The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its Ram brand following a number of reports regarding the 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. According to 15 consumer complaints, the trucks' rear differential locked up while in other cases, the driveshaft separated at its connection to the diff.

Nearly half of the reports claim the truck was traveling at or above 50 miles per hour, while two consumers reported that the diff lockup/driveshaft separation sent their pickups into a spin. Most troubling, though, is that consumers reported little to no sound indicating there was a problem with their truck.

We reached out to Ram for additional information, such as how many vehicles may be affected or what equipment might be fitted that could cause the issue. Unfortunately, the company wasn't willing to elaborate on specifics.

"Chrysler Group is cooperating fully with NHTSA and would like to remind customers that this is an investigation, not a recall," Ram spokesman Nick Cappa told Autoblog via email.

As more information on this incident becomes available, we'll be sure to update you. Scroll down for the official blast from NTHSA.
Show full PR text
Date Investigation Opened: JUN 24, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE14019
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
All Products Associated with this Investigation expand
Details close
1 Associated Document expand
Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC
SUMMARY:
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 15 complaints alleging that the rear differential locked up or the driveshaft separated at the rear connection to the differential in model year 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 pickups. The reports indicate that there was little or no noise or other warning prior to the lock-up and/or separation. Seven incidents occurred at speeds of 50 mph or greater and 2 allege that the rear axle lockup caused the truck to go into a spin (VOQs 10502707 and 10499587). A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect. The VOQs associated with the opening of this investigation are: 10595057, 10563747, 10551216, 10533970, 10512746, 10508477, 10507139, 10503157, 10502707, 10502402, 10499587, 10487800, 10479516, 10446068, 10446048.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      J.K.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Old news, this is more a statement of how slow the ntsb works than a problem with the trucks. There has been an official recall in this part for a while now.
        ME
        • 5 Months Ago
        @J.K.
        An official recall was issued last year and I took mine in, was reported to not have any issues, but I am not convinced yet.
      Technoir
      • 5 Months Ago
      My 2004 RAM had a differential problem too. The speed sensor's wire somehow got caught in its gears and damaged them, leading to damage and spilling fluid.
        Dart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        The wires to the speed sensor do not protrude into the case, only the sensor itself.
      ed k
      • 5 Months Ago
      !5 people.They want a problem ,all 2005 and older rust out around the rear wheel wells.I have a 2006 which was wrecked and the bed was change from a 2005 model.Guess what its rotting out around the wheel wells.
        atc98092
        • 5 Months Ago
        @ed k
        I have a 2005 1500, and there's not a speck of rust anywhere on it. And I don't live in the desert, but in Seattle. Not exactly the driest area for cars.
      Marc
      • 5 Months Ago
      Wish this had come out 2 years ago, cost me $1800 to rebuild the rear. Hopefully I can get a refund now. Rear seal blew which in turn ate the gears and bearings or vice versa
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 5 Months Ago
      I've had friends with this issue where the spider gears start a small tick like a rock in the tire. Then Massive crunch on the freeway at 80mph where the wheels lockup. Very much an adventure none of them wish to repeat.
      Dart
      • 5 Months Ago
      NHTSA is late to this party. The pin retainer clips to the clutch packs fall out, and the pins were backing out of the carrier. Dodge had 9.25 axles on national back order for a while back then. I put 120k on my 2002 Ram and have 112k so far on my 07 Dakota, both with 9.25" axles and no issues.
      v6sonoma
      • 5 Months Ago
      This happened to my friend. One of the bolts in the gears backed out and locked the diff up. Fortunately for him it was in a parking lot at slow speed when it happened to him. I'd hate to be in that when it locks going along at 65mph.
      MX
      • 5 Months Ago
      I had to rebuild the front end and transmission on my 05 1500. Over 3k for the tranny. I left the front end as is and just used the truck as a 2wd until I traded it.