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 1 of 3)

problem #60

Aug 082016

Ram 1500

  • 222,750 miles


While driving over railroad tracks last week, the key slid out of the ignition. When I attempted to pull to the right shoulder, my steering colomn locked and the motor finally died and coasted to a stop.

- Gatesville, TX, USA

problem #59

Sep 132015

Ram 1500

  • 190,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving 75 mph, the HVAC blower motor failed to operate without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 03V078000 (steering). The failure mileage was 190,000.

- Farwell, TX, USA

problem #58

Jan 082016

Ram 1500

  • 208,000 miles
When I turn on the heater the blend door and actuator make a popping sound when turned heat on, blend doors broken and actuator not working properly. It occurs while vehicle stationary and in motion when heat is turned on.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #57

Aug 202015

Ram 1500

  • 141,216 miles


I was on my way home from picking up my paycheck driving on the highway in the fast lane doing around 70 mph when all of a sudden my truck shut down with no warning and then restarted. I immediately got off of the highway and took back roads. About 1.5 miles from my home at a red light the truck once again shut down completely, no engine, no electric, nothing, it was completely dead on a fairly busy road. I had to have the truck towed home and have not been able to get it started at all. I went online to see what might be the cause and have found many related cases to what I am dealing with.

- Catonsville, MD, USA

problem #56

Jul 302015

Ram 1500

  • 157,523 miles
Dashboard cracked, lamp light is on and alarm keeps dinging. Checked all lights and they are all working.

- Annandale, MN, USA

problem #55

Jul 082012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 99,502 miles
On July 8, 2012, the mother carried her 2 year-old daughter to her husband's parked 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup equipped with a manual transmission. The mother opened the passenger door, inserted the ignition key into the ignition switch, turned the key as the mother was trying to activate the air conditioner and cool the vehicle down before her husband came out to drive them home from church.the vehicle was in 1st gear and lurched forward when the key was turned.the speed of 2 mph at time of incident is an approximation only. The mother was struck by the moving vehicle which knocked her child from her arms to the pavement. The child suffered severe head trauma and was removed to the hospital by ambulance. The child later died in the emergency room. The accidental death was caused by failure of the clutch ignition interlock safety switch, compression spring, and attendant parts. This is the same defect involved in recall no.14V795000 and is at least the second death caused by this same defect. The only difference is that recall no. 14V795000 covers vehicles back to only 2004, and this vehicle is a 2002 model year.

- Lynnfield, MA, USA

problem #54

Dec 012014

Ram 1500

  • 201,000 miles


Dash board has shattered and the air condition/heater does not blow.

- Ramer, AL, USA

problem #53

Mar 152006

Ram 1500

  • 35,000 miles
Dashboard begin cracking and finally in a couple days of weeks broke apart completely as I had been in a crash.I called the company they said the warranty had expired.I told them I have 1992 Ford aerostar whose dashboard was completely.intact and that it was much older it had to be a structural defect. They offer to pay half which meant I had to pay $500 dollars, which I didn't have. I felt they should pay all of it. Also the airbag light is on and the RPM accelerate without me pushing the gas pedal.I took many times to the dealership and they said they would fix it but they never did.

- Brownsville Tx., TX, USA

problem #52

Jan 012014

Ram 1500

  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The contact replaced the terminal battery, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- La Marque, TX, USA

problem #51

Apr 012013

Ram 1500

  • miles
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab and have had to replace all the heating and cooling components in this truck in the past few years. Last year I started having an issue with the heat/ac not working unless the steering wheel was in the up position. I had all the parts to the control board behind the dash replaced, all new knobs, etc. Still didn't work. Then we started diving into these sites that talk about all/any issues that people are having with this model truck. So we see that we need to replace the register in the steering column. Well that worked for about a week and now, again, if I want ac/heat I have to raise the steering up and drive. Not very safe!! are dealerships honoring recalls for this part still" what about all the wiring? does that need to be replaced to stop the constant blowing up of the register" this is a great looking truck but the money dumped into it to keep it on the road is outrageous. I could have purchased two trucks by now.

