The 2010 Dodge Ram 1500
Patrick Rall's picture

Dodge Ram 1500 under investigation for rear differential failures

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation into select Dodge Ram 1500 pickups over a concern that the rear differential may fail, causing the rear wheels to lock up while moving and vastly decreasing the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.

This new Dodge Ram 1500 rear differential investigation pertains specifically to 2009 and 2010 model year pickups but with little detail as to which configurations of the Ram 1500 are affected (2WD, 4WD, etc), it is hard to estimate right now exactly how many trucks are potentially included in the probe but sources indicate that it could be as many as 230,000 trucks. This is only a preliminary investigation right now but over the next few months, the NHTSA will look to see if there is indeed a problem with the design or manufacturing process that is causing. Should the federal agency find some problem with the rear differential design of the 2009 and 2010 Ram 1500, they could elevate the procedure to an engineering analysis which is often the final step before a recall. However, it should be noted that many of these investigations open without any further action to it could be some time before we know the severity of this issue in the eyes of the NHTSA.

The NHTSA opened the investigation of these Dodge Ram 1500 models after receiving 12 complaints of the rear differential failing and locking up – which then prevented the rear wheels from turning. During 8 of these incidences, the Ram 1500 in question was traveling at speeds over 35 miles per hour and 4 of those 8 rear end lockups results in a loss of vehicle control – either spinning out or skidding uncontrollably to a stop. Unfortunately, one of those resulted in an accident as the Ram 1500 skidded into a concrete barrier when the driver lost control but there was no mention of injury. The majority of the complaints also indicate that when the rear end locked up, the driveshaft was broken as a result and in one of those cases – the shattered driveshaft punctured the fuel tank.

These reports to the NHTSA indicate that the 2009 and 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 rear differential failures were the fault of the rear differential pinion nut. This component holds tight one of the major components of the rear differential with when the pinion nut comes off, the internal workings of the rear end are pretty much guaranteed to fail. In addition to the damage done to the internals of the rear differential, a locked rear end can cause all sorts of other mechanical issues - some of which are mentioned above and all of which can increase the likelihood of an accident.

This is the type of mechanical investigation that could be conducted quickly, not by the government but instead by the Chrysler Group. Should Chrysler engineers find that there is an common occurrence of the rear differential pinion nut coming loose, the company could issue a recall of their own before the NHTSA investigation goes any further. Considering that the basic design of the rear differential in the 2009-2010 Dodge Ram 1500 is fairly standard (and has been for decades), the fix could be something as simple as swapping out the pinion nut for something that is found to more reliably stay tight. The problem is that the Ram 1500 is one of the Chrysler Group’s bestselling models so a recall of two model years worth of trucks could be costly – not because of a costly repair or parts but rather because of the sheer volume of vehicles that could be included in a possible recall.

