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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,603 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Sep 282016

Ram 1500

  • 158,888 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving approximately 60 mph, the front end of the vehicle shook and vibrated violently. After stopping the vehicle, it was discovered that the front sway bars detached and the steering control arms separated due to rusting of the subframe. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 158,888.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #38

Feb 182015

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 102,500 miles
My son was on the I-5 coming home from school when the seals blew on the rack and pinion. Upon taking it to a repair shop we were informed that this is a known defect of the Dodge Ram trucks and they are known to blow any where from 50,000-100,000 miles. If we had known about this defect we would not have purchased the truck. When the seals blew the truck steering components began to grind and it was difficult to get it off the road. There was no warning and luckily my son had the opportunity to pull off the freeway with out injuring anyone. My father who has contracted with a local reservation contacted their service department only to find out that the Dodge Ram trucks were known to have serious power steering and front end issues. The only reason they purchased the trucks were that Dodge provided the low bid and there has not been a government recall on the steering and their practice is to accept the low bid. The power steering. Tie rods and suspension are major components to going down the road safely. It shouldn't take someone dying to solve the issue. While we all are concerned about the impacts caused by larger vehicles against the new smaller lighter weight cars it is extremely important that we know the larger trucks are safe to drive on our roads. The Dodge Ram has numerous complaints on the internet, as well as dealers and repair shops noting that this is an issue. Chevy trucks, Ford trucks and Toyota trucks do not have the reputation for have issues with the front end and steering components. Thus this would appear to be a defect isolated to the Dodge Ram trucks. Since you cannot require and individual to replace the rack and pinion themselves every 50,000 miles the only option would be to require Dodge to solve the issue. Thank you for your time and attentions.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #37

Oct 012014

Ram 1500 4WD 6-cyl

  • 167,299 miles
While I was driving, my truck made a odd sound and then came to a screeching halt. To my surprise, the rear driveshaft had disconnected and fell out of my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 truck. After having it towed and inspected by a mechanic, it was discovered the nut came off of the pinion gear. The axle and companion gear slipping out of the pinion gear and the yolk came completely off. The mechanic was as concern and surprised as I was, considering this type of thing should not happen to a vehicle. I contacted Chrysler via their customer service website and advised them of my situation. Sadly, I received a response stating there was no information regarding my issue. I conducted my own research about the possible defect, and found the NHTSA details regarding this problem with Dodge Ram trucks. Currently, they are only reviewing 2008-2014 models. Considering my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 has incurred the same problem, Chrysler should recall all of their 2000 series for this defective part. I consider myself and others very lucky. If the driveshaft would have disconnected 10 minutes earlier while I was driving 70 mph on the interstate. The incident could have been much worse. I'm fortunate, I had reached my exit and was driving 45 mph with no vehicle behind me when my truck came apart and stopped.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #36

Jun 112014

Ram 1500

  • 171,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle made a loud noise and within minutes the rear axle seized. The contact was able to control the vehicle and merged to the side of the road. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the drive shaft had separated from the rear axle. The vehicle was towed to the contact home. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was mileage was 171,000.

- Warren , MI, USA

problem #35

Oct 092013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Our gears came apart, there was rear end fluid in there but the gears came apart. Which I was told what I needed to do before this happened, but I wasn't and now I am looking at a $4000 bill to get this fixed. Heard it was a common problem with these trucks to have rear end issues.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #34

Mar 132012

Ram 1500

  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500. While parked, the contact was performing an oil change and noticed that two bolts were missing from the front suspension. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the contact ordered the bolts. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 109,000.

- Duxbury, MA, USA

problem #33

Feb 242010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


2002 Dodge Ram 1500 wheel hub bearing assembly separation / wheel separation, while traveling at a speed of 35 -40 mph on the highway, my vehicle began to shake and pull to the right and then the wheel right front wheel hub bearing assembly failed causing my vehicle to become disabled during a snow storm.

- New Philadelphia, OH, USA

problem #32

Aug 102009

Ram 1500

  • miles
I own a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 and I have been noticing that the dash has been cracking and then it began to crack more to the point of having no dash at all. I don't think this is just a cosmetic defect it is a safety issue. It doesn't take a hoard of inspectors to see how this can cause damage to occupants in the truck. Lets just forget about the safety issue for a second, after buying a Dodge intrepid and have the motor fail at 60,000 and I said " I will never buy another Dodge", but I gave Dodge a second chance because I liked the look of the truck inside and out. With that said I don't mind replacing the control arms where the ball joints are welded in, at a cost of $600 dollars. Wish I would have looked at that too, but having to replace the dash is not justified as an expense that I should have to pay for. If I sold this truck to someone I know the first thing they would say, "that doesn't look safe and makes you wonder what else is unsafe with the truck." It does make you wonder about the rest of the truck, did they cut corners on other parts of the vehicle? let me ask NHTSA when you get in your vehicle to go home after work and your dash started cracking, to the point of your speakers falling out when you hit the brakes would you feel safe. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

- Mullins, SC, USA

problem #31

Jan 042009

Ram 1500

  • 159,000 miles
While driving to work early in the morning, roads were wet, temperature was 23 degrees. Was driving on a two lane roadway about 40 mph. Was on a straight stretch when truck started to fish tail slightly. Rear of the truck slid slightly toward drivers side. I turned the wheels slightly in the direction of the slide and then started to turn the wheels back the other direction as truck started to straighten out. At that point I felt something give in the front end on the drivers side. The truck started pulling across the center line and off the other side of the road. I was heading straight for a telephone pole. I tried pushing the brakes fully, but the pedal went to the floor. I cut the wheels all the way to the right, just missing the telephone pole. My front fender struck a steel pole filled with cement next to a split rail fence. When I got out of the truck, the front drivers side tire was laying under the truck, only held on by the tie rod end. This was by no means a very bad case of sliding and over steering. The upper ball joint had just separated causing the tire to buckle under. I was lucky to have escaped this accident without injury or having my truck roll over. I have seen alot of problems with the Dodge durangos with the ball joint separation and I can only imagine it is the same suspension parts used in the Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 trucks. This needs to be checked into before someone gets killed.

