2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake, electrical, suspension, powertrain and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Purchasing a full-size truck is a big deal for most consumers. It’s vital to get the right balance between durability, capability and function. That’s why most people just assume that anything receiving the Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award must be a winner. Sadly, that’s not the case with the 2019 Dodge Ram 1500. It has more complaints than can be counted, between the suspension, electrical system, powertrain, steering, structure and brakes.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020    2021    2022

Most Common Problems with the 2019 RAM 1500

There are a huge number of complaints lodged by 2019 RAM 1500 owners with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – 554 in all. Those with the highest volumes are filed under Electrical System, Steering, and Unknown or Other, a category that attracts a wide range of different complaints. These include reports of water leaking into the cabin of the truck, which is also a common complaint filed under Structure.

Other top complaint topics include brakes, powertrain, structure, and suspension issues. Not unexpectedly, there have been 23 recalls that involve multiple components.

Additionally, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which operates as Stellantis North America and owns the RAM and Dodge brands, has filed 546 manufacturer communications, including technical service bulletins (TSB) with the NHTSA. They must, by law, provide copies of all this documentation to the NHTSA.

We have highlighted typical problems that relate to all the problematic component categories. We have also referred to recalls and TSBs where relevant.

2019 Dodge Ram 1500 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Steering
232
232
Electrical System
217
217
Unknown Or Other
166
166
Power Train
134
134
Engine
130
130
Service Brakes
63
63
Air Bags
60
60
Fuel/propulsion System
54
54
Structure:body
52
52
Visibility/wiper
49
49

Problems with the Structure of the 2019 RAM 1500

Most of the complaints about the structure of the 2019 RAM 1500 are due to water leaking into the cabin of the truck. Most commonly, owners report that the rear glass seal fails resulting in all kinds of damage and multiple concerns. For example:

  • It creates a musty smell
  • It allows mold to develop creating a risk to human health
  • Airbag sensors are affected by the infiltration of water
  • There are potential electrical hazards associated with water leaking in
  • Seatbelts randomly locking up because of water damage

While the problem is major, widespread, and has been an issue for years, the FCA (Stellantis) warranty generally doesn’t cover repairs and replacement parts.

As owners say in their complaints:

  • “It is a known issue as Ram has updated the part to correct the problem, but refuses to replace due to (the) vehicle being 2 mos out of warranty and only 15k miles.”
  • “It appears this has been happening to several ram 1500 from years 2019-2022 this should not be happening on a like-new, 2-year-old, well taken care of vehicle.”
  • “My truck is out of warranty, and I understand that there isn’t much (that) FCA will do. I just hope that pressure is put on them to improve and develop a better design to prevent this issue. I would like to see FCA extend an olive branch, so to speak, to customers who have this issue, by either replacing the part or covering a portion of the repair cost.”

RAM 1500 Structure Related Manufacturer Communications & TSBs

There have been at least 13 manufacturer communications about water leaks. One issued on April 22, 2021 acknowledges “water leaks at sliding backlite.” Dodge/RAM dealerships are advised to inspect and replace the rear sliding backlite if it is leaking. It states: “The customer may comment on the following: Water leaks from the cab back, evident on rear seats, carpet, and potentially roof.”

Others indicate other places where water leaks through into the cab, including the third brake light and a pillar onto the vehicle floor. A document issued on March 18, 2020 deals with testing the sunroof of the RAM for leaks and replacing the power sunroof glass if necessary. “The customer may describe a water leak from A-pillar grab handle or headliner microphone.”

RAM 1500 Water Leaks Complaints to the NHTSA

Here are some more detailed complaints about leaks.

“Water is leaking into the cab of the truck from the back window. Took the vehicle to Dodge and they stated it was an issue with the window and seal and it shouldn’t have failed like this. Declined warranty because it isn’t covered past 12k miles. Customer service via phone call on 5-17-21 stated windows are similar to brakes and windshield wipers as they wear out and that makes it not a manufacturer’s issue. The water damage is severe and causes a moldy smell and could comprise the live wires in the third brake light. There were no warnings and this isn’t anything caused by the user.”

