really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,598 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Jun 152016

Ram 1500

  • 160,000 miles


Dash cracked and busted, pieces come off when hitting bumps or potholes in the road

- Columbus, MS, USA

problem #34

Jan 152014

Ram 1500

  • 73,000 miles
Dashboard cracks - I am the 2nd owner of this 2003 Dodge Ram 1500. It has been a wonderful vehicle for me over the past 10 years with very minimal problems. In January 2014, I drove over a speed bump and while doing so, I heard a "pop" sound from the dash area. I didn't think anything of it at the time. The next day, I noticed a crack in the main dash area that extended from the front to the seam (3/4 back to the windshield). Over the past 2 years, as you see in the photos, the cracking has continued and become worse to the point large sections broke off and fallen down into the dash. One piece had jammed an A/C blending door actuator, which I was able to pry out and fix the door. My concern is, if I am unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision, where are those razor sharp shards of plastic going to hit when the passenger airbag deploys? I no longer allow my grandchild to ride in this vehicle due to the dash cracks. If an area of the dash is pressed on, a large section just breaks off as if the plastic is the consistency of a cracker. Dodge created this dash and has put my safety and the safety of all other owner at risk. This should be on a priority list for a recall. I've owned vehicles from other makers older than this one and have never had an issue with plastic dash boards cracking.

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #33

Mar 162009

Ram 1500

  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2003 Dodge Ram. For the past 7 years I have watched the dash crack and deteriorate into huge holes full of plastic shrapnel when you turn the fan motor on. I have been fortunate not to have been in an accident as of yet with this vehicle, but when it does happen, I will most likely need a large amount of stitches, so will my passenger. I find it hard to believe that Dodge used a substandard material to mold the dashes on all of your 2003 Dodge Ram and not doing the right thing to ensure that your customers are not protected from dangerous materials that were used in the first place. Oh yeah, my vehicle was stationary when the dash originally started cracking. I was driving around 50 mph when the first piece of plastic hit me. No accident, but darn close. I've not even started on the rusted wheel wells. My wheel wells just started to show a little rust last year. Small little bubbles int he paint at first. Now I have 2 large areas on my fender wells that are rusted totally through. I understand that my vehicle is 16 years old now, but dang! other than those two items, my truck runs great. If I knew that Dodge would do their customer right, I would buy another Dodge. I'm just not sure!!!!!!!!!!

- North Vernon, IN, USA

problem #32

Jun 102016

Ram 1500

  • 100,000 miles


Takata. The dash of my vehicle is cracked and missing in several places. The required repairs for the airbag inflator recall will cause further damage, if not full destruction of the dash. Also, as pieces continue to fall from the dash, it creates a hazard of exposed wiring, as well as the risk of airborne shrapnel in the event of an accident or even evasive or emergent braking. Dust and debris are visible in the vehicle when the defroster is active due to the damage to the dash, creating a visibility and health hazard.

- Blacksburg, SC, USA

problem #31

Jun 102016

Ram 1500

  • miles
I own a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 with some bad dashboard cracking. I just received a notice to replace my airbag. I am the original owner, cracking has occurred well over 10 years on my vehicle. If my airbag is replaced, my dashboard will be destroyed. What can I do" shouldn't Dodge be held accountable"

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #30

Jun 062016

Ram 1500

  • miles
I know Dodge considers there cracking dash boards cosmetic, but if my passenger side air bag deploys, it will send hundreds of plastic shards into the face of the passenger. Checking online, there are many who share this concern. Thanks

- Greenwood, SC, USA

problem #29

Jan 012004

Ram 1500

  • 40,000 miles


#1. 03 Dodge Ram dash cracked in straight line in multiple spots, dash has massive holes in it, little pieces have broken off and fallen in air vents and have flown into my eyes while driving on the freeway. #2 ignition switch is loose, turns truck off while driving

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #28

Oct 012015

Ram 1500

  • 175,000 miles
Takata inflators: We took vehicle to dealer for recall repairs but dealer said we would have to purchase a new dash for about $1,400 to replace the existing cracked dash before they could do the airbag recall work. We cannot afford to spend that much money on a new dashboard so recall work has not been done, therefore, the truck is not safe. We have been told that because of the vehicle's age, no safe replacement dashboards exist. What can we do?