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I took my truck to the dealer for rear end recall fix. The Service manager said the repair would do no good as the rear end bearing clips have failed in my 2005 Dodge Ram1500 Hemi Sports Crew and rendered the rear end unrepairable. The cost of replacement was in excess of $3000. I mentioned I would find a low mileage salvage unit and the tech said it might not be wise as the clip problem is not limited to higher mileage vehicles. If there is a class action lawsuit filed , I want in as it was obvious this is a highly common problem.
I have a 2009 Ram truck and my rear end is gone out I went to the dealership one day and they said that it had 3 recalls on it and for me to bring it back the next day so they could check it out . The next morning I dropped it off and they tell me that the recall had been done some years ago. But I see that the Rams trucks stills has problems with the rear ends. So I feel dodge shall honor their words and fix the problem of the those vehicles that have recalls
I think all dodge dealership do not want to fix a recall because its taking up shop time, but they should honor every recall on the trucks . I still cant believe that they wanted to charged me $500.00 plus to fix a problem was on A recall list , my truck is only 3 years old with less than a hundred K. I wish Dodge dealership will man up on their services , it gives them a very bad name when they don't do the job right ....
I feel that dodge does not have the answer to the problem with the rear ends. Because the dealership want to charge me $3800 to fix my vehicle I told him was that the best he could do then he said he could fix it for $3300. I told him what about $3000 he said yes to that .Dogde knows that this is they problem I wouldn't mind paying half if they would just acknowledge that they have a problem with the rear ends of they vehicles
Have 2009 Dodge Ram slt 1500 5.7 hemi 4x4 this is the second time the nut has come off and has caused the rear end to pile up I don't know about you guys but I am tired of paying out of my pocket for dodges problems that they won't come clean for and had recall done on the nut and still came off . Anybody know what else I can do to get dodge to pay for it thanks
I have a 2009 dodge ram 1500 slt with a hemi and I had the pinion nut changed and now my rear end is making noise had my mechanic look at it and he said I need to change all my bearings and the pinion bearing to I buy nothing but dodges but now I'm thinking about buying chevy trucks
jeep liberty just did this also. driveshaft up an fell out for no reason as i was going down the road... slid the driveshaft out and looked...nut was not stripped (just simply backed out).. when the driveshaft fell out both of the rear tires seized up in forward and put me into a skid.
Alejandro S. Gutierrez Wrote On 2016 August 22...... I Had The Same Exact Sitiuation My 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 It.I Was Going About 45 to 50 Mph.On The HighwayMy Rear Differential Locked Up The Truck Started To Slide.......... Almost Killed Myself. Thank You Lord In Jesus Name Amen!
I have a 2009 dodge ram 4x4 While in two wheel drive backing up on level ground in 3" of snow,It just spins and there is a humming/ whining noise coming from my right front. Pushing the differential lock button makes no difference.
Hi, We own the 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 4 wd Hemi 5.7L. It has only 133,000. It was just in the shop during December for new throttle body repair. Now we have whining noise which we've been told needs new rear axle & cost $4,000 to repair. This seems like a recall problem to me as we've had other Dodge Pickups without these repairs that went over 280,000 miles in the past. What can be done? Thank you.
Ditto,2003 ram 1500 4X4,rear end leaked all fluid,burned up gears,luckily had extended warrant,for the $1500 repair,exhaust manifold bolts broke on hemi,oil pan rotted,power steering rack leaking,ball joints gone,all with 107K,got back after rearend repair,now somebody elses problem,went to toyota,after 2.5 years not 1 repair on my rav4.lesson learned
I have a 2009 dodge ram 1500 big horn gear ratio 355 on a lift right now( 4 24 2017) at Meineke. You know it's bad when all the mechanics are standing around the back rear differential like a campfire saying wow. They told me mine was ready to lock up at anytime at any speed. 3 days before I noticed as I would come to a coasting stop I heard a faint grinding. Sounded like bad break pads. So of course as soon as I heard this I changed all my brake pads but that wasn't it. So as I was investigating I noticed a leak around my yoke and pinion seal slinging gear oil up on my gas tank. When we open the back cover plate on the rear differential metallic gear oil from all the metal shavings. The price to fix it for me , u don't even wanna know. Thank God me or no one else was hurt and I caught it in time. From all my research anytime I'm behind another Ram 1500 definitely giving it space in case theirs locks up
I am experiencing these issues with my 2010 Ram 1500 if this is putting my family at risk Chrysler should be held accountable.
I bought a brand new 2010 Ram 1500 4X4 and at roughly 65,000 miles, the rear end started making a humming noise. I was about 5 miles from work and barely made it to the parking lot when the rear end locked up and all the fluid came gushing out. I called the dealer, they picked it up, said it was a Dodge fault, fixed it (well, I thought they did), and I went on my way. At about 85,000 miles, the rear end locked up for a second time, same exact thing, this time, Dodge said they had fixed it and the truck was out of warranty, OUCH, out of my pocket. At about 125,000, guess what went out? Yup, the rear end AGAIN, and out of my pocket once more. Now at 137,000 I'm starting to hear that dreadful humming noise and I'm so damn frustrated and PISSED at Dodge!
