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:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
82,981 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #40

Jun 072003

Ram 1500

  • 11,615 miles


Vehicle blower motor fuse was blown on this occasion, and then later dates the ac condenser fan fuse was blown. The 40 amp fuse for the blower motor was replaced to fix the first problem. The condenser fan fuse was replaced at least once, and then the fuse box - where the condenser fan fuse goes - melted so that the fuse could not be replaced. Taking it to the dealer today. Also noticed lots of dashboard cracking complaints. I also have a dashboard that is seriously cracked. Paid to replace the part closest to the window, but the dashboard over the instrument panel was not replaced. Asked dealer to replace it three times, and all three times they said none was in stock. One person told me that they don't like replacing them because of the complexity of the job.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #39

Feb 282012

Ram 1500

  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 quadcab. While driving approximately 55 mph, the contact approached a turn however, the turn signal failed to respond when engaged. The windshield wipers, horn and rear brake lights became inoperable. In addition, both turn signals would not function upon activation. A certified mechanic inspected the vehicle and was unable to determine the cause of failure. In addition, large fragments of material separated throughout the dashboard surface. There were also numerous cracks within the dashboard. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the permanent malfunctions. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- West Berlian, NJ, USA

problem #38

Dec 272011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 144,875 miles
When turning left and signal is applied, the right blinker comes on inside & outside and when right signal is applied nothing happens inside or outside.

- Burlison, TN, USA

problem #37

Feb 122012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 85,075 miles


2002 Dodge Ram 1500 slt 2wd 5.9 V8 (gas) with 86,000 miles. Turn signals have suddenly become dangerously intermittent. Also, occasionally when signaling 'left' the right dash indicator for the turn signals will flash instead. It happened twice today, we turned the signal off then back 'on' and it worked properly. Because this is intermittent we cannot duplicate the problem to determine if the outside bulbs are flashing left or right, therefore we worry they might be incorrectly signaling our intentions to other drivers. While searching on-line for a solution before we determine a repair course of action, we discovered this is common to the Dodge Ram trucks from 2002 through at least 2008 model year trucks, but the dealer did not mention or address it in advance of failure. We paid in advance for a seven year 100% warranty with no deductible, which has not expired. We believe Dodge had prior knowledge of the weakness and could have repaired it during the no-deductible warranty period. The passenger door window switch continues to fail. Its a simple plug-in module and I have replaced it twice with the factory part, and now its intermittent again after less than one year. From the mileage its clear we are not wearing out switches.

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #36

Sep 012011

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Severely cracked dash board. Parts falling down into the electrical wiring including airbag area. Continues to crack in different areas. Major portions of the dash is caving in. Could cause gauge, lighting, airbag and heating/cooling problems.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #35

Jan 052009

Ram 1500

  • 60,000 miles
1) electrical problems. Lights kept going in and out 2) dash cracking and crumbling. Pieces falling into air vents and preventing windshield from defrosting! dangerous! could cause an accident. Dash is in such bad shape that if passenger air bag were to be deployed it could kill someone due to flying pieces of hard plastic all over the vehicle. Make Dodge recall this product! what are you waiting for? you already have thousands of complaints for this problem!

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #34

Oct 012011

Ram 1500

  • 143,000 miles


About 50% of the time when I turn the turn signal to the left the right side blinks. I have to turn them off and try again and it will work. The other day I was entering a on ramp and I signaled to the left and no one would let me in. I had to slow down so I wouldn't get ran off the road but almost got rear ended. I looked down and the right signal was on but the lever was to the left. I could have died. I have also noticed that the hazard button will not stay down. It is always popped up and the hazard flashers stay on and run the battery down. I have to take the button down so the battery wont drain.

- Victoria , TX, USA

problem #33

Sep 012011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
Have had a cracked dashboard for quite some time now, I have filed a complaint before and could not get a resolution from Chrysler/Dodge. My dashboard has cracked to pieces causing a safety hazard. Finally my electrical systems have started to malfunction due to the pieces of my fallen dashboard falling on electrical components, there was a small short/fire that caused my cruise control to stop working and my dash lights also. I feel it has been long enough and something needs to be done before, someone not as lucky as me, gets really hurt from this safety hazard issue that has haunted us Dodge Ram owners for a long time. We need to get our dashboard replaced asap.

