2017 Ram 1500

Why a new 2017 Ram 1500 safety feature is confusing drivers

A new safety feature on the 2017 Ram 1500s meant to protect drivers who are backing up is catching drivers off-guard. Some current owners have suggestions on what to do back up effectively.

It happens pretty frequently, drivers open their door so they can lean out while backing up and make sure they don’t hit anyone or anything. Ram is trying to stop drivers from doing that if they aren’t being exceptionally careful. Swan, from Iowa, asked members of a popular Ram forum for help. “Ok my brother-in-law just got a new 2017 Ram Tradesmen 1500, pretty plain Jane but it works for what he does with a truck. When he was backing up to hook up a trailer he cracked the driver door open to see something as he was in reverse and the truck wouldn't move after that. If you close the door and cycle the shifter knob to P and back to D or R then the truck will move. My 2014 Limited doesn't do this. I figure this is again a "safety" issue.

Several Ram owners were stunned to hear this. Many immediately went out and checked. Mystro, had never heard of such a thing. “Gotta try this. It might be a rotary knob only safety item.”

New Safety feature in 2017 Ram and other Fiat-Chrysler vehicles

Thunder, a frequent poster, commented on the change and the addition of the safety feature. “Yeah this is a recent addition. People were leaving their vehicles in gear and they would run away because they didn't set the parking brake. Some actor ran himself over; people wouldn't admit it was their fault and blamed the vehicle despite there being no evidence it shifted itself.”

Thunder is referring to an accident in 2016. “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin was killed when his Jeep rolled down his driveway and trapped him between his Jeep and a brick post. Fiat Chrysler had already filed a recall notice for the 1.1 million cars and SUVs because there was confusion over whether the vehicles were in park. There were several accidents where people got out of their vehicles and were hit. The actor’s family is suing Fiat-Chrysler over his death.

Mac, from Boston added, “Software was added to automatically put the truck in park if you try to get out of the truck or turn off the engine.”

Dan, from West Virginia, says that this technology has been around for a while. “This isn't new, BMW has had this feature for years maybe even a decade.”

Blade, from Texas, agrees. “Mercedes has a similar feature, only, when you open the door while in motion, it jams the vehicle into park. It makes nasty, expensive sounding noises, too.”

How to avoid or work around the Auto Park feature

Cliff, from Maryland, found out about this just recently. “I was surprised by this just yesterday. Picked up my new 2017 Longhorn last Friday, learning to use everything. I was trying to pull to the very edge of my driveway, so I opened the door to look down. Bang ! Auto-park, truck won't move until you close the door and cycle the gear knob to P and back to R or D. I would really like to disable this.”

An engineer, from Michigan, was quick to explain how to work around the auto park feature on the 2017 Ram 1500. “For parking maneuvers (assuming the truck will creep on its own without throttle input), you should be able to just keep one foot lightly on the brake pedal and thereby avoid auto-Park.”

Grizz, from Canada, says he has been able to lean out of his truck, but always with his foot on the brake. “I do this all the time. I am backing up and the park sense lets me know that I am in the red zone then I pop open the door and back up some more so my truck is not sticking out in the parkade at work. I don't take my foot off the brake as I want to move very slow.”

Presumably, this same approach would work with all of the Fiat-Chrysler vehicles that have the new safety feature.

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I really need to be able to disengage the auto park system I hunt an fish tow trailers and boats from wv to outer banks of N.C. I hav to be able to open my drivers door in areas that r a bit rough and narrow if I cant fix this I will hav to get rid of this truck a 2019 ram Laramie wish this had been explained to me I may hav kept my ford lariat Dam
Same issue here. I did however notice that the truck will still move with the door open as long as the seat belt is fastened. So wrapping the seat belt around the back of the seat out of the way and fastening it is one option. If you happen to wreck with your seat belt like that in this day and age you could probably sue them for not giving you the option to turn this crap off.
This (Safety) feature has rendered my truck useless! I have a rather large trailer and a boat. Ever try to see how deep the boat is in the water with out opening the door? Ever try to back a 31 foot trailer down a ninety foot down hill driveway with a turn in it? Come on Ram THESE ARE TRUCKS let us use them as such!
Simple override but takes an extra 5 seconds. I keep a 5/16 bolt in the consile pocket. Take the bolt and slide door mechanism so it thinks its closed and everything work. I keep the bolt in my hand so i remember to unlock door before i try to shut it again.
Can,t ram just add an optional shut off switch.leave it up to the customers to decide.
What happens if you start to take off and about 30mph someone need to open the door and get their coat or skirt out that has been caught in the door ? Does the transmission go int park at 30mph ? Guess what happens to your transmission ?
DO NOT DO THIS !!!!!! I DID A STUPID THING! I was playing around with my wife and threatened to jump out of our moving 2017 Ram Tradesman truck going approximately 60mph. I WAS NOT GOING TO DO IT! My seat belt WAS fastened. I opened the door and it didn't do anything as far as it slamming in to park. It may have shifted in to neutral but I was not driving and my wife said nothing about the truck or transmission shifting to park or acting differently in any way. FYI kinda thing. I WOULDN'T HAVE BOUGHT THE TRUCK IF I HAD KNOWN THAT THIS WAS A SAFETY FEATURE ON THIS MODEL TRUCK. Actually feel deceived. Any lawyers out there? Is there anything that can be done to have Ram disable this VERY maddening feature?
I have a 2016 Ram and recently learned of this safety feature at the car wash. The car wash is full service. After they vacuum your vehicle, they place it on an automated track and place it in neutral. It has never been an issue in the past. After a visit to my dealer for some service updates and recalls, it became an issue. Once the wash attendant places my truck in neutral and leaves the vehicle, it places itself in park. The truck obviously not roll along the track anymore.
Yep my 2015 Big Horn worked fine until the dealer did an update to it. Now auto park it is!!!! I hope someone figures out a way around it or Dodge fixes this. How about you let me put the truck in park, open my door and put it back into reverse?? C'MON MAN!
I bought a 2018 RAM without being informed of this maddening feature. It is causing me considerable backing issues when my trailers are in use. The back up camera is worthless because all I see is trailer. The mirrors give me a limited view around the trailer. I often need to be able to open the door to get a clear view when backing up. I have been a loyal Mopar owner for many years and I am stuck with this for now, but If Ram continues with this feature then a Ford will be my next truck.