Dodge Ram Hell




STILL AN ISSUE in 2013!!!

I just requested a simple and legitimate buy-back WITHIN the 60-day Handshake period (remember that great marketing ad they had!). They honored nothing and were decidely unethical, downright unsupportive, and not willing to stand by their own advertising claims. Once they get your money, Dodge/Chrysler is so done with you. This is primary concerning the dreaded MDS vibrations, but also includes the aweful differenital whine. Note that if "as per design" as Chrysler contentds A) it would do it from Day 1 (it didnt), and B) everyone would have the issue (everyone doesnt). I wouldn't have bought it had I felt this issue on test drive! Thats the point. Not to mention blatantly not honoring the 60-day handshake. Some more experiences:


(Preston M.) Same issue, when dropping cylinders I get a vibration from hell! No fix Dodge says some its worse than others but is normal.. i have a 2012 but my 2009 same truck different year didnt do it at all.. was seamless transition from 8 cylinders to 4... Very pissed off and unsatisfied as there seems to be no one that has a fix!!!!

(Nate W.) I too have experienced the vibration noise. I just bought the 2012 ram 1500 express sport back on Oct. 30. Now the truck has 2184 miles on it and I hope I can get this issue resolved. If not, then I will have also wasted very valuable money.

(Mark J) I purchased a 2012 ram in April of 2012. When I hit right around 7,000 miles it started. I was going to work, pulling from one road onto another, I was gaining speed slowly do to the deer population in the area, when I leveled out to 50MPH, the truck starting vibrating, being a mechanic myself for a living, I am prone to pay close attention to things that are not normal when driving a vehicle. As I started trying to pinpoint this issue, I would accelerate and it would go away, I would let off the gas, it would come back, I figured at 1st it was in the transmission, then a couple days later, it started feeling like it was slipping in and out of gear at 30 mph, that is when I decided to bring into the dealer .... Read complete entry.

(Robert T) own a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with a 5 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and 45,000 current miles. A year ago I noticed a whining / howl noise coming from my truck while driving between 35 and 60 mph, I then looked under my truck to notice wetness around the rear axle at the differential. I took the truck to Thompson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for repair. Initially the Service representative said the leak was not coming from the differential, but I insisted that it was because it could not be coming from any other location. They mechanic then added a special dye to my differential fluid that would enable him to tell if the fluid was in fact leaking, .... Read complete entry.

(Amanda M)We have the same problem once are new 2012 dodge ram 1500 hemi hit 2500 miles it started to shake at 45 in econ mode we have taken it to service twice and spoke with the service manager and did a ride along which he was nice enough to tell us he goes on alot of these and this is a big problem after the break in period but it's normal .... ummm NO... I don't think so ... so after contacting the owner of the dealer ship his idea was to have us trade in the truck and buy a new one trying to give us 6,000 less then we owe on a brand new truck i have contacted dodge customer service and they told me to have the dealer email them .... all i do is get the run around with no help ..all i want is a truck that doesn't shake without having to give more money to a company that won't fix it's problems ... any ideas what to do next please let me know .... THANK YOU !!!!!

( 2010 Dodge Ram Hemi 4x4 QC Sport (My $45,000 dollar mistake) Complaints started coming on around 1,500 miles an became worse: Torque convertor rattle`s/shudder`s in lock up mode (definatly star case issue...!!!) The MDS cause`s horrible vibrations within the cab. (seat floor gas pedal) Rear differential whines HORRIBLE from 50 to 65 mph. I`ve been a dodge fan for 50yrs, and after tha last 3 brand new dodge`s i`ve bought had really bad issues with the quality and service after the sale, i`m done with dodge. They wont & dont, stand behind their products anymore, so i wont buy anymore chrysler products. Thanks for letting me rant...!

(JJones): Well, I was about to drop cash on a 2012 RAM as it is cheaper and better looking than the F-150 I was considering. I was kind of excited to try something other than a ford truck for a change. This site just ended that. I hope someone from Chrysler starts paying attention to this issue. It is amazing how after just a small amount of research time you can see just how prolific this issue is. You took our bailout money and won't even stand behind your product.