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #27

Aug 012012

Ram 1500

  • miles
Dash board cracked all over even the louvers for defroster are gone now. I purchased this truck new in 2003 and only have 40,000 miles on it. It has never been in an accident. Has been cracking over past several years. So not sure what date to use.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #26

Feb 252011

Ram 1500

  • 75,000 miles
2003 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab, dash started cracking about 4 years ago and continues deteriorating, now has a couple of big cracks (3/8" wide) and some little ones. Coupled with recall (R26/nhsta 15V-312) on defective airbag inflator housing (for which I have been waiting so far over 6 months for) this has potential for serious injury to occupants, I do not have luxury of using another vehicle. Dodge do not seem in any rush to remedy this problem even though it is dangerous and a multi state issue.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #25

Jan 202015

Ram 1500

  • miles


Takata recall- looks like Chrysler needs some more fire under them, hopefully airbags don't deploy anytime. Chrysler needs to also include a recall for defective "cracked dashboard" junk. If my truck was in an accident I would have sharp plastic and metal shrapnel all over myself and any other occupants.

- Timmonsville, SC, USA

problem #24

Mar 032015

Ram 1500

  • miles
Takata inflator recall. Nothing has happened. When I recieved the notice in the spring of 2015, I went to the local Dodge dealer to get on some kind of "list". they looked at the recall notice, told me they would take my name and phone number and call me when they had parts. I did expect some wait time due to the number of vehicles affected, but I have had no contact from anyone since that time. Now I have another notification; I'm not inclined to waste my time going to this dealer again. I expect them to contact me.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #23

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 #22

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 #21

Aug 152014

Ram 1500

  • 100,000 miles
I was driving on a smooth highway when I heard a loud crack. The dashboard split down the highest tension point and ever since the dash has literally crumbled before my eyes. I've has dashboard crack before, but never disintegrate before my eyes. I've kept this truck in great shape and have had no other issues except normal maintenance. This is a tragedy and Dodge refuses todo anything about it. These are great trucks and this is the black eye for Dodge. Everybody, and I mean everybody that owns this yearts truck is having this problem and Dodge ignore it. My dash is now a gaping hole filled with plastic shards.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #20

Sep 032015

Ram 1500

  • 127,000 miles
Dashboard cracked significantly, causing safety concerns in the event of a crash from flying debris after airbag deployment.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #19

Aug 262015

Ram 1500

  • 155,000 miles
While vehicle is moving there is a whining noise from the rear of vehicle. I've had several mechanics audibly check for noise. They all said the same thing, "it's your rear differential". I've searched for recalls and have found non. I've found close to 100 complaints about this issue. I have gone on several Dodge forums and have found quite a number of same problem. Some respondents have said their "VIN" produced a recall on this issue. I too would like the same consideration. This is for a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 slt quad cab 4X4 5.7L 6ft bed now with 160,000 miles. All maintenance done at said factory intervals.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #18

Jul 112011

Ram 1500

  • 11,000 miles
Dashboard cracking in 2011 my trucks dash began to crack and I took it in to the dealership in everett, Washington for repair/replacement. I was told that despite the fact that Dodge knew this was a manufacturer's defect they would not cover the cost of the repair. It has since continued to crack but not to the point where it has fallen apart however due to the recent passenger airbag recall my dash will be destroyed in the repair process I will be required to purchase a new dash out of pocket which is bull as Dodge knows they have a safety issue on their hands.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #17

Jul 022015

Ram 1500

  • 102,400 miles
Unforced cracking and disintegration of plastic dash resulted in small plastic parts projecting from defroster vents presenting a hazard to driving visibility

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #16

Jul 022015

Ram 1500

  • 170,000 miles
Ignition issue** I was driving home from work going about 35mph and hit a small bump in the road and then I felt somthing hit my leg, I pulled over to find out the key had fallen out of the ingition and onto the floor ". this is a big problem as their is no way to turn of the truck once the key falls out. This needs to be recalled and new improved ingnition switch so the key cant be removed when truck is running!!

- Jamestown, NY, USA

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