The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Totally Integrated Power Module Failure

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP14004

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: September 25, 2014
    • Date Closed: July 24, 2015
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Electrical System

    Summary: In a letter dated August 21, 2014, the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate a defect investigation of alleged failures associated with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM) installed in Chrysler SUV-s, trucks, and vans beginning in the 2007 model year. The petitioner alleges that TIPM defects may result in engine stall, airbag non-deployment, failure of fuel pump shutoff resulting in unintended acceleration, fire, and other symptoms. On September 25, 2014, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened DP14-004 to evaluate the petition for a grant or deny decision. ODI analyzed complaint data provided by CAS as well as complaints submitted to ODI from consumers. In total, there were 296 complaints submitted by the petitioner in the original petition and five supplements, including 271 complaints related to the subject vehicles equipped with TIPM-7. Approximately 3 percent of CAS complaints are related to vehicles equipped with TIPM-6 and ODI-s review of these complaints did not identify any safety defect trends. ODI conducted a detailed review of complaints narratives submitted by CAS and consumers including careful analysis of vehicle repair histories, warranty claims obtained from the manufacturer and any available Customer Assistance Inquiry reports (CAIR). Analysis of the field data indicated that MY2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles exhibited significantly higher complaint rates related to fuel pump relay (FPR) failures than other subject vehicles. In a September 3, 2014 letter to NHTSA, Chrysler submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) identifying a defect in the FPR within the TIPM-7 which can result in a no start or stall condition in approximately 188,723 model year (MY) 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK) and Dodge Durango (WD) vehicles manufactured from January 5, 2010 through July 20, 2011 (14V-530).In a February 24, 2015 letter, Chrysler submitted a second DIR expanding the scope of the FPR defect condition to include an additional 338,216 MY 2012 through 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured from September 17, 2010 through August 19, 2013 and MY 2012 through 2013 Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured from January 18, 2011 through August 19, 2013 (15V-115).ODI analysis of the CAS allegations of TIPM defects resulting in stall while driving, airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration, fire and other faults identified a single defect condition related to 1 of over 60 different circuits in the TIPM assembly. The most common effect of this defect condition, related to the fuel pump relay, was a no-start concern, but it could also result in stall while driving (76 complaints). No valid evidence was presented in support of claims related to airbag non-deployment, unintended acceleration or fire resulting from TIPM faults and these claims were found to be wholly without merit based on review of the field data and design of the relevant systems and components.Except insofar as the petitioner's contentions relate to the defect condition addressed by the Chrysler recalls, the factual bases of the petitioner's contentions that any further investigation is necessary are unsupported. In our view, additional investigation is unlikely to result in a finding that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists or a NHTSA order for the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect as alleged by the petitioner at the conclusion of the requested investigation. Therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the agency's safety mission, the petition is denied. This action does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. The agency will take further action if warranted by future circumstances. Please see the Federal Register notice in DP14-004 file (

  2. INVESTIGATION: Rear Differential Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE12021

    Component(s): Power Train
    Power Train:Automatic Transmission
    Power Train:Axle Assembly
    Power Train:Driveline
    Power Train:Driveline:Differential Unit
    Power Train:Driveline:Driveshaft
    Power Train:Transfer Case (4-Wheel Drive)

    Summary: In a letter dated October 2, 2012, Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) submitted a Defect Information Report (DIR) to NHTSA identifying a safety defect in approximately 48,058 vehicles built with an axle pinion nut that can loosen, which could result in lock-up of the rear axle and/or separation of the rear drive shaft from the rear axle (NHTSA Recall No. 12V-474).The vehicles involved in this recall are model year (MY) 2009 and MY 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 (46,677) and Dodge Dakota (1,381) vehicles manufactured between July 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009 built with 9.25- rear axles built at Chrysler-s Detroit Axle Assembly Plant.Chrysler stated it determined during this time frame there were instances of 9.25- axles built with rear axle pinion nuts that were missing the adhesive patch.The remedy for these vehicles is to install a pinion nut retainer.In a review of data in its complaint database and data submitted by Chrysler, the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) identified 194 reports (including 3 crash reports) of rear axle lock up and/or drive shaft separation outside of the scope of recall 12V-474.In a letter dated February 5, 2013, Chrysler submitted a second DIR to NHTSA identifying another safety defect in approximately 278,150 vehicles built with 9.25- rear axles and outside of the scope of recall 12V-474 that could also result in lock-up of the rear axle and/or rear drive separation (NHTSARecall No. 13V-038).Chrysler stated that analysis of field return parts from this vehicle population, undersized pinion splines were found as the likely factor contributing to the loosening of the pinion nut.The vehicles involved in this recall are:266,091 MY 2009-"2012 Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles manufactured from 2/28/09 through 6/30/09 and 12/1/09 through 10/20/11 (including 183,421 MY 2009-2010 subject vehicles); 8,475 MY 2009-"2010 Dodge Dakota vehicles manufactured from 2/18/07 through 6/30/09 and 12/1/09 through 7/9/10; 2,346 MY 2009 Chrysler Aspen vehicles manufactured from 1/19/07 through 12/18/08; and 1,238 MY 2009 Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured from 1/17/07 through 12/18/08.The remedy for these vehicles is the same as for 12V-474.The failure counts in this resume are for the subject MY 2009-2010 Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles only.The recalled vehicle counts are based on current estimates from Chrysler and may differ from estimates in the original DIR's.This Preliminary Evaluation is closed.The ODI report cited above can be reviewed at under the following identification (ODI) numbers:10489593,10489091,10488952,10485174,10485096,10484596,10484490,10483394,10483370,10482853,10482816,10482438,10479806,10479352,10478724,10477460,10477354,10476923,10476691,10475939,10475241,10475158,10473147,10472488,10470655,10470516,10470231,10470152,10469969,10469548,10469435,10468759,10468024,10467819,10467805,10467683,10467196,10466630,10464240,10448778,10445208,10443542,10439902,10375394,10362531,10353440

  3. INVESTIGATION: Outer Tie Rod Failure

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE11009

    Component(s): Steering:Linkages:Tie Rod Assembly

    Summary: ODI received complaints regarding failing tie rod ball studs on Model Year 2008-2011 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles resulting in loss of steering control.Chrysler concluded that misalignment of the left (driver side) ball stud on vehicles built with the Cross Car steering linkage system could allow contact between the bull stud and the ball housing which could weaken the stud and result in fracture.Chrysler submitted a recall notice on August 15, 2011 involving certain MY 2003-2011 Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 pickup trucks built or repaired with the Cross Car steering linkage.Chrysler will inspect, repair or realign the front end of the subject vehicles as needed.Chrysler's announcement of a safety recall on this matter addresses ODI's concerns.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at under the following identification (ODI) numbers:10332525, 10357937, 10366591, 10303744, 10377166, 10373240, 10343969, 10375403, 10324831, 10373546, 10370771.