(Willys1983): OMG! Same deal here but in a 2012! Got the same "As Per Design" spiel. But like you it WASNT present first 800 miles (I wouldnt have purchase it had I felt that!). And a friend with a 2010 with about 30K miles doesnt vibrate like mine at MDS points! Not as per design! SOOOO angry. There is no doing the right thing with Dodge - they are all lawyered up in defensive mode and not going to do the right thing for fear of having to address all the faulty ones. Kinda kills that American Middle Class theme they always portray in their commericals doesnt it? They are totally coporate with no intention of doing whats right for the working man.

(MikeB): How can GM design an engine (6.2) that is larger, produces more H.P. and torque, much better performance, and equal gas mileage without any gimmicky MDS or cylinder deactivation?

UPDATE: (4/27/2011) Received the final response from Chrysler for the BBB complaint. As expected, they declined providing more proof of their ability to stall consumers to death withbaffling responses by A) only discusssing the differential whine even though my oriignal complaint included MDS, B) totally refusing to address the 3 points about issues not being not consistent bewteen owners and C) took an additional measure to finalize that since AS PER DESIGN they wont even make any more attempts to fix differenital, even though techs had some ideas. Take a momemnt to read the complete BBB transaction history as it paints a clear picture Chrysler's circling their wagons to deny deny deny, and using their business savvy to not address questions directely and wear down the consumer.

UPDATE: (4/20/2011)I sent several letters to some of the upper echelon of Chrysler explaining my situation and experience ( Soon after received a call from a Chrysler representative stating everyone had considered the situation carefully but that both the MDS and the Differential whine were "normal function". While I continually emphasized the fact that not everyone has it, those that do have it to varying degrees, and it's not present during test drive or first few thousand miles, they could offer no response. Kept falling back to the as per design script. If each group keeps missing the point and they refer back to each other for a verdict they are all, by default, in agreement - which they view as an affirmation that thye must be rifght. It's like asking a Senator to be a check and balance for another Senator. They will only act if mandated to by influential powers like NHTSA or similar government agency. Customer dissatisfaction, no matter how severe or frequent, will not trigger action.

UPDATE: (4/14/2011) Opened communications on my issues with the Better Business Bureau as well. Most interesting was the response from Chrysler denying my request for a buy back. See response letter HERE. Interesting that despite the issues only appearing in some tucks, and not from Day 1, and to varying degrees they still claim its "As per design." And note that they are only interested in helping if its a complete "Failure" only.


A summary of my bad experiences serving as testament to the Little Guy standing up to Big Business

I am going to try to keep this short but informative. My experiences below reflect my personal bad experiences with my 2010 Dodge Ram truck and Chrysler Dodge's [complete] lack or support or resolution to what I consider inarguable manufacturing issues. Of course, the details below can be considered my personal opinion but are based on objective facts. All I asked for was a [justified] buy back using the 60-Day Handshake guarantee they advertise. Total SCAM. Under 60 days and no way were they taking it back!

Why is this guy upset and why should we care? I'm sharing my experience because together maybe, just maybe, we can make a difference. Because I left the experience feeling totally let down not only by the trucks specific unrepaired problems and poor quality, but also by the surprising and blatant refusal of Chrysler Dodge to remedy the situation. At first I was just in dis-belief but then developed a very strong sense that as a small single consumer my voice was not loud or strong enough to make them consider just resolution or taking ownership of the situation. There was also a clear sense that my issues were known and often complained about issues. I experienced technicians and service advisors clearly telling me "this is not right" but then telling me they couldn't resolve it. However, through carefully delivered corporate stalling tactics and nonsensical explanations of why known problems could not be fixed I was left being told I would just have to live with a truck and its issues. It reminded me of the in-flight Delta airline announcement "We know you had a choice in airlines, thanks you for choosing Delta." However, this was more like "We know you had a choice in trucks, you chose wrong."