I have a 2000 Ram 1500 with 130,000 on with the exact some issue, pinion nut came loose locked up at 45 mph
I have a Dakota with 241k best truck got it new in 99 now got this ram 01 used but done the same as they talk Jere about no noise at all rearend just locked up almost wrecked the truck and rearend wasted now trying to change it out and ebrake cable made in one piece what the f%%k if they a sued I want in
Have a 2001 ram the nut came loose and mess up drive line and rearend why is there not a recall on theses trucks I think we all need to get together and file a law suit let dodge know we are not happy cost us when it there fuck up not us doing it
I have a 2009 dodge ram 1500 laramie 4x4...every time I pull out of somewhere or I'm at a red light and turn either left or right it feels like my wheels are locking up or they feel like I'm spinning but I'm not spinning....and I know for a fact it's coming from the rear end
I have a 2004 dodge ram 1500 5.7 hemi 4x4, 2 weeks ago my husband, 3 young kids ages 10,6,5 and myself was on our way home and all of a sudden with no warning a loud metal to metal sound and smoke and a horrible smell happens the back wheels locked up, when we got out of the truck we saw that the rear drive shaft had dropped, had to have it towed, had a mechanic look under and said that it looked like the pinon must have came off and dropped and that's why the rear end locked up, when the drive shaft dropped it bent the rear in snapped the 2in lead pipe, the UV joint, slip yoke, and black fluid leaked all over the road, now we have to replace the whole rear end, after just losing everything in a house fire 2 months ago this is catastrophic for our family, and looking further into this i see this is a very very common and very expensive problem, then to find out that the 05, 06 and 09 all have a recall due to this same problem and yet the 04 is not, im very disappointed I'm only 31 and have owned 3 dodges, a 01 neon and had many many problem with it, a 2004 dodge Durango that had no problem at all except o2 senser, I will never purchase another dodge again unless it's a durango.
I own a 2010 Dodge 1500. Love the truck but been in for repairs more often than it should. I now have a problem with rear differential pin nut leaking. Was fixed under recall in 2014. A lock nut was placed on the pin nut as a quick fix. Told by mechanic that its leaking and Chrysler nor the dealership wants to take responsibility for the problem. May have messed up my whole rear differential. Don't like be lied to by the Dealership at Len Stoler of Westminster, Maryland. Will never do business with them or recommend any one to them.
I have a 2009 ram 1500 crew cab bog horn edition with the 5.7 litre hemi, I bought the truck used with 125,xxx miles. The rear differential went out at 150,xxx miles, shearing the pinion shaft and dropping the driveshaft, 35mph. Fixed by a dodge dealer with a used rear axle assembly, fast forward a year and a half and 15,xxx miles, rear diff locks up while in 4x4 driving in the snow, 35 mph, blew a hole in the diff cover and snaps the drivers side cv axle up front. Dealer says it's my fault for driving in 4x4 on slippery roads.
Driving 25 mph humming noise, rear end locked up drive shaft snapped in two. Dodge ram 1500. Rwd.
I have a 2010 dodge truck the rear axle bad toke it to dodge place yesterday they said they can check it but we have to pay for it that they don't have no recall on it but I look it up and they do I am very up set with them I got about 6 automobiles from not saying people I send to them .they want you to buy from them but when something happen they don't do northern they want to wait to some one get kill can some one help
I have a 2010 dodge truck the rear axle bad toke it to dodge place yesterday they said they can check it but we have to pay for it that they don't have no recall on it but I look it up and they do I am very up set with them I got about 6 automobiles from not saying people I send to them .they want you to buy from them but when something happen they don't do northern they want to wait to some one get kill can some one help
Have a 2012 dodge ram 1500 4.7liter ride.My wife was taking the grand aught home on highway 11 doing about a100 kilometers when the differential locked up which in turn snapped the pinion gear allowing tell drive shafts to fly out across the hwy in 2 pieces ànd taking part or the transfer with it .Was lucky nobody was hlt. Got hold of Chrysler they would do nothing as I was no longer under warranty.This is saftey ongoing problem they have. I am searching out avenues to address this problem as my dealer says it will take 7000 plus tax to fix.Any ideas anyone at wits end.
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 4x4 my rear end locked up felt like I slammed on brakes it would go a couple feet then feel like I slammed on brakes then all sudden started going then I had a flat tire and changed it I started driving and made a noise like something falling thru gears .. is 2002 on a recall list please let me know
My rear end just went out in my 2014 ram 1500. I don't think the issue has been fixed yet..
My 2009 dodge 1500 ram. Has been in the Dave Dennis dodge deal coming up on 2 weeks. The rear end differential has gone out. The dealer said they can't find the replacement parts for it. Is this something the NHTSA needs to know about and why can't dodge find a replacement rear end differential to fix my truck?
I have a 2004 ram 1500..had towed home the other day, only has 80,000 miles on it. The pinion seal started leaking and now the other day was a loud bang and the rear tires skidded me to a stop, the differential locked up and the pinion shaft is snapped off. Its parked for now. Thank god I wasn't travelling down the hiway at 70 mph or pulling a trailer...What a bunch of B.S
2008 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 rear end locked up and sent me out of control luckily I didn’t hit anyone or anything 100k miles