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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,938 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.

2003 Dodge Ram 1500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 282006

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


My husband & I recently purchased a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 from gossett motor cars located at 1900 covington pike rd. In memphis, tn. While my husband was making a left hand turn traveling 3 to 5 mph, the rear right wheel sheared off at the axle. The wheel still had the brake assembly attached to the rim. The dealer stated that an investigator/engineer from Chrysler came to inspect the truck and in the report indicated that the axle break was caused by an impact and that the axle would not be covered under the 7 year 70,000 mile warranty which we were informed by a rep at Chrysler Corp was transferable. The dealership & Chrysler Corp refused to release the report to us. There was no impact that caused this and upon reviewing several other complaints it appears that there are several other owners of the same truck who have experienced the same problem. One in particular stands out ODI # 10147823. In addition, there is a report from an engineer at the Chrysler axle plant, report # 10007842 that acknowledges that Chrysler is aware of a problem in manufacturing and the heat currying. See ODI case # 10058633 and voq 10059475.

- West Memphis, AR, USA

problem #7

Dec 242005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
While making a U-turn traveling 3 to 5 mph, the rear right wheel sheared off at the axle leaving the truck sitting on the back side of the 20" rim. The wheel still had the brake assembly attached to the rim. The dealer had an investigator inspect the truck and in the report they said there was impact damage and they would not warranty the axle. I know the report has to be false. Besides the axle shearing the only other damage is scratches to the face of the rim, caliper bracket, and brake line. The wheel and tire are still usable. The truck only has 30,000 mile.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Feb 202005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
After the light turned green, I began to make a left turn. The back of the truck dropped. After I came to a stop I got out and found my truck was sitting on my right rear rim. The inner axle and outer axle brackets had broken. I didn't hit anything or go in a pot hole. The dealer attempted to convince me that I hit something. It was snowing and I was not going more than 15 miles on hour, so even if I did hit the curb, which I didn't, it shouldn't shear my axle.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #5

Oct 232004

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


While driving down the road I hear a grinding and a pop noise and the rear end of my 2003 1500 Ram drops down and immediately goes into a 3-60 spin. The whole axle assembly snapped off right by the hub. The whole brake assembly, still connected to the rim and tire this is the second time it broke on the same side, and it is identical to the first break. The first was at 8,000, and now 16,000 miles.

- Temperance, MI, USA

problem #4

Apr 042004

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Going 35 mph the rear axle on my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 broke causing the rear wheel to fall off. There was no impact to the wheel beforhand. Dodge will not cover it under waranty even though it was clearly a faulty product. After reaserch I found many people have had the same problem.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 162003

Ram 1500

  • miles
When I was driving home the entire rear left wheel fell off my vehicle. It lloked like the axle snapped on it end. I was lucky I was able to control my vehicle.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 022004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,500 miles
While driving down an on ramp toward the highway at about 20 mph my entire left rear wheel assembly sheared or the side axle. This caused the vehicle to veer to the left and in fact made a complete U-turn. My travel trailer I was towing then jackknifed striking the rear quarter panel. Chrysler has denied liability. The vehicle was only 9 months only. A review of NHTSA site has shown 6 incidents within the last 5 months. Also a report filed by an engineer at Chrysler axle plant report # 10007842 acknowledges that Chrysler is aware of a problem in manufacturing and the heat currying. My axle is brittle and also appears to be crystallized in the interior. This is in my opinion a manufacturing defect, the total damage to my vehicle and trailer exceeds $15,000. See voq 10059475, same incident.

- Brooksville, FL, USA

problem #1

Dec 182003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
My son and others could have been killed because of this. He just pulled away from a stop lite in a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, only 3 months old when the rear right axle snapped shearing off the wheel and sending him skidding on the pavement. He and others were very lucky toget out of the way of danger. I am writing this on December 23rd. We have not heard a word from the dealer where we had the vehicle towed which would be South oak Dodge at 4550 Lincoln highway in matteson, ill. Phone is 708-747-7950. VIN #[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Homer Glen, IL, USA

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