- Prosperity, PA, USA

problem #30

Sep 032005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
Right front wheel broke off.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #29

Feb 012006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles


When on the slightest rough surface, this truck jumps and bounces all over the road. I lose all control of the truck when it is jumping. Worse, the brakes bounce and grab when you apply them. Dangerous. Wide spread knowledge of these safety issues. Need a resolution and recall.

- Little River Academy, TX, USA

problem #28

Feb 092005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
The driver's side seat belt retractor continued to fail. The parts were repaired/replaced three times, however the problem recurred. Both seat bet retractors were replaced, however problem still exist. Right rear door lock inoperative. Rattle sound over bumps. Right front sway bar link replaced. The steering wheel has been oscillating almost takes the wheel out of this hands. Dealer found ice in wheels/cleaned wheels. However vibration re-ocurred.

- Niagara, WI, USA

problem #27

Dec 262004

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at interstate speed (70 mph), and switching lanes while on a bridge, the excessive bouncing and bad suspension of truck make me lose control of the truck. The truck pulled to the right and the rear end of the truck ended up spinning around, making a complete 180--- on a bridge!! I ended up slamming into the safety rail of the bridge. And the air bags didn't go off. Luckily, I wasn't injured. At first I thought the accident was my fault, but after talking to a few owners of this model, I figured out that many of us have had the same problems with this truck. The question is, why is this problem not being fixed?? I have talked to the dealer, and they just keep referring me to dealers from other towns.

- Pecos, TX, USA

problem #26

Jun 152003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
I have a rattle under front finders of 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 brought to 3 different dealers none of them can find problem also rides rough.

- Summit, MS, USA

problem #25

May 152003

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer stated when driving at 50 mph or over, when the vehicle hit a bump or pot hole, the vehicle jumped into the next lane, the vehicle was taken to the dealer twice, and they could not duplicate the problem.

- Albrightsville, PA, USA

problem #24

Jun 172003

Ram 1500

  • miles
While trying to drive around a curve the driver tried to brake and the vehicle pulled to the right. The vehicle also bounced which made it difficult to control the vehicle. The driver was able to regain control of the vehicle. This happened the same day after purchasing the vehicle. Dodge, Ram, 1500 quad cab.

- Klamath Falls, OR, USA

problem #23

May 252003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
2002 Dodge Ram 1500 I just bought has a shke or shimmy at braking and highway speeds. On the interstate when driving 50mph truck shakes. Go 70mph truck is worse. So going 50 to 70 mphs truck shakes. The faster I go the more violently it shakes. This is a real distraction while driving. Tires are new, they show no wear. I have bought it with 23500 miles on it. It's al'so a certified truck. When stopping soon as you apply brakes it shimmies or shakes violently.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #22

Jul 232002

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles
Regarding the new body style Dodge 1500 Ram pickup. My truck is less than a year old and about 15000 miles. It has a steering problem. Generally, it pulls to the right, dangerously! the second day of my ownership, went to the dealer and they aligned it. Told me if I still had a problem, it was a tire problem. The alignment did not help. I had the tires rotated at the appropriate time and this did not help. The steering problem is worse now. If I travel over a bump or a seam in the road, the vehicle will vere to the right or left or both directions in an uncontrolable and violent manner. I must come to a complete stop to regain control of the vehicle. Yes, it is very scary. So much so, that I again returned to the dealer, they aligned it again. The problem seems worse now. I was told, if the alignment did not help to bring it back and they would order/instal a new rack. I did so and was put off. Today, 5-30-03 I returned to the dealer to ask about the fix for my steering problem. I again was put off and I asked to call Chrysler. I did, the nice and efficient lady new what I was talking about with the steering problem. I asked if there were alot of complaints like mine and without saying "yes", she indicated there are many complaints. While on hold with her, she called my dealer. I later called the dealer as instructed. The service advisor I have been working with for three weeks said "there is a problem with the steering, Chrysler is aware and has re-designed parts for the fix, however they are not yet available." I am to take my truck in on Monday, 6-2-03 for a couple of hours so they can "look at it again." Sad to say, but I am afraid to drive my new Dodge truck. You never know when it will vere violently out of control. What does a consumer do" how long before parts are available? how many people must die or their lives changed forever before the problem is addressed on a large scale"

- Bristow, OK, USA

problem #21

May 272003

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
When the vehicle hit a bump in the road it swerved uncontrollably. The dealer indicated the factory installed wheels and tires were the problem. The manufacturer suggested the dealer change the steering and realign the wheels. *

- Ranburne, AL, USA

problem #20

Jun 152002

Ram 1500

  • 100 miles
At speeds above 30 mph, vehicle demonstrates lack of control when encountering rough/uneven road surface. Vehicle experiences excessive jump/bounce in front and rear suspension. Tire pressure decreased from tire manufacturer recommended 44 psi to Dodge recommended 35 psi. This action helped to restore low speed control. Vehicle still has control loss at highway speeds of 65 mph and greater. Dealer contacted and stated had not heard of the problem, but would look into problem. Note: Vehicle is a swb standard cab version of the Ram 1500. **dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12/12/02 cut over to artemis**768036

- Luling, TX, USA

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