Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The 2002 has the well-known and documented problem with their dashboards falling to pieces, but it also has engine failure from oil sludge. That's a doube shot of awful in your morning coffee.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,451 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Dodge Ram 1500 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #221

May 012007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The dashboard in my truck has disintegrated to the point that I had to remove it because I was scared that one of my kids would get hurt or even killed if we were involved in an accident. I believe Chrysler co. Should initiate a full recall and replace the plastic death traps they installed in their vehicles.

- Campobello, SC, USA

problem #220

Aug 062012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Dashboard is cracking badly---possible sharp shreds if accident occurs--possible problem with defrost if pieces of dash clog defrost vents--vehicle was garage kept for most of it 9 yrs---vehicle in like new condition other than dash falling apart---thank you

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #219

Jun 062006

Ram 1500

  • 42,655 miles
The vehicles dashboard is falling apart, cracking up like thin potato chips. No abuse to the vehicle of any kind. It is just cracking up from poor lousy plastic that can't handle weather conditions inside the vehicle. Dodge/Chrysler/Fiat should recall the vehicle for defective product which is the dashboard plastics. This is an issue that has most of there trucks doing this exact same thing.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #218

Sep 182012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the dashboard developed a large fracture, which spread across the entire dashboard. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 95,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.... updated 02/28/13

- Felton, GA, USA

problem #217

Jan 022006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Dash board cracked and fell in leaving sharp pieces of plastic all over dash board. Plastic has fallen into defroster vents. Now no heat on left side of truck.

- Mesick , MI, USA

problem #216

Apr 012010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Dash is continuously cracking and falling apart.

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #215

Jun 072008

Ram 1500

  • 70,000 miles


I was just driving along, crack my dash cracked from front end to almost the back. The crack caused me to jump swerve my truck almost causing an accident. Dodge has been no help and my dash has deteriorated even more ever since, I'm getting very worried it might affect the air bags as all the dash pieces fall into the recess where the air bags are which would be a bad thing should there be an accident.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #214

Oct 132008

Ram 1500

  • 75,000 miles
Starting in October of '08 I notice a small vertical crack in my dash on the top of my dash between the passenger airbag and the radio. Since then the crack has grown and then a piece broke off and too my surprise is very sharp.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #213

Sep 282012

Ram 1500

  • miles
The dashboard on my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 has developed a crack (6-7 inches long) near the air bag of the passenger. I feel this to be a safety hazard as the air bag deployment could cause particles of plastic to be thrown at high speeds throughout the vehicle. The vehicle is a used Ram and it is unknown if the crack was there prior to purchase or not. Because of the summer heat, the vinyl expands which closes the gap and now the cold weather contracts it and reveals the crack. This continuous expanding and contracting could cause, over time, the vinyl to become weak and break down further.

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #212

Sep 122007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Hi, I read an article by channel 6 news problem solvers in orlando, Florida. That did a report on dashboards collapsing in 2002 Dodge Ram and other models. In the article, it showed that Dodge was replacing the dashboards at a cost of $100 to the customer. 2 years after I bought my truck, my dash started cracking. A friend of mine had a 2003 quad cab and he was experiencing cracks in his dash in the exact same spots. A year later he traded his truck in and I still have mine. My dash is still continuing to crack to this day. Since my dash started cracking, I have had other problems with my truck. My stereo is messing up. My A/C and blower motor don't work right. My heater core leaks. In summer time I have no A/C. in winter I have no heat and no window defroster. When it rains, I have no defroster. These are a safety issue if I cant see where im driving. For the past 2 years, I've been trying to get Dodge to replace my dash. They will replace it only at full cost to me! will you finally force Dodge into recalling these 01-04 Dodge Ram, Dakota and durango dashboards"?????????????????????".

