The most common complaint from owners of Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks is a cracked dashboard, as reported by CarComplaints.com. Cracked dashboards occur most commonly in vehicles from the 2001 to 2003 model years. Other serious problems with the Ram 1500 include problems with sludge build-up in the truck's engine and defective fuse boxes that prevent the vehicle from starting.
It is not clear why the dashboards of Dodge Ram 1500 trucks from the affected model years develop cracks. This problem has been reported by owners who also took steps to prevent the issue from occurring, such as placing sun shields in the windshield while the vehicle was parked. No recall addressing the problem has been issued as of August 2015, though the problem is sufficiently widespread that many owners reporting dashboard cracks believe the root cause is a manufacturing defect.
Though not as widespread as the dashboard cracking issue, excessive engine sludge build-up affects many of the same model years that experience dashboard cracking. Sludge build-up is a serious issue, as it can lead to a complete failure of the engine. This problem usually affects higher-mileage engines, but sludge accumulation does not appear to be related to infrequent maintenance or oil changes.