really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,363 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

Jan 152010

Ram 1500

  • 60,000 miles


Besides heat not working, numerous gas cap replacements, numerous shorts in brake light, radio cutting off, my dash has cracked in several places which could cause injury if touched by youngsters. Apparently numerous complaints on all of the above!!

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #82

Mar 122010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 quad-cab. During normal use and care the dashboard has cracked in two places. A piece has broken off the dash and fell down into the area behind the dashboard. Subsequently, the heater stopped blowing hot air. The heater failure appears to be due to the broken piece of the dash interfering with the heater mechanism behind the dash. No repair or replacement has been attempted at this time. The plastic inserts in the door handles have also failed. This includes the components that hold the window, mirror, and door lock controls.

- Long Beach, MS, USA

problem #81

Jun 152009

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 dash cracking & coming apart. Dodge should cover via recall this potentially dangerous defect. Its a mess & dangerous.

- Americus, GA, USA

problem #80

Jun 012006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


2003 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 5.7 hemi dash has several cracks. Dodge acknowledges the problem, yet will not recall and replace the dash. It is defective plastic and effects almost all Dodge trucks from 1998 to 2006.

- Deland, FL, USA

problem #79

Nov 202010

Ram 1500

  • 120,000 miles
I was driving down the highway and my dash split 2 times. I have done nothing for repair, since I have seen many other complaints on the internet.

- Inman, SC, USA

problem #78

Apr 222009

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Cracked dashboard on a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500.

- Perry, GA, USA

problem #77

Oct 152010

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 0 miles


The dash board develops major cracks and overall material breakdown exposing wiring under the dash for a possible catastrophic failure of safety and electrical systems due to inadvertent exposure (airbags, headlights, taillights, gauges, ignition, ventilation, etc). It threatens the occupants (riders) with possible projectile shards of plastic if there is an accident, causing more damage than an impact itself. Possible injury upon exiting the vehicle if a hand is placed in the dash area and it collapses. The integrity of the structure is faulty creating a unsafe environment. The cracks are not from abuse or mistreatment of the vehicle. The part is not a wear item that mechanically deteriorates over time. The vehicle is garaged and well kept regardless of mileage. Inspected regularly, registered as individual use not a commercial vehicle.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #76

Jul 282010

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
I went to work one day in the company truck and when I got home I went to my Dodge and opened the door to find a 16 inch crack in the dashboard that was not there when I left that morning. I have recently heard that Dodge may have used defective plastic in the fabrication of their dashboards from 1998-2006. Since I'm not going to spend $800 on a new dash that is probably just going to do the same and Dodge is not paying for any replacements the only options at this point are 1) buy a dash cover or 2) do nothing.

- Canutillo, TX, USA

problem #75

Nov 192010

Ram 1500

  • 95,001 miles
On November 19, 2009, I was driving my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 on the expressway with my windows down. The wind from the windows being down caused part of the cracked dashboard to fly up and hit my face. It caused me to lose control for a second but was able to overcome. Cracked dashboards are a known issue with Dodge Ram trucks and is a safety hazard. Someone is going to get killed from this. I guess Dodge will fix their defect once this happens. Hopefully I won't be the test case!

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #74

Aug 202008

Ram 1500

  • 88,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 dashboard's cracking. Started in 2008 around 88K miles and is progressively getting worse. No recall to my knowledge, even though my neighbor, a relative, myself and almost everyone that's owned a Dodge truck from 200 to 2004 has had or has heard of the same issue! amazing what does it take to be recognized as a problem! two weeks ago I went again to buy a pwr steering pulley that had disintegrated on an 04' Dakota and the parts mgr said that he thought they were using better materials on the replacement dashes. He thinks!!!! he should know since he obviously knew this was an issue, and said so!!!!! why should a materials defect come out of my pocket" where's our government????"

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #73

Aug 102010

Ram 1500

  • 95,000 miles


Dash cracking into pieces, read online that this is a huge problem for Dodge Ram 1998-2006 but Dodge has done nothing about it.

