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.

8.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,216.00
Average Mileage:
83,388 miles
Total Complaints:
75 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. should recall (33 reports)
  2. recall-new paint job (18 reports)
  3. should have new boxsides installed by dodge (14 reports)
  4. not sure (10 reports)
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #55

Mar 262012

Ram 1500 Larmie Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Frame rusted from the inside out would not pass inspection, it never should happen. Dodge said tuff sh*t! I'll never buy another one -- they lost my busness.

- , Hatfield, PA, USA

problem #54

Apr 012009

Ram 1500 LXT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

ALMOST 4 YRS AGO I TALKED TO THE SERVICE REP AT THE LOCAL DEALER ABOUT RUST BUBBLES STARTING TO APPEAR & SHOWED HIM. BUT HE SAID THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD DO. HE SAID HE WAS AWARE OF THE PROBLEM ON OTHERS TOO. NOW ITS CANCER AT ITS WORSE ON BOTH REAR QUARTERS OVER THE FINDER WELL.

- , Morral, OH, USA

problem #53

Feb 022009

Ram 1500 ST 4.7L

  • Manual transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Rust is bad on both sides of the truck bed but is the worst on the drivers side. I spoke with the dealer body shop (Deskins in Pikeville KY) about getting it fixed under warranty but they said that Dodge wouldn't. I believe that Chrysler should man up and fix the problem. I would be delighted with my truck if they would fix the corrosion problem.

- , Eastern, KY, USA

problem #52

May 212008

Ram 1500 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

EVERYONE THAT I KNOW WHO HAS THIS SAME VEHICLE HAS EXTENSIVE RUST ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BED DIRECTLY ABOVE REAR WHEELS. MY TRUCK HAS RUST ,WORSE ON DRIVERS SIDE VERSES PASSENGER SIDE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT I HAVE WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND TO PROVIDE EXCELLENT MAINTENANCE. IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PURCHASE A USED BED OFF OF AN OWNER THAT IS RUST FREE REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE TRUCK IS FROM (warmer climate with year around decent weather verses an area where the seasons change and harsh weather can be an issue-salt sand etc.. for snow/ice road conditions.) THIS ISSUE SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR RECALL!!!!!!

- , Barton, MD, USA

problem #51

Apr 012010

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles

I know why the Dodge Ram is rusting out in the wheel wells. It is visible on my Dodge now that the rust has eaten away much of the metal. When the wells were constructed there was a calking used to seal the metals together. Essentially, a liquid nails for sheet metal. The idea is great. You put this material between the metals and press them together and essentially lock out any moisture from the seam.

The problem is poor workmanship during construction and or poor design programming on the machine (if done by machine) {a big thank you to the union people who had to see this and let it go]. What was done is the caulking was put on but rather than a smooth bead around the wheel well it was put in like little waves like your six year old might draw water waves on paper. The result is little pockets where dirt and water collect and sit against the wheel well and the outer fender panel until the water and road salt of winter in Michigan eat thru the paint and any rust protection and goes to work on the metal.

I could provide pictures as proof but I am certain Dodge will not honor the warranty. I had dealings with them before. If your vehicle is newer you might see if you can get a photo of the space between the well and fender. You could make a good case if your willing to fight in court. It really looks like it was done on purpose. Maybe they knew it would fail after warranty expiration and get you to fork money for new rear fenders.

- , Howell, MI, USA

problem #50

Jun 062011

Ram 1500 Quad Cab 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I purchased my truck in 2004 and was very happy with my purchase. Recently I have developed rust on both sides of the bed. Thinking of buying a new truck, but I don't think it will be a dodge.

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #49

Oct 012008

Ram 1500 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2003 dodge ram 1500.I believe it was in October of 2008 when i noticed rust bubbles.I called dodge & significantly were no help.I had a body shop quote a price for both side of the bed to be replaced.The cost was 4,000.00. Needless to say I didn't replace them.I am no metallurgist but I do work with metals.There are supports welded in the bed sides & if you notice the rust tended to come from where they were welded to the bed sides.I feel it is the manufacturers fault.It is acting almost like an anode rod.I had purchased 3 Chrysler product vehicles within 2yrs of 2003.I guarantee that they will be my last given the type of customer care given by them.I must add that the truck that is rusting was also driven basically as a Sunday car.Until 2010.Now It looks terrible but I will run it to the ground just to promote what a rust bucket they make.I also had issues of the oil pan on both the transmission & oil rust thru.

- , Parma, OH, USA

problem #48

Sep 152012

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

Ok this stinks. Had to fix a rotted transmission pan, no problem pretty cheep fix. Get under my truck and start to remove the bolts from the pan and let it drain. Look up at the frame and see what scaly rust looked like to me. Therefore, I started to poke at it with my finger and it went right though. So I am like what ever and move down a little way where again my finger and again right through. Therefore, I poked around the inside of the frame and notice that it was rotting from the inside out. It is only a 10 year old truck and it needs a frame, I could weld a patch around the frame but it is going to just keep rotting. Dodge should put a recall on this. My wife just had a baby and would much rather drive in my truck than her little four door car, but now I have to go with the small car. A new fame says online they sell for over $5000.00. Then I have to either take vacation time and do all the work myself or pay someone a butt load of money to do it for me. WTF Dodge I think this is the first and last dodge I will ever buy.

- , Taunton, MA, USA

problem #47

Aug 102011

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L V

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Bought this truck for looks and the engine. Two years after purchasing the RH rear quarter started to bubble through. Four year later I bought the patch panels to replace them myself. After I was shown how to weld them up looks better than before. Then the LH side started to bubble. I will wait to replace that side. I never thought I would have to replace panels on a 10 year old vehicle.This is bull the truck is still new to me wtf.

