By on August 2, 2018

2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

Fiat Chrysler doesn’t offer a hydraulic lift for its pickup beds, but having the tailgate swing down while the truck’s bouncing along at 75 mph might prove just as effective for rapidly unloading one’s cargo.

After an investigation turned up 5,000 instances of Ram pickups unexpectedly dropping their tailgates, Fiat Chrysler has another seven-figure recall on its hands.

This one covers the 2015-2017 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500. Some 1.1 million of the pickups were sold in the U.S., though there’s also more than 260,000 in Canada and another 19,000-plus in Mexico that’ll require a trip to the dealer.

The problem lies in the tailgate’s power-locking mechanism. A part can break in the latch mechanism, leading another part to exert enough force on the unlocking arms to spring the gate open. Recalled Rams will see the latch mechanism modified to keep that back gate shut.

While the number of Rams involved in the recall seems staggering, it’s not the full complement of pickups sold during that time period. Rams with manually locking tailgates, obviously, are not included, nor are those with eight-foot beds.

The automaker claims it began investigating the issue in May after a number of complaints landed at its doorstep. It soon uncovered more than 5,000 warranty or repair claims. A mail-out to customers should commence on September 14th.

Until the trucks undergo repair, FCA suggests drivers properly secure their cargo — advice that’s of no help for those hauling gravel. In that case, grabbing a different truck for the job is preferable. The automaker claims there’s been no reports of accident or injury stemming from the wonky tailgates.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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28 Comments on “Loosen Your Load: Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.1 Million Rams For Doing Just That...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Remove the tailgate. Better fuel economy. Who keeps a tailgate on their truck anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Removing the tailgate does not improve fuel economy.

      As far as who keeps it, well, that would be any one who doesn’t want the contents of the bed strewn all over the highway, and/or who aren’t acting under the false assumption that removing it improves fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      IKR? Stupid tailgates. I don’t understand why that big slab of metal is there either. It just gets in the way! Companies should just eliminate them all together because they’re dumb and stupid. And just think of the weight they could save by eliminating them completely! Heck, maybe they could pass that on to us as lower cost, eh?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “Remove the tailgate. Better fuel economy.”

      That is a myth dispelled multiple times. Mythbusters had an episode on it.

      The tailgate helps maintain the integrity of the pickup box. I’ve seen plenty of pickups with cracked box corners and the majority were blamed on no tailgate or running with the tailgate down on rough roads.

      Tailgate or not, one should secure their load. If it is a loose load there needs to be a tarp over it. Bulky stuff needs to be tied down. I’ve seen what loose stuff can to to a box or cab in the even of a crash.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    This will discourage tailgating, which is a dangerous practice. FCA is once again on the vanguard of safety.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Ford needs to get its act together.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Remember Son, truck too fast and you’ll lose your load.

  • avatar

    I don’t normally go for dark wheels, but they’re really working there with the dark badges. That’s a nice paint color as well. And RAM did an especially nice job integrating the exhausts into the bumpers.

    • 0 avatar
      pdog_phatpat

      Yes and the work they’ve done to insure the tailgate falls in a smooth controlled manner when it unexpectedly falls and lets loose a torrent of whatevers in the bed on unexpecting drivers behind it is really second to none. Kudos. All automakers, especially Ford, could take a lesson here.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My Lyft ride, an hour or so ago, was a crew-cab Ram with that same package, only it was red. I thought it looked attractive, too.

      Speaking of red, I normally don’t like fire-engine-red *anything* (not even a Ferrari or a Little Red Corvette), but pickups have always looked attractive to me in that color.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        *resists the urge to comment on Little Red Corvette”*

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I’ve never been a fan of red, but I was shocked how little it needs washing, while branch “pin striping”, dog paw/claw scratches seem to just blend in, thanks to the glare I guess, same with small dents, unless you’re standing mere feet away.

        All my pickups will be red from now on, if I can help it. But red vehicle paint looks best at night (in lights), dusk and dawn, when it’s not searing your eyeballs.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Tailgates? We don’t need no stinkin’ tailgates.

  • avatar
    Dan

    This is becoming an epidemic. Chevys do it too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHAqv4r1HQ (Jump to 1:20)

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    One of these brodozers losing a typical payload of IKEA and Bed Bath & Beyond flat packs at high speed would be really dangerous.

    My E36 BMW holds the same stuff, only much safer.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Nahh, this isn’t a Toyota, its more likely haul something that would cripple your best-vehicle-for-any-possible-situation-ever.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        John’s TDS continues unabated…

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        It is Ram whose loaded V8 quad-cab 1500s have a proven track record of having payloads considerably less than a thousand pounds, often less than passenger cars like E36 BMWs and Toyota Corollas.

        Here is a review of one with an 801 lbs payload. That’s for passengers, trailer tongue weight; anything carried by the ‘truck.’ I guess the back seat is for the owners’ inflatable companions.
        https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-ram-1500-laramie-longhorn-page-2

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I gotta agree with Todd on this one. Ram has the lowest payload ratings. You add trim packages and bigger engines and the payload drops. They have improved recently.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      My neighbors F450 would probably hold your BMW in the bed with two wheels tied behind it’d back. (grins)

    • 0 avatar
      BoogerROTN

      Yeah, but the problem with your old 3-Series is that it conjurs up visions of tracksuits and squating Ukranians (smoking Native-brand cigarettes).

      Now if you drove an E30, a universally praised BMW design , well…

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Saw a Ram 2 spots in front of me, make a left turn at an intersection and the tailgate dropped and 2 fully loaded barbeque sized propane tanks rolled out and along the street. Luckily hitting nobody.

    I pulled over, helped collect them and then ‘lit into the driver’. Who was not a ‘bro but a middle aged, ‘respectable’ guy who swore up and down that the tailgate was ‘locked/latched’. I accused him in no uncertain terms of sheer stupidity.

    In retrospect, he may have been telling the truth.

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