- Greeneville, TN, USA

problem #72

Nov 262008

Ram 1500

  • 67,000 miles
My 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 hemi quad cab has a cracked upper and lower dash. It showed up shortly after I purchased the truck used in 2008. I did not think much of it because of being used. Now it is cracking all over the place and I am worried that it will become a safety issue if pieces hinder the air bag deployment or cause electrical malfunctions in my dash. Dodge has not been helpful other than to recommend very expensive replacement which may or may not crack again.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #71

May 012008

Ram 1500

  • 36,000 miles
Dashboard cracked above airbag on passenger side.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #70

Sep 072003

Ram 1500

  • 61,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 a large crack appeared on dash on passenger side im real concerned because its right over the air bag and I've noticed that there are alot of complaints about this same issue on the Dodge trucks.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #69

Aug 222006

Ram 1500

  • 29,000 miles
Dodge Ram 1500, 2003 slt 4X4. Dash board is cracking and falling apart. Less then 30,000 miles I noticed my first crack. Only a few years old. Now I have more then 60,000 miles and can't even clean it for fear of cutting myself. It has looked like I don't take care of my truck for over 3 years. I can't even sell it and paid over $30,000 for it new. This is a defective part and Dodge knows it. The replacement part is from Dodge and is also defective. It also cost $800 for the replacement defective part from Dodge. This just isn't right.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #68

Jul 122010

Ram 1500

  • miles
I purchased a 2003 Dodge Ram/ 1500 pick up recently and the whole dash board was/is falling apart. When I went online, I discovered that this is an evident problem with Dodge, there are hundreds of complaints on www.carcomplaints.com, dodgeproblems.com and safercar.gov. An investigation regarding this problem was aired by local 6 news in 2007, (local6.com) the pieces of plastic that come off the dashboard are at most times large and very sharp. I definitely find this to be a hazard to my family. I addressed this with Dodge, put in a claim and they asked that I get an estimate from my local Dodge dealer to replace. The estimate was $1061 for parts, $800 for labor not including tax. Dodge offered for us to pay a co pay of $750 for this to be repaired by Dodge. I declined their offer because this is a manufacture defective product that they are neglecting to take responsibility for with their consumers. This has been reported to the NHTSA before, as claimed by many, and not been recalled yet. Why" how can these sharp objects falling off your dashboard be safe"

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #67

Aug 202010

Ram 1500

  • 90,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 dashboard cracked at 90,000 miles (noticed).

- New Castle, DE, USA

problem #66

Dec 012008

Ram 1500

  • 65,000 miles
I have Dodge Ram 1500 03 truck and approx. In Dec of 2008 I noticed a small crack in dash - thought it was my problem and due to living in South Florida- the crack became 2 then 3 them more getting worse as time went on- I found that friends and other people where having similar problem. II then found out about the news story done by local South Florida news stations which showed the problem being a defect and leading to accidents caused by lighting failures and electrical problems resulting from the cracks and broken dashboards. The problem now is out of control with big cracks and hole throughout the dash- this is not a cosmetic issue - the plastic pieces are sharp and can injure somebody and eventually can damage the electric that runs underneath the dash. I reported it to Dodge who then gave a case number and took pictures and immediately offered to cover half the cost to replace- I do not find this sufficient - the fact that in other parts of the state dealers have replaced this problem free of charge and their admittance and response to cover half of the cost is proof enough that Dodge is well aware of this problem. It is ludicrous to charge for repair for something that is potentially a lethal threat due to accident - when there is no permanent repair - there is no replacement part that has been shown to date that really fixes the problem- it is still a crapshoot whether it happens again after replacement since the dash is a defect to begin with.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #65

Dec 092009

Ram 1500

  • miles
2003 Dodge 1500 pick-up, cracked dashboard.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #64

May 012010

Ram 1500

  • miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 dashboard cracked all over. Would definitely be a safety issue if in an accident. I have to wonder if an airbag would do any good if it hits the sharp pieces of the dash. Or worse if a person hit the sharp pieces. Dodge told me it was only a few trucks with this problem, but almost every truck made around 2003 has same problem to some extent.

- Cordova, TN, USA

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