The dreaded MDS system. From Chrylser Dodge:

"Multi-Displacement System (MDS) seamlessly alternates between smooth, high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed, and V8 mode when more power from the new 5.7-litre HEMIĀ® V8 engine is in demand. This optimizes fuel economy when V8 power is not required, without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability."

Sounds good in theory. However, many (but not all) Dodge Ram truck owners report a strong droning and/or vibration from the engine when the vehicle enters MDS economy mode. It's very unpleasant, very distracting and very annoying - making the vehicle no fun at all to drive. The following summary bullet points characterize the problem, describe the subsequent service experience, and the reasons I do not believe it is just an "as per design" issue that Dodge claims in the end:

  1. My MDS droning issues began at about 2000 miles. Not Day 1, but 2000 miles in. The droning vibration is pretty pronounced. Feels like being in too high of a gear for the speed you are driving (like driving a manual transmission in 3rd gear but only going 10 mph). You feel pronounced engine, tranny and cabin vibrations felt. My 10 year old described it well one day. While driving in the passenger seat when it first started to occur he looked up from the book he was reading and said "Dad, whats that noise and why are you driving on the wake up strips?" The drone is loud and noticeable, and the vibration feels like when you wander off the road on the highway and roll over those wake up strip grooves in the road.
  2. Take service advisor for test drive to show him the problem. I'm fortunate (I guess) that the problem is constant and easily reproduced so when he feels it he says "That's not right! Not right at all". They spend a few days with it but are unable to figure out what it is. They call the Dodge 5-Star "Master Techs" that the service departments use for problem issues they need help with. Eventually, after several visits they decide it is the MDS kicking in and that this is "As Per Design". But they do agree mine seems unusually bad and also report that they have not seen this before. Regardless, its deemed "as per design".
  3. "As per design": an insidious legal term granting manufacturers the wiggle room to side step any moral commitment to a problem. That's some good lawyering there.
  4. I begin presenting them reasons why "As per Design" does not make sense.
  5. I have issue with the fact it did not do this during test driving the truck. I test drove it a bunch and would have never purchased it had it behaved like that! Its really annoying, loud and indescribably unenjoyable. If it was "as per design" it would have done it from day one. It did not. It started at about 2000 miles. Technicians agree.
  6. I have issue with the fact that not all trucks have this issue. Some people do not report this issue at all. Other who do report it claim its bad like mine or just mild. I had the chance to drive the exact same year/model of my truck at a family event and his truck did not show any of these problems. When his MDS kicked in it was smooth with none of the drone or vibrations mine possessed. Again, if it's "as per design", by definition they should all do it and do it from day one and to the same degree. Technicians agree.
  7. So I open a case with Chrysler. Make the formal complaint and get a case number. Calls are made, forms completed. I ask for a Buy Back since its deemed not fixable. Chrysler forwards it on to arbitrator. Arbitrator collects info from both parties. Then I get a call from the arbitrator office saying they are not going to handle this case! When asked why they said it was because Dodge is claiming its "as per design" so not technically a problem. Technicians think its a problem, but not Dodge/Chrysler. More good lawyering.
  8. Was also told Chrylser does not do Buy Backs anymore since in the past it costs them so much money. Someone retired from the industry later told me that the manufactures got smart and just began offering those 100,000 mile warranties instead of Buy Back options. It's cheaper for them to keep fixing stuff and keeping ownership with the unfortunate buyer for the life of the vehicle than to buy vehicles back. Especially facing bankruptcy and financial issues, Chrysler is going to strongly resist giving money back.
  9. I then contact regional manager. Service Manager does his best to defend my situation. But he is between a rock and a hard place. They, of course, decide since it is "as per design" there is nothing they can do. I go thru the definition of "as per design" as above in items 5 and 6. They can not argue my logic but just keep falling back to "as per design." Have regional manger contact her boss. Comes back with same response. However I begin collecting her name and contact info as well as their bosses, mentioning I was considering seeking counsel on the matter. I stated that I was having issue with the "As per design" argument knowing A) mine wasn't from day one, developed later and B) many others don't have the problem at all. At this point the Regional Manger becomes super defensive and almost antagonistic. I was startled, but realized I hit a nerve. After talking to their bosses they decided to offer me "as a token of good faith" a 100,000 mile warranty. However, I had purchase one already with the vehicle so I didn't need it. So I kept asking for the names and contact info should I consider lemon law or counsel. So they then offered to pay a couple of my car payments. I told them the right thing to do is buy it back. They declined. I took the car payments totally $600, primarily for all the time and missed work and hassle from having multiple truck service appointments. They were very careful about making me sign off on legalities for this money. It was VERY weird. You can see a copy of the "Release and Hold Harmless" agreement here:
  10. Then, I was told to drive the truck in Tow Haul mode which disables MDS. Nice solution huh. One tech said that was ok, the other said not to do that a lot.
  11. All this was in that "60 Day Hand shake" campaign where the commercial says if not satisfied with our Ram trucks we will take it back. Remember that ad? TOTALLY untrue, unsupported and not honored in anyway shape or form.