Another owner reports that the rear window structure frame cracks prematurely causing structural damage due to water leaking through into the cab of the truck. “This defective backlite by RAM 1500 has been leaking causing the rear window visibility to be affected by fogging up too easily and water dripping through the windows frame on to the inside of the window, also the vehicle is equipped with a battery pack behind the rear seat and if left to get wet will cause failures and damage to vehicle electrical system.”

An owner wanting to file a claim for a defective rear window states: “This is a known issue that FCA has refused to acknowledge or resolve.” He goes on to say that “this may be due to a faulty seal when manufactured. My fear is that this will cause mold to develop behind as well as on my rear seats causing potential harm to not only my vehicle but myself and family. I also do not want potential damage to important electrical components that are located behind and under the rear seat.”

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Problems with the Suspension

The suspension is a vital system that ensures the drive is comfortable and smooth. When one aspect of the system doesn’t work the way it should, it can make any excursion miserable. That’s precisely what RAM 1500 owners find.

Read this review left on the NHTSA website. “While driving sometimes there is a noise underneath by the steering suspension area. Feeling like if something is loose. Most notable when hitting a hole, ditch or uneven road as the wheel turns. Took vehicle to dealer even though they hear it also, all vehicles make the same noise.”

What’s implied here is that even though the dealer hears they noise, they claim it happens on all the trucks. What this dealer failed to share with the customer is that there is a service bulletin dealing with this problem. In Manufacturer Communication Number 02-002-19, the noise from the front sway bar link is talked about. The technicians are even told to tighten the sway bar link nuts better. This shows that the noise isn’t something to be expected, especially from a new full-size truck that wins awards. While we know that the ram (animal) makes some strange noises, no one wants to hear them from a truck, even if they share the same name.

Problems with the Electrical System

What happens when an electrical system on a vehicle begins to malfunction? It can show itself in many ways, from a non-starting engine to trouble using the interior accessories. Any one of these problems becomes more than just an inconvenience.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what Ram owners face. Just read this Edmunds review, “Since buying this truck the same day out the dealership my left fog light would flicker in and off immediately took it back the next day got it fixed, a wiring issue, next issue about a month owning the truck it won’t start one Sunday morning no lights come on my key fob don’t work either tried jump start and nothing so I stopped messing with it and then about 4 hrs later I try again and everything comes on like nothing happened to it, I take it back to the dealer again and they just say it was an electrical issue and they updated the system, and then exactly 1 month later on a 2/4/19 it won’t start again trying to go to work and this truck won’t turn on for nothing I have to call mopar care to get it towed to the dealership they look at it and get it to run only by smacking the power distribution component but once you turn it off it won’t start again so this part will take 3-4 days to come In and the dealership doesn’t have any loaners and I would have to buy a rental and then Chrysler would reimburse me back but on 35 dollars a day when a small little gas saver car is the cheapest at 55 dollars a day.”

While this review continues to go on, it’s easy to get the point. Ram isn’t afraid to share electrical problems with everyone. In fact, there are already three electrical system recalls owners should know about. The first talks about an instrument cluster failure that doesn’t keep the driver informed. In the second recall, the automaker acknowledges that the auxiliary battery terminals might overheat. Finally, in a third recall, it’s evident that the cruise control might fail to cancel and cause an accident. Bottom line – there’s nothing right with the electrical system in a 2019 Ram 1500. They might as well rip out all of the wires and components and start over.

Problems with the Transmission

Okay, maybe the powertrain is durable and reliable? That would be a reason this truck might have won so many awards. Nope, that’s not the case, yet again.

In fact, this driver wrote about a big problem on Edmunds. “Drove this truck for exactly 5 days. Transmission completely went out. Dealer told me it was a fluid leak. Drove at 2 miles after picking it back up from service and the whole thing went again. Wouldn’t come out of first gear. 212 miles on the truck total. Now I’m told transmissions are on back order and I have no date when I will get the truck back.”