- Milwaukie, OR, USA

problem #50

Jun 112014

Ram 1500

  • 169,000 miles


Vehicle problem first started when turning steering wheel to the right entirely. Currently vehicle airbag light comes on and of through all ranges of steering.

- Felton, PA, USA

problem #49

Jun 022014

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The speedometer stopped working, ABS light on, ebrake light on, airbag light on, no controls for defroster, found no power to fuses on 32-38 several people online in forums have the same problem.

- Freeport, PA, USA

problem #48

May 012014

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles
Hello, I have just bought a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 truck from my father in-law. Before he sold it to me he mentioned that the air blower for the air conditioning and heater doesn't work. He said it was a recall that he never took in to get serviced. So I looked the truck up on the website and sure enough there it was. A recall on the steering column electrical connect. Now I remember riding with my father in law and he would be constantly moving the steering wheel up and down using the tilt when the air conditioning would cut off and that made it turn back on. The problem is is when I get on the Dodge site and search for recalls using the VIN number this recall doesn't show up. I called a dealership and they said it didn't show up either. I find it a little odd that my truck doesn't show this recall is needed when it is very obvious that this steering column electrical connect is the very issue I'm having. And I recall that my father in law has had this issue for a long time maybe not long after he bought the truck new. I think my truck should be honored this recall service beings it is a safety hazard. Thanks for your time.

- Collinsville, IL, USA

problem #47

Jan 012010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Dashboard started cracking in 2010 and has progressively gotten worse. It now has open holes and completely cracked. And since the last few months it is causing electrical failure and dangerous to drive. This situation I have now found out to be very common for my truck and now realize that this is not common wear for this or any other vehicle. Chrysler has told me they are not excepting any responsibility for the product failure and that it's up to me to pay for the costly repairs. This is unacceptable as this problem is clearly a product defect that they are aware of and should at no cost to the consumer be fixed.

- Santa Ana , CA, USA

problem #46

Aug 142013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle has severe dash cracking. Power windows are not working and lamp indicator will not shut off causing ongoing beeping. Concerned that dash parts are stuck inside causing driving conditions to be unsafe. Would like to be notified if an investigation has been done to remedy the problems at dealer cost.

- Harker Heights, TX, USA

problem #45

Jun 122013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 117,320 miles
There was an electrical failure in the wiring system from the fuse block this is known to be a common problem with the Dodge Ram the ABS light, brake light and airbag light as well as the engine light all come on also the odometer and speedometer also stop working. This stops the ABS system from working as well as the airbags I have had to change the fuse block as well as the rear speed sensor, and the dash cluster because of this over a three year period now, the first time all of my lights stopped working as well as the dash gauges and door locks. Why is this and ongoing problem with this and nothing seems to get done about it the first time I got a copy of a service bulletin and Dodge tried to tell me it was only good for diesel models and I have the same issues. There seems to be a real history of these problems with this vehicle and the dealers are all aware of this.

- Pontiac, MI, USA

problem #44

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 #43

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 #42

Aug 012012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 126,932 miles
Air conditioning works fine, as long as the vehicle is moving. When stopped at traffic lights or intersections, the A/C gets warm, as if the condenser is not working. When starting up again, it gets cold after a bit of time. Searched the internet, and found this is a problem that occurs often, and many said check the fuse #39. On Aug. 1, I checked the fuse, and found that the plastic and metal parts of the fuse had melted onto the spot it was plugged into. All of the other fuses seem to be fine, but there is a tiny chunk of metal I cannot remove from the fusebox to plug in another fuse, nor do I want to plug in another fuse, as I don't know why the previous one melted. I am not sure if this is covered in any recalls. Also, when I tried to have the truck inspected, it failed for the check engine light, and there are several recalls listed in the possible cause list for the code that registered in the inspection machine.

- Franklinville, NJ, USA

problem #41

May 302012

Ram 1500

  • 208,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the keys could be easily removed from the ignition while driving or when any gear. Occasionally, the vehicle could not be shifted into park, causing the vehicle to accelerate backward. The dealer was notified of the issue who advised that there were no recalls for the vehicle. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 208,000.

- Spring, TX, USA

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