Despite GM trucks gaining 3 percent in retail market share during the second quarter of 2019, the clamoring from the FCA camp about the Ram Pickup outselling the Chevrolet Silverado seems to have no bounds. However, it appears that the increase in Ram Trucks sales volume, itself a thing of smoke and mirrors, is built on a shaky foundation as quality-related issues are continuing to surface.
In August of last year, FCA recalled 1.4 million Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 pickup trucks due to registered customer complaints about tailgate failures. Initially, the brand claimed that trucks from the 2015-2017 model years were the only ones affected. But now, one year later, the recall has been expanded to cover trucks from 2013-2018, which includes another 690,000 vehicles. Tally all that up, and FCA is looking at a grand total of over 2 million Ram Pickups impacted by the action.
The issue arises from the power tailgate – an oft-advertised feature of Ram Trucks. As it stands, the power lock actuator control assembly, which acts similarly to a power window regulator, has a physical “limiter tab” installed within it that controls how far the tailgate is allowed to lower.
Over time, these tabs will fracture, due in part to the weight and leverage of the tailgate, and ultimately fail. When the assembly fails, the tailgate no longer latches securely and will fall, often while driving – not a desired or safe condition.
In fact, a falling tailgate could result in catastrophic damage, especially to other vehicles in traffic, if the Ram pickup in question is transporting anything in the bed and the tailgate failure occurred. For the time being, FCA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) say that no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of this condition.
For prospective buyers and current owners of Ram trucks, there is an easy solution should one not wish to deal with the inconvenience or potential safety hazards associated with the recall. That solution is called the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Both GM trucks feature a traditional tailgate, while the Sierra offers the optional MultiPro tailgate that features six positions for various use-cases.