really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,063 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Aug 262016

Ram 1500

  • 157,000 miles


Airbag light on dash stays on. Contacted Dodge about this problem and they could not help. I don't think it is a good idea to drive around with the airbag light on. The airbag will not engage when this dash control light is illuminated. The vehicle has never been involved in a collision. Just minor scrapes and scratches.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #43

Jul 272016

Ram 1500

  • 154,317 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V312000 (air bags). The vehicle was repaired. After the repair, the air bag warning light illuminated. The air bag light was not illuminated pior to the repair. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 154,317.

- Demopolis, AL, USA

problem #42

Mar 162016

Ram 1500

  • 10,000 miles
My 2003 Ram 1500 has had intermittent problems since 2004 which of course dealer can't replicate. Through research from my terrible gas mileage of at times 9mpg to the engine staling and dying and loss of power to a point there isn't enough power to pull out of its onw tracks, I finally found the power distribution center (pdc) and later models call the total integrated power module (tipm). This is a very expensive item and I called Chrysler Corp to find no help at all. So, the local dealer was sympathetic and offered one from their parts dept. Of over $600. I have opted to install it myself as I'm very capable and could not afford the $1200 price tag on this repair that has cost me tons of money in gas/parts/time and labor. Since there was a recall on the later models for the tipm there should be one for the older ones as well that we have lived with for this long. All models with the mopar community have this issue and they very well know it. Remember their bailout? I do... time to own up and fix this and they in turn can file a claim on whom ever their supplier is for this defective part.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #41

Nov 022015

Ram 1500

  • miles


Vehicle cuts off while driving can on highway or while turning, many others has same complaint online. Very dangerous no vehicle on the highway should have this problem.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #40

Mar 012015

Ram 1500

  • 117,000 miles
All of a sudden the truck started shutting off, whether in idle or on the freeway. It would happen multiple times during the day. When shutting off, the truck would loose power steering and brakes. Took to multiple dealerships and mechanics who couldn't find anything wrong with the truck, would never throw any codes, finally spoke with a mechanic who talked to a computer person who stated that we needed to have the computer fixed but it wouldn't be available for 3-6 weeks due to it being on national back order. This needs to be recalled, due to safety issues. You are unable to control the vehicle when you lose power steering and brakes. National back order tells me that there is a problem and Dodge knows about it.

- South Jordan, UT, USA

problem #39

Sep 132015

Ram 1500

  • 120,000 miles
Incident occurred while driving on the 91 freeway in ca. All of a sudden the engine cut out, and ground to a halt. I repeatedly tried to restart the truck but to no avail. The engine would not turn over.I was trapped in the fast lane unable to make my way to the soft shoulder. Fortunately the hazard warning lights were functional and I was able to apply these to warn other drivers. Eventually a tow truck was deployed to get my out of harms way. It was a very scary moment and I was very fortunate not to be hit. The following day I got the truck towed to a garage where they checked it over and the only thing they could find wrong was a fuse had blown that controlled ignition unlock/run start function. The garage was not able to find what would cause such a failure and now I am reluctant to travel on the freeway. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

- Fullerton , CA, USA

problem #38

Sep 042015

Ram 1500

  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the driver side signal and emergency blinkers failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was a loose wire in the integrated fuse box. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000. The VIN was not available.

- Cannon Falls, MN, USA

problem #37

Aug 052015

Ram 1500

  • miles
My wiper motors work but stop half way in the window and I replaced them with new ones and it does the same thing ? this is a big issue up here in wny as alot of Dodge Ram you see on the road have their wipers stuck half way reducing their site to drive!

- Jamestown, NY, USA

problem #36

Jul 152015

Ram 1500

  • miles
My brake lights is staying on, while the truck is crank up. 3rd barke light working fine. As soon, I shut the. Truck off brake lights goes off. Take the truck to the dealership, they replace the brake light switch. Problem went away for awhile and came right back. So, I order two new brake light control panel from the dealership problem again went away. Now it's back again. Driving down the road everybody thinking, I'm riding my brakes. When, I do come to a stop it won't light up too warn drivers behind me. That, I"M stopping.

