From time to time, automakers give major outlets long-term loans of their popular products. Currently, Edmunds.com has a 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. This truck has performed well, but has had a slew of quality issues. While these “annoyances” may not seem that major (besides a stalling issue), they certainly don’t help improve Ram’s quality reputation.
This isn’t a good image for Edmunds.com long-term 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Photo Courtesy of Edmunds.com
Reading over the long-term log here, you will find numerous posts detailing the truck living up to its expectations mixed with a variety of odd quality issues. Granted, this truck is used harder and more frequently than most trucks, but:
- It spent two weeks at a dealer as Ram corporate engineers tried to determine why it suddenly stalled.
- The truck came with a misaligned trim panel (likely a result of hurried manufacturing or a bad assembly process)
- The nav system isn’t really reliable (doesn’t update traffic data quickly, sometimes shows wacky results)
- Some weatherstripping just flipping fell off on one of the rear doors
- The door handle got stuck during normal use
- The seats are visibly wearing after less than 20k miles
- A haphazardly assembled fender liner and wiring harness led to some mysterious tire rub
- There was a stupid little light bezel that popped out at some point
To be fair, the truck did the big things (towing, hauling, fuel economy) reliably and capably. But the little details matter to truck owners and these numerous issues for a truck that only has 26k miles on it as of today are troubling. Is it an engineering issue? Is it a factory issue
? We aren’t quite sure, but it is clear something is amiss.
The big question is: If Ram’s engineers can’t design an LED bezel to stay put, or workers can’t figure out how to assemble a trim panel correctly, what else did they screw up? How long until there’s a problem with something expensive?
Chrysler has a reputation for poor quality, particularly on non-essential components that the newly formed FCA is likely eager to get away from. Maybe Edmunds just got a bad 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel or maybe the Ram engineering team needs more support to keep up with their numerous new products and the current explosion in sales. Whatever the cause, it’s embarrassing at best and disconcerting at worst.
We asked Ram for a quote in response to these numerous issues and they said several of the interior issues could be from kicking it and knocking the pieces off. While we can certainly see this as a possibility (we have kids), it simply doesn’t cover all the issues Edmunds has come across.
Lastly, many manufacture reps we talk to don’t understand why the seemingly outdated Toyota Tundra continues to sell well even though their are arguably more technologically-advanced trucks with nicer interiors on the market. We can see that argument and then again we can’t. The above story is a BIG part of why Toyota can’t build enough Tundra pickups to meet demand. These new trucks may have a lot of fancy knobs and interesting innovations, yet at the end of the day, having a truck that isn’t in the shop is the real luxury to have.