really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,531 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #13

Apr 022007

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,900 miles
- the contact owns a 1996 Dodge Ram pickup. While driving at 55 mph the lights turned off. The contact was forced to stop the vehicle while it cooled off, and after approximately 15 minutes, the vehicles lights illuminated. Also, the failure caused the wiring harness to melt. The contact stated that this failure occurred too frequently. It began to occur 1 year after purchasing the vehicle, and he replaced the headlight switches over 12 times. Daimler/Chrysler stated that the vehicle had too many miles on it and that it was not related to recall #99V024000 due to the VIN. The contact was aware of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 9,900 and the current mileage was 177,000.

- Stoneborough, PA, USA

problem #12

Nov 282006

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at night, the headlights failed intermittently without warning. The vehicle was driven to the dealer on four occasions and the ignition switch was replaced each time. However, the problem recurred. There was a NHTSA recall, # 99V024000, regarding the headlight switch. The vehicle was not included in the recall due to the VIN.

- Iron, MN, USA

problem #11

Apr 042005

Ram 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles
The switch for the headlights must be false since this is already the second time in the two years that I have owned my truck that this has happened. I understand that recalls do occur, but this is very expensive and out of my wallet. Now, I doubt that I will buy a Dodge again since Dodge does not cover its mistakes.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 142003

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles
While driving the consumer noticed smoke coming from the vents. The consumer had taken the vehicle to a mechanic, in which he suggested that the headlight wiring harness switch melted.

- Troy, MO, USA

problem #9

Oct 212003

(reported on)

Ram 1500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Consumer called complaining about headlight switch problems. Consumer was aware that there was a recall on the Ram 3500 series, but not on the Ram 1500, which was the one he had. Dealer was contacted, and sold the consumer a replacement switch. He compared the new switch to the one on the 3500 series, and stated that they were identical. While driving home consumer smelt wires burning and the headlight cut off then came back on. Consumer stated if the switch was the problem on the older model Ram's, then they are a problem with his later model.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #8

May 022003

Ram 1500

  • miles
I have a 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup, with 104,000 miles. The head light switch short circuited which caused the wiring connector and the switch connector to over heat and melt. I have purchased a new switch and the auto parts store says this happens often. Also with the switch out of working order I had no lights, this happened at night.

- Red Bay, AL, USA

problem #7

Feb 252002

Ram 1500

  • miles
Headlight switch would overheat when headlights are turned on. Dealer contacted. Feel free to provide any further information.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #6

Apr 282002

Ram 1500 4WD 6-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at night, the headlights went out. Dealer determined the headlight switch burned out.

- Toledo, WA, USA

problem #5

Sep 012001

Ram 1500

  • miles
Headlight switch got hot and melted itself and the electrical connector causing headlights to quit wroking while driving at night. Dash was extremely hot above switch. No other electrical equipment added to headlight circuit. Contacted Chrysler but they said it was not their problem. I have the failed components and can provide them or pictures if required. Replacement switch also included a connector and pigtail. Is this because they see this problem a lot? normally you would have to buy parts separately.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #4

May 252001

Ram 1500 4WD

  • miles
Headlights failed at night. Cycled switch several times before lights came back on. Repaired at dealer on 06/08/01. Dealer found some burnt wires from headlight switch, thru plastic multipin connector, to firewall. 1st report to Dodge via internet on 06/05/01, ref # 8723405; ticket # 369336. Dodge response on 06/06/01, take it to the dealer for evaluation. On 06/08/01 dealer had to replace headlight switch and some of the wiring harness because of burnt wires, going thru connector to the dash. On 06/11/01, re-notified Dodge via internet of this potential safety/fire issue since no fuse "opened" to prevent the burnt wires under the dash. And the fact that dealer personnel (mechanic) said they've seen this before but have had no problems with replacement switches. No response from Dodge. Called 1-800 number 06/26/01 and was told there was only one message in file, customer service rep (derek) would not acknowledge 2nd msg inspite of fact I have automated response confirmation of receipt on 6/11/01. Derek? said if its part of a recall, I am contacting the wrong department and if its not part of recall, "its a five year old truck, its customer responsibility". there is a recall (#819) on Dodge Ram 3500 for exactly the failure I experienced (eg overheat headlamp switch can cause fire and or cause sudden loss of headlights...). cust omer service rep (derek) refused to discuss further...its a customer responsibility..help

- Kennewick, WA, USA

problem #3

Jun 011996

Ram 1500 4WD Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When switching from high beam to low beam headlights go out completely. After wiggling switch lights come back on. Problem has been mentioned to the dealership. Headlight switch was replaced 6 months ago under recall. The problem reoccured recently. The customer thinks the dimmer switch failure is the cause not off-on switch.

- Temple, GA, USA

problem #2

Nov 101999

Ram 1500 4WD

  • miles
Headlight switch failed due to overheating which caused headlights to go out while vehicle was traveling on interstate at 65mph. Dealer sold me a new switch/kit and provided installlation information for their safety recall 819 (which they said did not apply to this vehicle). Instructions talk about looking for a melted connector which indeed my switch does have. New wiring harness provides a resistor or something which my mechanic tells me is to dissipate heat! dealer and Chrysler can not explain why this happened and offer no relief but I still feel if they know they have a problem and are making modifications to some of the vehicles why they are not required to make them on all of them, especially when the failure occurs without warning and you are left without lights! fortuantely I had fog lights and the presence of mind to turn them on! thank you.

- Graniteville, VT, USA

problem #1

Sep 141999

(reported on)

Ram 1500

  • miles
Headlight switch overheats and catches on fire. All the lights in the dash will go out. Also. Dealer has sent an updated owners manuel.

- Wichita, KS, USA