really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,253 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 #11

Jul 152010

Ram 1500

  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact was driving 5 mph and attempting a turn when the rear driver side wheel fractured from the axle causing the contact to be involved in a single car crash. The contact sustained minor injuries and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The contact was informed that the wheel had fractured from the axle. The dealer advised that the failure could potentially have derived from the contact striking something from under the vehicle to cause the failure. The rear axle was replaced. The failure and current mileages were unavailable. Updated 11/16/10.

- Breaux Bridge , LA, USA

problem #10

Dec 152006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,584 miles
Keeper failure (clips) in 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, replacement of rearend by the dealer (under warranty) out of pocket costs of $239, what happens after warranty is up?? this is a huge problem with this rearend, have heard from many owners with same problem

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 112006

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
From 2002 to 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 pickups fitted with a 9.25" corporate rear end differential complete with lsd. "C clips" which locate the clutch packs within the lsd, over time, slip out of place causing major damage to the carrier bearings usually leading up to a complete replacement of the entire axle assembly. Also, these clips can and do, foul the differential causing catastrophic damage to the ring and pinion gears etc ultimately leading to the locking of both wheels as the vehicle is moving. The potential for both wheels to suddenly become locked whilst at speed/moving in the truck, is lethal. Please note well I have filed this complaint using incorrect zip code/state information as you don't have the ability to submit a complaint from overseas, namely england. My full address is:- mr allan barmby. 7 stanhope gardens, belle-vue, middlesbrough, cleveland, TS4 2qa england. I'm submitting this complaint to you, as there is no one here in england who can help and in support of the many american friend I have in the us who have the same issues over this lsd C clip failure. Daimler Chrysler must be held accountable for this potentially disastrous defect and it should be dealt with free of charge on a recall basis.

- Middlesbrough, AE, USA

problem #8

Aug 112006

Ram 1500 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


: the contact stated the rear axle flange detached and the wheel separated from the vehicle. The dealership was contacted. Updated 10/25/2006 - as a result the consumer lost control of the vehicle and collided with a concrete wall.

- Buckeye, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jun 142006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Upon taking my vehicle in to have maintenance performed, I was notified of a problem with the clutch retainer clip in the rear differential. I was told the part would not be covered under warranty as I had not performed the service therefore they would not cover the replacement. The problem was that the clip broke inside the axle housing did not affect the performance and wore away the housing inside. There is no timeline to pinpoint how long this has been broken. The dealership stated that if not repaired the part would break and cause the rear end to lock up.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 132005

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Left rear axle broke while backing up..

- Blairsville, PA, USA

problem #5

Feb 042005

Ram 1500 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


While traveling on the highway at 55 mph the truck veered to the right on its own. Vehicle would not stop, causing it to go off of the road into a ravine. The rear wheel came off. Consumer was injured. Vehicle was towed, and the rear axle was found to be broken.

- Julian, WV, USA

problem #4

Jun 042004

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
While driving at 72 mph with out any warning, the consumer heard a little noise coming from the front and suddenly lost the control of the vehicle, as a result the vehicle rolled over twice. The vehicle landed upside down and the airbag did not deploy. The driver sustained minor neck and back injuries. The all family was transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital. The police report indicated the axle separated from the wheel.

- Elko, NV, USA

problem #3

Nov 162003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
Dodge hemi both wheels snapped at axle, brakes still on tires.

- Stephenville, TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 112004

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
I was on I-95 driving about 55 mph when a car cut in front of me then slammed on brakes. I had to slam on brakes to avoid this car. Then all of the sudden my drivers side rear wheel sheared off and spun me across the left lane of I-95 and into the steel cables in the middle. I was towing a car on a car trailer at the time. The truck was messed up pretty bad, the whole passenger side and bed are gone due to the steel cables in the middle. The car I was towing had damage to the front bumper and a side skirt. Me and my brother managed to make it out alright though.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #1

Dec 212003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Dodge Ram std cab 1500 4X2 5.7L vehicle, about 9,000 miles on it, 4 months since purchasing it. While driving down the freeway at 75 mph the right rear tire/wheel assembly broke off the axle shaft. The vehicle spun out in the center median. Vehicle substained enough damage to have the insurance company say it was totaled. The dealership, southpoint Dodge, told me to contact daimler Chrysler. I put a claim in with DC customer service only to have it denied. I called DC Corp. To ask if I could get a reason why and see their report on the subject and they denied me this information.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

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