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In recent years, the Ram 1500 has been lauded for its uptick in reliability. But in a stark reminder that this hasn’t always been the case, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation into more than 1.1 million 2013 to 2016 Ram 1500s.

According to the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) Resume, the problem description is as follows: “The subject vehicle may experience a sudden intermittent or complete loss of power steering assistance. A loss of power steering assistance may result in extra steering effort or loss of vehicle directional control, increasing the risk of a crash.”

What does this Ram 1500 investigation mean?

This is not yet a recall, so all it means is that the agency is looking into the 380 complaints it has received on the Ram 1500 for these model years. There was previously a recall on 2015 to 2016 Ram 1500s for a loss of power steering assist due to a contamination on the electric power steering (EPS) control circuit board – but that recall only affected 440 vehicles.

Now it appears this failure might be occurring on a wider swath of vehicles covering additional model years. According to the ODI report: “The failure allegations occur at various speeds with limited detectability to the driver.”

What do I do if I own one of these trucks?

Frankly, at this point, there’s nothing you can do if you own one of these trucks – except wait to see if there’s a recall. If you’ve experienced the loss of power steering in your Ram 1500, you can go to the NHTSA website and report a safety problem so that it will be included in the investigation.

Otherwise, just be aware that this could become a problem and keep your ears peeled for a recall notice.

The bottom line

Investigations into vehicle defects happen all the time. Sometimes they turn into recalls. Sometimes they don’t. So, simply be aware of what’s going on with your truck and get it repaired as soon as possible if it is recalled. Even if you haven’t had a problem. It’s better to fix a problem before it has the chance to manifest.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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