NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 Dodge Ram 1500

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Dodge Ram 1500, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15001

    • Status:
      OPEN
    • Date Opened: February 24, 2015
    • Date Closed: Pending
    • Recall: possible recall

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA15001 »

  2. Air Bag Inflator Rupture NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14016

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with consistently high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly, ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016, four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016, four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The PE is now closed/upgraded to an Engineering Evaluation (EA15-001) to include all manufacturersand vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's EA investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The recalls related to this PE are: 14V343, 14V344, 14V348, 14V351, 14V353, 14V655, 14V700, 14V701, 14V752, 14V763, 14V770, 14V773, 14V787, 14V802 and 14V817.The number of vehicles affected are an estimate since some vehicles may have both the driver and passenger side inflators recalled. The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE14016 »

  3. ENGINE STALL NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA05018

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: November 02, 2005
    • Date Closed: August 29, 2007
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Control Module (Tcm, Pcm)

    Summary: Analysis of the complaint, field report and warranty data shows that the majority of stalling incidents in the subject vehicles appear to be related to the engine calibration concerns that DaimlerChrysler addressed with service bulletins releasing revised PCM software.analysis of the complaints and ODI's survey of owners of vehicles that received engine management software updates under tsb #18-013-05 show that these stalling incidents have the following characteristics: - they occur at low speeds, often during parking lot ordriveway maneuvers; - they occur during decelerations, such as braking for a stop sign or traffic signal; and - the operator is almost always able to immediately restart the vehicle.when compared with other safety defect investigations and recalls of conditions that result in stalling during low-speed deceleration with immediate engine restart possible, the failure rate in the subject vehicles is low.analyses of complaint and warranty data also show a declining trend.accordingly, this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect in the subject vehicles and take further action in the future if warranted.see document file for additional information regarding this resume.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA05018 »

  4. ENGINE STALL NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE05027

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: May 16, 2005
    • Date Closed: November 03, 2005
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Control Module (Tcm, Pcm)

    Summary: On May 16, 2005, ODI opened preliminary evaluation PE05-027 to investigate complaints of engine stalling in model year 2004-05 Dodge durango SUVS and Ram 1500 series pickups equipped with the 5.7L V8 engine.information provided by DaimlerChrysler during PE05-027 indicated that a large percentage of the complaints are related to an idle undershoot condition that may cause the engine to stall during turning maneuvers.in February 2005, DaimlerChrysler revised the powertrain control module software in production vehicles and issued a technical service bulletin (tsb 18-013-05) releasing the new software as a service remedy for the idle undershoot condition.the bulletin was superceded by tsb 18-013-05A in April 2005.DaimlerChrysler believes that the failure rate for stalling while driving due to the idle undershoot condition is low and that the bulletin has adequately addressed the problem. Since PE05-027 was opened, ODI has continued to receive complaints from owners of the subject vehicles who allege experiencing engine stall incidents under all types of driving conditions.in some instances the stalling has continued after the vehicle received the service bulletin repairs.this investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA05-018) to further assess the scope, frequency, and safety consequences of the alleged defect in Dodge durango and Ram 1500/2500/3500 series pickup trucks.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE05027 »

  5. FALSE PARK NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA04025

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Gear Position Indication (Prndl)
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Lever And Linkage:Column Shift

    Summary: The subject vehicles are heavy duty pickup trucks with diesel engines and automatic transmissions commonly used for commercial and work purposes.a column mounted shift lever is used for gear selection and an electronic prndl on the instrument panel provides gear position information to the driver.the subject vehicles are also equipped with a brake-transmission shift interlock that prevents the shift lever from being moved from the park position (when the engine is on) unless the brake pedal is depressed and an ignition-shift interlock that prevents key removal unless the transmission is in the park position.complainants generally report that the vehicle was being operated in a forward gear and brought to a stop through brake application on alevel surface, at which time the operator moved the shift lever to engage the park position.the operator then opened the driver side door and, without verifying park engagement (e.g., prndl gear indication), securing the park brake, or turning the engine off, exited the vehicle.initially, no vehicle movement was apparent, however, a short time later, typically reported as 10 to 30 seconds, the vehicle moved rearward under engine power.the incident often ended in a vehicle crash, and sometimes involved serious injury.two fatalities are alleged.ODI's analysis of test vehicles and some incident vehicles found no evidence to indicate that a shift lever properly placed in park could unintentionally (I.e., without driver input) disengage from that position.however, ODI did find that the shift lever could be inadvertently placed, and remain at rest, within an intermediate position between the park and reverse gear positions.when placed in such an intermediate position, the vehicle can experience a delayed pressurization of the reverse hydraulic circuit that is sufficient to cause the vehicle to roll rearward under power.the delay period allows sufficient time for operators to exit the stationary vehicle without perceiving that the shifter is not in park.the summary report discusses the technical analysis of this issue in greater detail and compares the frequency of these incidents in the subject vehicles to other peer vehicles that ODI examined.as described in their October 4, 2005 letter to NHTSA, DaimlerChrysler corporation (DCC) will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA recall no. 05V-462, DCC no. E17) to install an out-of-park alarm system in the subject vehicles.the alarm will provide audible and visual feedback to alert the driver, and others, if the driver attempts to exit the vehicle while the engine is running and the shift lever is not in the park position.the timing of DCC's action has yet to be determined.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA04025 »

Browse Other Ram 1500 Years