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #211

Aug 152010

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles


Main dash began cracking in multiple places. Forward dash panel has now cracked and split into many separate pieces creating loose, sharp, plastic materials which pose a safety hazard in the event of a crash. Some of the pieces have cracked away and have fallen behind the instrument panel and some have fallen into the duct work as well. Having occurred on many Dodge Ram, this creates a wide-spread safety issue and not just an isolated incident. I strongly feel that a recall should be issued on the affected years and the faulty dash panels should be replaced by the manufacturer to prevent any unnecessary injuries or safety concerns.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #210

Jun 212012

Ram 1500

  • miles
I was rear ended at a red light and my dash board sustained multiple fractures. Part of the dash board fractured and became airborne in the vehicle. It was the size of an iphone. There was also another part of the dashboard where a hole is present and the dash board is sunken in. Very disappointed with the quality and safety issues. Photos were forwarded to my attorney.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #209

Jul 152009

Ram 1500

  • 63,000 miles
The dash has cracked in multiple area's causing sharp edges in the dash. Very easy for kids to cut there hands. Also if vehicle was involved in a accident the sharp edges would come lose hitting the driver and passengers in the vehicle causing bodily harm.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #208

Apr 062009

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • miles
Cracks begin to appear in the dashboard in April 2009 just below the windshield and have now began to show up in the main dashboard cap. A large gaping slit near the instrument display appear on July 5, 2012. On July 11, 2012 power was lost to the gauges on the instrument panel which also included the hazards, turning signals, brake lights and one head light. Requested electronically through the Chrysler/Dodge, official website possible recalls and I was contacted via phone 24 hours later with a confirmation that no pending or missed recalls were in place for the truck. When asked if there were any solutions to the complaints of cracked dashboards in the Dodge Ram 1500 made in 2002, the representative indicated that there were no known complaints listed for the dashboard and provided no resource in better replacement part. Scheduled to have vehicle check the week of July 16,2012.

- Zion, IL, USA

problem #207

Jun 042012

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
The dashboard in the 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 has multiple hairline cracks and pieces are beginning to fall behind the dash. I'm afraid that these pieces could negatively impact the function of the airbags, heating / cooling system, or other electrical components of the vehicle. If there is an accident there could be fragments that break apart and could potentially cause eye damage or severe lacerations. I have found multiple complaints from numerous owners concerning this issue.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #206

Jun 152012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The dash cap in my Dodge Ram 1500 has cracked in several places. This has caused many very sharp shards of plastic that would be extremely dangerous in a collision resulting in unnecessary injury to any passengers in the vehicle. I firmly believe this should trigger a full recall of all trucks affected. Chrysler is aware of the problem and will not voluntarily start a recall. I myself have cut my fingers and hands just wiping off the dash board while cleaning. I beg of you to start an investigation before someone is injured very badly in an accident by these shards becoming projectiles. This problem affects hundreds of thousands of these trucks. Please take this very seriously!

- Lawrenceburg, TN, USA

problem #205

Aug 102010

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
The dashboard of my Dodge Ram is disintegrating into sharp pointed shards of plastic. The plastic material which makes up the dash has changed in it characteristics so as to become quite brittle. The potential for these shards to become projectiles and/or anything coming in contact with the dash causing the dash to freely break apart into hundreds of knife-like blades and causing injury, is imminent. We have made giant strides in vehicle occupant safety by requiring shatter proof glass, requiring occupants to use seatbelts, etc.. now we are facing other dilemmas where manufacturers have introduced materials in the manufacture of vehicles which may negate those safety progressive innovation government agencies have worked so hard to implement. Although my current concern may be preventive in nature I believe any reasonable and prudent person can easily deduce the potential for grave harm which may befall the consumer under the right circumstances. The Dodge dashboard represents a clear and present danger to the occupants of these vehicles.

- Pleasanton , TX, USA

problem #204

Jun 092004

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
My dash has completely cracked and is in pieces, (sharp pieces), it could affect the wiring in my dash, if I did have an accident the air bags in the dash could throw those sharp pieces at me and my passengers. Note: These crack were at no fault of mine or my passengers. The cracks started two years after I bought the truck brand new.

- Blythe, CA, USA

problem #203

May 112011

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 72,189 miles
Dash cracked, cut finger on it and the cracks are getting worse. Pieces could fly up and hit me in the face while driving.

- Sunrise Beach, MO, USA

problem #202

Aug 012006

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The dashboard started cracking around 60,000 miles. It has continued to crack and all of the plastic vent covers have fallen apart into the vents. I have now found out that the insulation in the dash is dry rotting and falling into the A/C vents and causing problems with the A/C motor. This could potentially cause an electrical problem.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

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