the vehicle entered a limp mode which limits the speed to around 15-25 miles per hour.
- A 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 model with a mileage of 5,000 often becoming unresponsive while accelerating.
- A 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 model experiencing unexpected acceleration from 900 rpm then reaching 3,000 rpm when descending on rough terrain.
- Complaints regarding 2019 Dodge Ram 1500 model (sourced from carcomplaints.com)
- A complainant with a vehicle mileage of 800 miles said that the truck had accelerated on its own. It caused multiple warning lights to function and suddenly accelerated which leaves the only option of hitting the brakes.
- A complainant with a vehicle mileage of 97 miles said that as the driver exited the vehicle, it suddenly accelerated backward. This prompted the driver to go back and to attempt stopping the vehicle which almost turned into an accident. The vehicle was said not able to shift into the drive position within three attempts and the safe-hold system failed to engage automatically, resulting in the vehicle, not in a park position after the driver had exited.
- A complainant with a vehicle mileage of 157 miles said that the sudden acceleration almost caused a severe accident on rush hour traffic. The multiple safety lights have turned on as the car accelerated on its own. On the other side, as the vehicle was to get restarted, the acceleration will no longer function on its own.
As dangerous as those situations mentioned was, there seemed to be no fatal accidents related to the problem. The acceleration issues of the Dodge Ram consist of only some cases since its first generation.
Before it was separated, Dodge Ram had experienced the highest problematic cases during 2001-2003. It was during this period that the third generation of Dodge Ram trucks was introduced, and to be fair, the units sold were much higher compared to the previous generations. When the Ram brand became independent, the most that it experienced issues are from 2013 to 2014.
During the year 2002, Dodge Ram had estimated a thousand NHTSA complaints. Out of them, only 25 are related to acceleration problems – covering vehicle speed control, accelerator pedal, and cruise control. The most prevalent problem was about the dashboard cracks.
By the time Ram become independent in 2014, the truck line had about 293 NHTSA complaints. Out of those complaints, 46 might be inclined to acceleration issues – covering vehicle speed control and accelerator pedal. The most prevalent issue at that time was the engine itself.
Dodge Ram Acceleration Solutions
Though minor they may be, acceleration problems pose really high risks. They can cause so much damage both to the problematic car and the other elements crashed unto.
These are the following possible causes of such acceleration problems according to yourmechanic.com:
This happens due to the engine having an imbalance mixture of air and fuel, with air likely to be not enough. It will show signs of hesitation and will worsen over time.
- Mass Airflow Sensor – this device measures the amount of air that entered the engine and relays the information to the computer of the vehicle in order for the right amount of fuel to be delivered from its fuel injectors. If the said device fails, it will generate an error followed by a warning light.
- Fuel Pump – this will provide the correct pressure to the engine. If it fails, the fuel will have difficulty being delivered to the engine.
- Throttle Position Sensor – this device provides information on how far the throttle is open and also how hardly pressed the accelerator is. The computer will then make adjustments to the fuel-air mixture. If the sensor fails, wrong information will be given to the computer which will then result in an unbalance mixture.
- Fuel Injectors – over time, dirt can accumulate on the spray openings, and the amount of fuel will not be smoothly delivered to its next designated location.
Uncontrolled Sudden Acceleration
This issue is very much hazardous and can really cause harm to anyone around and inside. If certain situations involved around this issue, NHTSA is very much open for investigation.
- Idle Air Control – the control valve is meant to regulate and sustain a consistent engine idle speed. It acts as a countermeasure to anything that a driver might do wherein the engine will have to overwork. If this fails, it may cause some uncontrollable situations.
- Cruise Control – this feature is designed for convenience on long drives, especially on the highways. It is controlled by the car’s computer and is responsible for maintaining it at a certain speed and position. A failure of this system can result in sudden shifts in positions and speed levels.
Solutions to Each Problem Encountered
For sluggish acceleration, the problem can be very annoying. It can also cause traffic and accidents around the vehicle. The best way to solve such a problem is to replace the parts concerned. It can be done in repair shops and the manufacturer’s service centers.
For sudden acceleration, the problem can be very critical. Even if the possible causes are already stated, such an issue remains to be unresolved. If situations arise where the problem occurs, just simply turn off the ignition switch and place the car in neutral while having the situation of your surroundings in mind.
If it occurred more than one occasion, essentially putting your life in danger, it is better to have the unit recalled since the risk is too high to be resolved by repair.
It sucks to have such problems in your car, but it is better to have them discovered in advance. Due to that, test drive and break-in are very important. The conditioning of the car and the driver’s perspective will validate the performance it was designed for.
For any complaint regarding the performance of the car that endangers your safety, you can file a complaint to NHTSA. If you read the dealer’s policy, make sure you are covered for the warranty or even a recall.
In extreme cases like injuries or fatalities, you can always use the arm of the law. File a lawsuit towards the company for such damages done by the faulty systems of the vehicle.
Overall, the Dodge Ram truck seems to be a very nice vehicle with little inconsistencies in its performance. It’s capable of serving multiple purposes including your personal usage, business deliveries, or even for excursion services.