Ahhh, but that's not all ....

Differential Whine:

  1. At about 5,000 miles the differential developed this loud high pitched whining right when the truck hit 40 mph that stopped right at 55 mph. In that range, the second you take your foot off the gas it stops, foot back on gas it comes right back. Very loud, again very annoying, and again removes all pleasure from driving the vehicle. Never had a vehicle I enjoyed less driving.
  2. Again, take it to Dodge service, they again they drive it and say "That's not right" and try to fix it. This time after a few days they decide the differential is bad. After calling Master Tech's again they shim it and replace the pinions.
  3. It worked ... for a while. About 500 miles later the whine returns. Have to turn up radio between 40 and 55 mph (they didn't put that in the brochure). Also happens to be the speed range I drive most. Nice.
  4. Second trip back in they make their calls to the Five Star Master Techs and keep it for a few more days. Answer? Yep - you guessed it! "As Per Design" and cant be fixed. I asked but why did first attempt make it go away? They believe that the new components were tight but as they they ran together for a while the same issue redeveloped. Actually makes sense but ....
  5. I have issue with the fact that, again, something cant be "as per design" if A) it wasn't present at Day 1, B) not all vehicles have the problem, and C) it goes away with internal component replaced.
  6. Long story short: Same scenario as MDS issue. Trying to get them to acknowledge and fix issue but getting As Per Design stall tactics and no support. The service techs techs completely agree with me but their hands are tied. They are almost embarrassed.

Take home points:

  1. As Per Design, by definition means all trucks should posses the same issues, posses them from Day 1, and possess them to the same degree. Since mine developed much later, is worse than others, and others don't have issue at all "As Per Design" can not be an acceptable resolution.
  2. Service department completely agrees with me off the record but have no choice but to follow the "As Per Design" resolution despite no answers to why the issues are not present in all vehicles.
  3. Do not buy an MDS vehicle; and Do NOT expect post sale support from Chrysler Dodge. This shows the extent to which they will go to avoid supporting an unhappy customer and honoring their products.

So why keep pursuing this? For the little guy like myself, that is why. It's so wrong and so representative of big business not taking responsibility for consumer rights. Their tactics remain stall techniques and the inability to reach anyone in power as weapons to wear out the individual seeking fair resolution; knowing eventually they will tire of bringing the truck in for service which, we all know, is a total pain. A simple buy back of this vehicle would be the right thing to do, would have left me feeling satisfied that I just got a lemon, and left me feeling like they stepped up to honor their commitments. Instead, they deny the facts, drag it on, and end up losing customers for life. I just don't get it. Now I'm stuck with a truck we try not to drive. But I wont give up. If they wont pay financially, they will pay administratively through my continued efforts as I plan to continue the calls and filing the claims and will get the differential replaced every six months until it stops.

SIMILAR EXPERIENCE? Contact Us with specifics and share your Dodge Ram Hell experience. Together maybe, just maybe we can make a difference.