Your feedback continues to pour in.
On Monday, we published a story to TFLtruck outlining your issues with the EcoDiesel engine in your 2014 – 2016 Ram 1500 trucks. Since then, we’ve received hundreds of e-mails from concerned owners. The e-mails usually hit on certain, specific issues, and we couldn’t help but notice a bit of a theme.
While we can’t publish all your responses, we do appreciate every one of you who sent us feedback on your EcoDiesel experiences. This e-mail from Joe, however, really stood out to us. More or less, it hits on the various issues you’ve all explained in your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Namely, as we’ve said in our previous reports, that includes slow acceleration, poorer fuel economy and slow (if any) response from Fiat Chrysler or from your dealer’s service department.
Joe’s message to ask@TFLtruck:
“I would like to start out by saying I am a technical author for a supplier to one of the Big Three. I’ve been writing workshop manuals and been a tech for 28 years.
I own two of these trucks [Ram 1500 EcoDiesel]. My truck has been plagued with emissions issues since new and has been out of service about 75 days total over four years. FCA has replaced almost every part of the emissions system one time. This truck has about 71,000 miles now.
The second truck is identically equipped. It had zero issues new — only recalls — with 37,000 miles on the clock. I was one of the first to have the emissions recall done. Then, I escalated the issue with Ram customer service. I was instructed to keep calling the dealer back every two weeks to see if there was an update. They escalated my concerns to engineering and said they were tracking VIN numbers on these issues:
Issue 1: Fuel mileage. We take annual trips to DisneyWorld. For the past four years, the trucks averaged 27 to 29.9 mpg each trip. We went in June of this year (post-update) and couldn’t achieve over 24 mpg. This was the second truck that is 100% stock, down to original tires.
Issue 2: Cold start up accelerator pedal lag. On cold start, you can count to seven sometimes before the truck will go, with the pedal to the floor. You can walk faster than it will move at that point. Once it is to operating temperature it gets better, but still two to four seconds of delay. I have been almost hit three times. To safely pull out, turn or merge, the distance needs to be 2 to 3 times as much as it needed before.
Issue 3: Downshifting while stopping. When you slow down, watch the gear display. Sometimes it only downshifts to third, causing slow acceleration when you take off again.
Issue 4: Towing at highway speed. The trucks now struggle to maintain 8th gear under any load and keep downshifting to 7th. That obviously affects mpg. I made it clear to FCA that someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed with the pedal delay. And on my trucks, the fuel economy barely squeaks out a Hemi.
FCA needs to react before another nightmare lawsuit, or worse: injuries or loss of life.
My higher-mileage truck sat at the dealer 30-plus days waiting to replace a DEF injector that was bad. Parts not being available and forced regens that customers pay for are also an issue. None of the above issues existed prior to the update. Only one truck is plagued with emissions issues. The class action suit is not helping the customers.”
Editor’s Note: We lightly edited this message for grammar, spelling and formatting to match the rest of the article.
At this point, FCA’s official response is this: “The software update does not affect average fuel economy, drivability, durability, engine noise, vibration, or other driving characteristics of the vehicles.”
While we can’t characteristically point to a solution with authority, we would like to open it up to the community at-large. If you are experiencing issues with your EcoDiesel truck and have found a working solution, let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, we will continue to read your feedback and report any updates.
Denver area EcoDiesel owners: We want to hear from you!
If you have an EcoDiesel Ram 1500 or Jeep Grand Cherokee and live in the Denver area, we want to hear from you. Reach out to us at email@example.com if you’re willing to feature your vehicle and explain your situation as an update to this story.