- , Taunton, MA, USA

problem #46

Jun 012012

Ram 1500 Laramie Hemi 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,500 miles

Ok I was a STUPID returning Dodge customer after owning not (1) but (2) different Caravans and both having transmission issues that Dodge said wasn't their problem. I thought I would give them another try. I found a really nice looking 03 Ram 1500 4X4 Quad cab with the Hemi. Really sharp truck. Or so I thought. Bought the truck with an extended warranty and of course I wish it had been longer. I had the truck for 3 weeks when the paint started to bubble. Took it back to the dealer and they fixed it. 6 months later and it did it again. When I consulted a body shop they told me either replace the metal, the bed or sell it. WOW so I called Dodge and of course true to their form they said there is NO issue. It is my problem. Well I figure they are right. I should have bought a FORD!!! So now I am going to start a FB page called my rusty dodge and I will encourage all to show the public just how GREAT it is to own a poorly manufactured vehicle by DODGE. and thank them for their support.

- , Brownsburg, IN, USA

problem #45

May 182011

Ram 1500 4.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

i have a 2003 dodge ram 1500 that i bought used in 2004 with 29,xxx miles on it. this truck runs and drives good, but my complaint is with the rust on this truck. both bedsides started rusting about a year ago. my color is white and with the rust it really looks bad, also under the truck looks pretty bad. i have noticed the floor pans are very rusty, even my oil pan is rusting, my passenger side front disc brake dust cover has rusted away and my wheels are rusted up and looks very bad, i am restoring a 71 plymouth duster and my 03 dodge has about as much rust as this 40 year old car.this was my first and last dodge truck unless dodge recalls and fixes this problem. will buy a toyota next time at least toyota will recall and fix their problems. i think dodge should step up and fix THEIR problem.

- , Vicco, KY, USA

problem #44

Feb 012012

Ram 1500 Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,000 miles

Bought this Dodge ram in feb of12 and was aware that some rusty spots were starting to show above the wheel well on the drivers side.Since this is a white colored truck .it really shows,and looks like crap.I thought it could be fixed but now I'm told by expert body mechanics that it cant be just sanded off and repainted because it will just rust through again.I was quoted a fix price of over 1.000,00 bucks to cut out bad area and replace with (weld)new fender skirt.RIDICULOUS.I love the dodge truck but am really pi$$ed that this is the case.SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A FORD.C'mon DODGE step it up and fix this problem

- , New Ringgold, PA, USA

problem #43

Jul 172010

Ram 1500

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

both rear wheel wells has rusted out and the bed sides look like sh*t now. i beleive that dodge should recall this and pay people for the repairs i am getting ready to fix mine and it will take me a few weeks to do it. we also needed to have them recall the heater damper doors and pay to fix that also.

- , Salem, IN, USA

problem #42

Jun 232011

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

I bought this truck used and it was rusting on the left fender but now the right fender is doing the same thing. Other than than I love the truck and plan on keeping it for years as I only put about 5000 miles a year on since I have a company car. But this rust looks horrible and really detracts from the overall appearance of the truck. I don't really have the money to repair it but I guess I have to or its just going to get worse.

- , Union, ME, USA

problem #41

Dec 152010

Ram 1500 SLT 5.7L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

If dodge trucks are as good as dodge thinks they are, they should be fixing the rust problems on all of these trucks with new box sides. You spend good money on a nice truck and you end up with a piece of rusted out junk, thanks dodge for wasting my damn money thinking I was buying a long term good looking truck. My friends 2006 big horn is doing the same thing. Let me know when your going to step up to the plate and fix it!!!!!!!!!

- , Bridgewater, SD, USA

problem #40

Oct 072010

Ram 1500 5.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I also have a 2003 Dodge bought new in 2002 that i take very good care of with alot of aftermarket parts (Chrome) Nice looking truck lots of complements but the rear wheel wells are gone. Makes me sick!

- , Middleville, MI, USA

problem #39

Apr 012011

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

nice rust problems dodge. Way to stand behind your junk vehicles.

- , Carroll, IA, USA

problem #38

Mar 152011

Ram 1500 5.7L Hemi

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,990 miles

hi i got my truck from a dealer in feb of 2011 with 69400 miles on it and in march both sides of the quater panles and bottom of tailgate started to bubble and show rust.i think dodge should recall and have everyones truck repainted or hole new back bed be put on. also just started seeing rust on cab coners and rocker planles also,

- , Windsor, VT, USA

problem #37

Apr 012007

Ram 1500 Sport 5.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

The problem about this rust on my truck is that I made sure it was u US plant made truck since I am also a union worker. My dad has 2002 mexico plant ruck that only gets washed when it rains and there isn't any signs of rust. My truck started in the same place the drivers side rear wheel well then the passenger side. They both started from the inside out . The paint started to bubble under the rear tail lights. Inside the truck on the cab corners, the rocker panels and the rear shakles where the leaf springs connect is also crumbling away. This is bullshit I've had a 30 year old car that sits and has less rust. I cant afford to pay for the body work so I had to teach myself. Got the grinder out and cut out the panels and made my own pieces to fit. I then have to trade the welding job for a sheet rocking job with a friend just to get me by for the next five years until the whole wheel well rots out along with the support it mounts to. Then its going to cost me 1000 to paint the whole truck with me doing all the prep. Dodge needs to fix this if your gonna pay 35k for a fn truck

- , Hillsborough, NH, USA

problem #36

Aug 012009

Ram 1500 SLT 4.7L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

as every other complaint, wheel wells rusting bad on drivers side and starting to bubble on passenger side. bought truck new in august of 02, took care of truck. I received a lot of compliments on truck till I point out the rust problems. Also the paint is gone on parts of hood and rear top of quad cab roof. dodge sucks for not taking care of these problems

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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