And yet once again, there are two more powertrain related recalls. It appears that’s one thing this truck is good at – receiving recalls. The first one talks about how the driveshaft could fracture and separate. It’s labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V324000. In the next recall, with NHTSA Campaign Number 18V556000, the automaker talks about the rear axle failing and locking up the wheels. What truck did Motor Trend drive when they awarded this as the best? Was there a special model made just for them, because the current owners would love to have that one instead of all these issues.

Problems with the Steering

Imagine driving down the highway and having the steering wheel lock while making a turn. That would be a scary situation, yet it happens to Ram owners across the country.

Here’s what one of them had to say on Edmunds. “The steering wheel locks when you turn left, please google it in RAM forum, Fiat/RAM refuse to knowledge it, maybe they waiting for few accidents/ death before issue a recall. (like the Boeing 737 max).”

Again, we see two steering-related safety recalls on these trucks. The first labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V020000 talks about how consumers lose power steering ability and have to put forth extra effort to steer the vehicle. What’s even scarier is NHTSA Campaign Number 19V201000 which addresses how drivers might end up with a steering wheel that detaches from the column. This is no joke; it’s like a real-life cartoon playing out in Ram truck cabs everywhere.

Problems with the Brakes

When someone steps on the brakes of a full-size truck, it’s supposed to stop. That’s not the case in this award-winner.

One customer wrote on the NHTSA website, “Engine was started on the vehicle. Vehicle was put into gear with the brake pressed firmly down. The vehicle started moving even while brake was pressed very firmly in. Brake pedal was engaged as far as it could be, but the truck continued to pick up speed until it collided into another parked vehicle. The brakes were not working at all. It caused a crash which caused damage to both vehicles, mine being a bent up bumper on a two-week old truck.”

So far, it’s been addressed that the steering wheel on these trucks can come detached and it’s also documented that the driveshaft might separate. With the braking system, we see something very familiar. In another recall, labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V067000, we see that the brake pedal might separate from the assembly. This stops owners from having braking power and leads to a crash. Maybe all the parts are attempting to get off of this truck because they recognize how dangerous it is. They are all jumping ship and so are loyal owners.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Dodge pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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15 COMMENTS
  • Damon

    I had an accident in a 2019 Ram 1500 Classic today. It just took off to the left while I was driving and was headed for a head on collision with another vehicle. Nothing I did would change the direction I was going. It wouldn’t slow down and felt like it was accelerating. Then at the last second it suddenly took off to the right and hit two trees in a yard on the right side of the road and came to a stop. I had no control over the situation. Thank God I’m still alive. I’ve never experienced anything like it.

  • Kim W

    Our 2019 Dodge Ram Rebel is having what we thought was electrical issues. The battery voltage spikes, then the dash lights bleak and last you hear a “pop” “pop” “pop” sound coming from behind the glove box. Took to dealer, they stated it was the battery and they replaced. The very next day we brought it home we took it for approximately a 40 mile road trip, upon our return, approximately 1 mile from our house, the truck did it again, only this time it did not stop, it kept going until we pulled into our driveway. Put it into Park, then nothing. No electric at all. No dings, lights, turn on=nothing.
    After waiting for 10 minutes, my husband used the key fob to remote start. The dealership then towed the truck the same exact day. They have had it now for 3 weeks. Nothing they cannot find nothing wrong. Another friend has had the exact same thing happen, only with his vehicle turning off on the highway with no steering, brakes, etc…
    No thinking this is a major issue that they are aware of but a recall/fix has not been issued because they do not know what to do.

    Any suggestions???

  • E J

    I sent my 19 Ram Limited in for leaks coming from the rear window, got it back after 3 days, next day it rained, it’s still leaking in the same place. Returned it got back after about 2 weeks, supposedly found about 4 leaks front and rear. Got it back Saturday evening, Monday morning it’s raining and I go to leave for work, it’s still leaking in the same spot in the rear, I can’t even tell if it is in the other locations they found because I don’t know. I’m waiting to set another appointment as I text. It was in for one week to have the dash replaced because it was bubbling up top. All the while I had to find other means of transportation, because they don’t offer loaner vehicles. This vehicle is a lease, for which they have offered me a pay-off. I do want to buy the truck, but they need to figure out these leaks. Dash is fixed, however, for my inconvenience, all I ask at this point is fix the leaks and replace the headliner instead of trying to clean it. They act like it’s so costly to place a new liner in the vehicle. They only thing they did offer after I complained to Chrysler Capital after having my vehicle for a near month was $45 a day rental, for which I can’t even find a rental under about $60 or more a day. I don’t need it now anyway. Wish I knew to call sooner. However when you call they all, to include managers repeat the same thing, “we don’t negotiate any price offers”.

