Feeling the Vibrations in the Ram Truck
The Ram Truck is one of the top three best-selling pick-up trucks in the USA. When the 5th generation Ram Truck was released, it sold 633,694 units in 2019 alone. Ram continued to hold onto its top tier ranking in the unpredictable 2020 market with sales of 563,676 units.
Despite its popularity, there have been numerous complaints about, and recalls of, the new generation Ram Truck. The 2019 Ram 1500 Classic alone has generated 21 recalls, for issues from defective seat belts and floor mats that interfere with the gas pedal to loss of power steering. Recalls have NOT dealt with a very common complaint among Ram owners about shaking in the vehicle at highway speeds, and sometimes dealers will not even acknowledge the problem.
What’s the Buzz?
Ram owners report feeling significant vibrations in the steering wheel, seat, floor, and gas pedal of their trucks. Some drivers also complain that the hood of their Ram truck vibrates wildly while driving, to the point that it sometimes seems the hood has become unlatched. The problem often only appears after a few thousand miles and is usually worst at highway speeds. Some drivers only experience it in 4WD.
Ram owner discussion forums are filled with comments from frustrated owners:
“…I’m getting a terrible vibration in the gas pedal and floorboard. This primarily occurs between 1500-2000 RPMs. It’s really bad if I am in 4WD Auto, to the point where I just do not want to use that mode.”
“I just bought a 2020 Rebel w/ the Ecodiesel and it has a strong high frequency vibration – like a buzz or whirring noise – that is also strong in the steering wheel, pedals and floors especially under load. Not even 1,000 miles yet.”
“Anyone else having a vibration issue at highway speeds also steering wheel turning its self from left to right around 40 mph turning ? My 19 did this ram could never fix it now my 21 with 8k started doing it today.”
Earlier generation Ram Trucks, when they were still Dodge Ram, were well known to have a “death wobble,” similar to the problem that we still see in certain Jeep models. This was reportedly caused by the solid front axle in the Ram, as in the Jeep, and was addressed in new generations of Ram Trucks. However, drivers continue to have problems with uncomfortable and dangerous shaking while driving, and the manufacturer is not offering a solution.
Ram owners have tried and failed to diagnose the problem and fix the annoying shaking in their truck. Some of the more common explanations and suggestions have been:
Replace the tires?
Ram owners are spending huge sums on newer and higher quality tires to try to dampen the vibrations. This appears to make the problem better for a short while, until it returns and is just as bad as before.
High speed or road force balancing?
This is one of the most common suggestions from Ram dealers. High-speed balancing corrects the dynamic balance of the tire while road force balancing detects and corrects bulges and hard spots in the tire and wheel assembly. Like the tire replacement solution, it seems to improve the shaking temporarily.
Defective rear driveshaft?
An April 2019 recall of 2018 and 2019 MY Ram Trucks warned that road noise or vibrations could indicate that the rear driveshaft is close to fracturing due to an incomplete weld fusion. However, this recall has not fixed the persistent vibrations in 2018 and 2019 MY Rams, and it is clear that they are still a problem in later model Ram Trucks too.
Worn or damaged suspension parts?
Replacing worn out suspension parts should not be necessary on a brand new vehicle and has not been a successful fix to this problem. It generally only results in wasted time, wasted money, and more disappointment for Ram owners.
Inevitable with this engine?
Some dealers have suggested that the vibration is just the harmonics of the Ram’s hemi engine. Or that the shaking happens when the MDS (Multi Displacement System) kicks in at highway speeds to reduce fuel consumption. Therefore, the underlying message to Ram owners who have spent a minimum $32,795 (starting MSRP for the 2021 Ram 1500) on a new truck appear to be “Deal with it.”
What are Your Options?
A Ram Truck owner does not have to “deal with it.” Lemon laws and other consumer protection laws protect new vehicle owners. The laws are slightly different in each state but in general, they protect new vehicle owners from being stuck with a defective vehicle, and provide remedies such as compensation for ineffective repairs or a replacement vehicle (depending on the case and the state.)
Many people are concerned about long and expensive lawsuits. Often, new vehicle owners will not have to resort to legal action to get a result. With a strong case and good representation, manufacturers may negotiate to agree a settlement with a dissatisfied owner to avoid costly legal claims and negative press.
If you think your Ram Truck is a lemon, check out our 10 Lemon Law Tips for some practical suggestions on what you should do. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced lemon lawyer, contact one of our team for a free case review. We will discuss your options and help you decide the best course of action for you.