- Georgetown, SC, USA

problem #35

Oct 122013

Ram 1500

  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that upon entering the vehicle, the doors on the front passenger and the rear passenger side failed to open. Also, the contact mentioned that the windows and the locks would not operate. The contact stated that this was a recurring failure. The vehicle was driven to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the vehicle was working up to specifications. The vehicle was not repaired. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle was involved in a crash and the air bags failed to deploy. No further details of the crash were provided. The vehicle was towed to the independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 43,000. The VIN was not available.

- Lee , MA, USA

problem #34

Jun 302014

Ram 1500

  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. While driving at 35 mph, the air conditioner shut off independently. The failure recurred constantly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Manteca, CA, USA

problem #33

Nov 102014

Ram 1500

  • 61,500 miles
TL-the contact owns a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. The contact stated that the vehicle defroster/defogger system windshield blower failed making it difficult to view outside the vehicle during cold weather conditions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the defrost/defogger system needed to B E replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 61,500. Djr

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #32

Aug 062014

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
While driving on the freeway at night the headlights, tail lights, blinkers, 4-ways, brake lights, and tail lights went out and when slowing down to pull over the engine stalled. The engine started back up to get to the side of the road and stalled again with no warning. The truck now stalls at all stop lights and stop signs and is not giving any codes. The truck now has a large draw and kills the battery shortly after turning the truck off. The truck is still in the shop and so far the FCM, pdc and some wiring has been replaced but the power draw persists and the engine stalling still persists. Researching the issue on the internet this is a common problem on this vehicle and has been for quite some time. This is a very dangerous issue and needs to be addressed.

- Hackensack, MN, USA

problem #31

Sep 082010

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The dash board has finally fallen apart after years of trying to keep it together. The obd connection has never worked fuse is good and several different scanners but no communication.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #30

Sep 032003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
During the first year we bought the truck it had to be towed in to the shop because it would lose power and just "turn off" and could not be started about 6 times. After the truck was returned to us after one of these episodes, we had hooked up our camper to leave for the weekend, went into the house for some more stuff, and noticed that the gas tank had fallen off the truck and was sitting in the driveway under the truck. So much for camping that weekend and another tow to the dealer. We also purchased an extended "bumper-to-bumper 100,000 mile, 5 year warranty that covered rust. I brought the truck into the dealer to show them the rust around the rear wheel wells and lower body in the 4th year into the warranty and they said they made a record of it and would take care of it. They put if off with promises after numerous calls and trips to the dealer until the dealership sold to another party and the warranty had expired (years, not miles). The body is rotten, the passenger front window was never fixed, and it still occasionally stalls. I'm told that the stalling and body problems are engineering defects, and internet searches confirm this.

- Oconto Falls, WI, USA

problem #29

Jan 272014

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Defrost vent won't work every other setting works fine.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #28

Dec 032013

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 125,600 miles
Started up and the ABS dash indicator light stayed on. I took the truck to my mechanics and noticed the speedometer wasn't working. My mechanics found the problem with the ABS right away. They said that a fire had occurred and the entire truck could have caught fire. The ABS controller was burnt and the wires leading from it.

- Arab, AL, USA

problem #27

Oct 312011

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles
Have done research online and found out that this is a major problem in Dodge Ram trucks, 1500, 2500 and 3500. This is a severe problem and could cause the whole electrical system to go out while driving these trucks. This has been documented in posts online. These trucks should be recalled before a serious accidents happens with the owners of these trucks. This is my college student son's truck and I am very concerned for his safety in this truck. These models should definitely be recalled by Dodge and the dashboards replaced at no cost.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #26

Apr 192006

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I have had two different problems with my vehicle. On or about 19 Apr 2006 my dashboard started cracking, and a years later there is a short somewhere in the electrical system, because my windows and door locks only work when they won't to, and my radio volume changes whenever it wants to. I purchased my vehicle Jan 2006 with only 34,000 miles. I have searched several websites to find our individuals with the same issues, and low and behold there are several individuals on several different websites with the same issues. However, surprisingly there still aren't any investigations or recalls started.

- Grandfield, OK, USA

problem #25

Mar 072012

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • miles
Having several electrical issue with my Dodge truck. Not all power windows and autolock work and have to replace the bulbs for the brakes and turning signal about every 6 months. Already replaced the bracket where the bulbs go. Plus seen several complains on the dashboards cracking like my truck has and Dodge won't have a recall nor fix this issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

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