  • Deb

    I bought A BRAND NEW DODGE 1500 2019 key fob malfunctions sometimes i cant lock my doors or cant start my truck. if im turning around fast (donuts) in my back yard the accelerator stays on full speed until i press on the bakes. also on the front of my dash the plastic is kind of melted they said i used a liquid air freshener and that caused it. I do not used liquid air fresheners. also on the drivers side door there is strong air coming through i believe the weather strip is defective ans when i meet a transport it is worse to the point the truck moves side to side. they told me ITS A DODGE THING!!
    ive had 3 dodge rams and i will never purchase another!!!

  • Diana P

    My Son was driving his 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie on the freeway. He was getting ready to exit and all the lights on the dash started going off. The steering wheel locked he tried hitting the breaks and the RPM’s went up. The emergency break wouldn’t activate, he couldn’t turn off the truck the windshield wipers were going crazy. He finally got it to stop and just missed hitting a guardrail. We had it towed to the dealer and they said they can’t even look at it for at least 4 days. They said it sounds like the battery!! If that’s the case none of these vehicles should be on the road! My son said he never wants to drive it again. It has 42,000 miles on it. My Son videoed what the dash looked like with all the lights on so we could show the dealer.

  • Carlos

    We bought a 2019 in October 2018. Had problem with front windshield leak. Power steering. Left turn signal would come on with no reason. Back driver window leak. Now check engine.

  • John P

    I too, want to sound off: Ram Rebel 1500 2019 100,000mile/ 5 year warranty
    Jan2020-Misfire on push start ignition button, followed by electronic stalling (IN TRAFFIC), and multiple accounts of screen freeze. The fix: Replace battery, and update software. (took 4 days)
    Fast Forward to Sep 04, 2020:
    Check engine light came on; disabled air bag light came on; seat belt light came on (all while driving)- disabled auto park, disabled backup camera brakes when sensors reach red zone, KEY FOB control start did not work. No working auto lock doors, radio continues to freeze. Service fix: (14 total days) Replace airbag module. All annotated on paperwork and warranty covered. Received text message: vehicle is done for pick-up after replacing the airbag module. Upon arrival, I was told to sign for vehicle. Asked if anything else is needed, their response: By the way, ORDERED new radio to be replaced, but can take at least 10 days for delivery by manufacture. Not authorized to leave vehicle here to wait for radio.

    Upon leaving service with truck, the screen froze. Shutting off truck would not turn off screen. Returned to service 15 minutes later. They took the vehicle to disable wiring so radio would not kill the battery. When asked to put on paper what they did, said it was not necessary to write up disabling the radio. Now I have no screen. ALL of you know what it is like to back up a full size truck with camera. No internet, no radio, cannot see AC temperature or level of air. They know at the 30 day mark in the state of Florida that I would have a case for lemon law. Now waiting for new radio and see if it gets fixed. Curious why the check engine light is on while truck is on RUN, but engine is not on. Wish all you the best of LUCK.

  • Bill

    “THE STEERING WHEEL DOES NOT RE-CENTER WHILE MAKING LEFT TURNS – EITHER ON EXIT/ENTRY RAMPS (BROAD SLOW TURNS) OR HARD LEFT TURNS. STEERING FIGHTS YOU TO BRING WHEEL AND TRUCK BACK TO CENTER. THIS HAPPENS AFTER DRIVING FOR AT LEAST 30 FOR 40 MINUTES AND IS ONLY FOR LEFT TURNS. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN FOR RIGHT TURNS. HAPPENS AFTER AND DURING HIGHWAY DRIVING. WHEN TURNING RIGHT, THE TURN HAPPENS AND THEN THE WHEELS NATURALLY RE-CENTER. THIS IS HARD TO DESCRIBE AND A SHORT TEST DRIVE DOES NOT PRODUCE THE PROBLEM. IT HAS TO BE DRIVEN FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES MOSTLY AT HIGHWAY SPEED. THIS IS HAPPENING FREQUENTLY.”