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #32

Feb 022009

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Significant cracks in both primary dash and auxiliary dash section between dash and windshield. Existing cracks growing/opening and new ones developing. Starting to experience unexplainable electrical issues, like power windows, and door locks not working on occasion. Dealer quoted replacement cost is outrageous.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #31

Jul 102011

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
I own a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 and my taillights/running lights suddenly stopped working. I was nearly rear ended by another vehicle. I checked with a technician and he stated this was a common problem due to moisture in the fuse box. It was going to cost me close to $1000 dollars to be repaired. The tech stated this should not happen and it is a manufacturing defect. He stated a replacement comes with a shield to protect it from shorting out. It sounds to me like this is a problem that Dodge should be liable for since it is a "manufacturing defect"

- Uniontown, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 182009

Ram 1500

  • 29,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the instrument panel was cracked approximately one inch starting from the passenger side. Over a two year period, the instrument panel caved in and the indicators were no longer concealed by the panel. Both the manufacturer and dealer were notified of the failure and diagnosed that the instrument panel would have to be replaced yet the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 29,000 and the current mileage was 35,000.

- Passadina, TX, USA

problem #29

Jan 232011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
I was driving home one night from shopping at walmart and was pulled over by the local law enforcement for not having any tail-lights on my 2002 Dodge Ram. Come to find out, none of my parking lights worked, but the signal and brake lights did work. Upon further investigation and a visit to the local Dodge dealer to find out that the parking light circuit had blown and I would need a new fuse box ($550) and a front control module ($250) and an hour and a half of labor ($133.50) + tax, totals close to $1000 to repair a defect that Chrysler/Dodge knows about and has the diagnostic equipment to search for such a problem. According to the parts person at that same Dodge dealer I went to, this a common problem with Dodge trucks. From my investigation on the internet, I found I am not the only person with this problem and that this is not the only model year that has this problem. There should be a recall on Chrysler/Dodge's part before this result in an accident and/or loss of life on the road due to a faulty circuit on a circuit board. They are making money on an item that involves public safety.

- Palmer, MA, USA

problem #28

Feb 122011

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Started truck turned on headlight switch, was on high beam so pulled lever to dim an lights would not dim then wipers come on and wouldnt shut off and wiper sprayer come on and would not shut off but if I held lever back all went off so have to drive holding lever back.when I got home and shut truck off all of the problems would not shut off even with key out of ignition so had to tie lever back.

- Pittsfield , MA, USA

problem #27

Jan 012009

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Dashboard cracking and holes in it. Engine won't shift gears now and dashboard lights go completely out at times.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #26

Nov 132010

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Dodge Ram gauge cluster goes out about 5 years after the recalled wiring harness was fixed. When the gauge cluster went out I had to pay to have that harness fixed again because that's what shorted it all out. Also the rapier shop was not able to put back my mileage to 63, xxx. It now shows 119, xxx. That's almost 55, xxx miles more then I dove in to that shop with. Yes I have all the old parts. This is a very common thing for this trucks. Dodge does not want to make it right.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #25

Nov 072010

Ram 1500

  • miles
Stopped several times for no taillights. Was advised that I could be ran over for not having tail lights. Lamp out indicator was not lit. Mechanic traced problem down to FCM (front control module).

- Bridgeport, AL, USA

problem #24

Oct 142010

Ram 1500

  • 100,980 miles
No parking lights. The fuse box is needed to be replaced.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #23

Oct 072010

Ram 1500

  • 100,980 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the exterior lights (parking lights) failed and they would not illuminate when needed. The cruise control light on the steering wheel also failed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the fuse box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired but the parts were ordered. The manufacturer was not notified. The current mileage was approximately 101,000. The failure mileage was approximately 100,980.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #22

Jun 012010

Ram 1500

  • 115,000 miles
Recently I had to replace the major fuse box in my 2002 Dodge ram1500. The old box shorted out and as a result I lost my park lights, driving lights, as well as my license plate lights. I was first made aware of it by the police when I was out driving with no tail lights. It was a good thing I was stopped or I could have been rearended or in a major accident before I noticed they were not working. I ended up replacing the fuse box at a cost of $600. I guess this was a concern of Dodge because they had fuse boxes onhand and available.

- Ironton, OH, USA

problem #21

Jan 102010

Ram 1500

  • miles
Jan. 10, 2010 a very large crack appeared in the dash on my 2002 Dodge 1500 pickup at first it was just a cosmetic thing, but now all the wiring is exposed the vehicle turn indicators do not work when it is bad weather the windshield wipers don't work and the defrosters will not change from cold to hot. I went to the dealer they advised me it was not their problem, but I have learned that I am not the only one this has affected and my problem is a serious safety issue.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

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