    Exact problem I have report to my on 3 different visits to the dealership. Finally, got Ramcare involved and everyone was set on getting it fixed. It spend 4 weeks at the dealership and the dealership duplicated the issue. On the day it was set to be repaired, replace steering rack due to flat spot, the RamCare rep called me to tell me that the Engineers at Star deemed it not under warranty due to a leveling kit. Even the service manager was in shock as it was a major concern. I was told to come get my truck and my case was being closed. There stipulation was that I would need to remove the leveling kit and return tires to factory and they would re-test it to see if it duplicated. It would cost me more money to do all of that than it would to replace the rack myself. The fact that the dealership said it needed to be replaced due to the safety concern being out on the road and not returning to center on left hand turns, yet STAR and Ramcare say no coverage and put me and my family back on the road is a joke. So I am stuck with a $60K truck manufactured by someone who doesn’t stand behind there product.

  • Greg B

    Uconnect radio hasn’t worked properly since I bought the truck. They refuse to fix it and say it’s an issue that a software update will fix. I’ve owned the truck now 18 mos and I’m still getting the same line from FCA. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t, load of sound, backup camera freezing up. 55k down the drain for garbage.

  • Seth

    My ram 2019 2500 6.4 blew up at 768 miles. Had weird vibrations the whole time..its been to the dealer 4 times so far with less than 2k on it. I’ve had it two months and only driven it 10 days total. New drive shaft tires and now I think it’s getting a axle or transmission because of the vibration.

  • Sara

    I have a 2019 Ram 1500, bought brand new. I keep having sensors issues and radio issues. I take it in they say “Updates”. Bull!!! No new updates are available or needed at this time it brand new. My radio will not save programmed channels. To me fix will be just change out the radio ????????‍♀️ And my sensor read I have a issue. Take it in and they say it’s fixed. Drive it a a few times sensors comes back on. I can not use my remote start with the sensor reading a problem. Dealership says they fixed it, I lost my fuel miles.

  • Julio F

    I just buy a 2019 limited v6. Second day backup camera , radio and screen just go off. I took to the dealer and they said is an update. Also if I put my cruise at 80 miles , it still most of the time in 7 gear and when you go slow transmission vibrate. The said the vehicle is in perfect condition. Just 300 miles , I want to return the pick up or take another o e and they said I can’t do it. Some advise?

  • Tom a

    We have a 2019 Dodge Laramie 1500 which we purchased new. We took it in for a recall on October 1st and when we got it back the navigation system didn’t work. We took it back to dealer and they said it needed a software update. When attempting to do the update the stereo system failed to the point that it continues to drain the battery. We have been told dodge has a major problem with stereo/navigation system and it will take 3 or more months to get it replaced. We have read other problems that owners are experiencing and we think it would be in our best intetest if we at least checked out returning the truck. We paid outright for it and also purchased the lufe time warranty. Also had side step rails and topper. We have always kept the truck in our garage and how itis sitting outside in the Minnesota elements. Can you tell us what the process is for working with you based on
    lemon law.

  • Ryan

    Purchased a new 2019 Dodge Ram and almost immediately started having problems with the back up camera, failure of display, loss of sound (no audible warnings, bluetooth, phone, radio, etc). It has been in the dealer 6 times in the last 10 months and the issue still isn’t fixed.

  • Rand f

    sterring issues sticking! key fob shows not in range when driving. entertainment system volume muting. sensors warnings triggered and no record of it except pics I take. backup camera comes on when driving when you don’t press anything. updates pushed to truck and cause new issues. truck locked both sets of keys in vehicle when i was camping out of state when i didn’t press lock on anything just shut door. called and filed complain lemon law to ram. got case number waiting to her back from them.

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