Problems with Chrysler and Ram - Warranty Issue - Fan Shroud Radiator Failure

By Oliver's on Aug 5, 2015 at 1:09 PM
  1. Oliver's

    Oliver's Drive Line & Gear

    Jul 16, 2005
    707 E. 12 1/2 St. Winston Salem NC 27101
    I have to voice my extreme disappointment and disgust with the Chrysler corporation, mainly the RAM division and it's customer service or lack there of.

    On Thursday the 30th of July, approx. 9:30am, my 10 month old, 2014 Ram 3500 Dually with just barely 20K miles on it suffered a catastrophic failure. While going up Black Mtn. in the western part of NC, I hear a loud plastic snap sound from under the hood. I pull over immediately, raise the hood to steam and antifreeze spraying all over the engine compartment. After letting it cool for about a half hour, I was able to see all the damage that had been done in those brief few seconds. A piece of the rubber that ties the two fan shrouds together had come loose. The fan sucked the 2" rubber cover into it, causing the fan to make severe contact with the radiator. The fan had cut a 4" circular slice into the radiator, loosing the bulk of the antifeeze on the shoulder of the road where I sat stranded, less than half way up the Mtn.

    After calming down a bit I called Ram road side assistance. The lady on the phone was very nice and made sure I was safely off the road. She arranged for a tow truck to take the dually to the nearest dealership (29 miles away), but stated they would only cover the first 20 miles of the tow and that the 24' enclosed trailer I was pulling would not be covered in the tow. She stated that I would have to call another tow service to take my trailer to the dealership. Not happy about that fact, but what could I do? The tow truck arrived and hour and a half later. We then begin to unhook the trailer, the driver asked what was in the trailer? An off road buggy he was told. Taking mercy on me, he said it can't be that heavy and once he loaded the dually on the roll back, he hooked the trailer up to the hitch on the roll back also. He then took the whole thing to the dealership in Asheville NC. I then paid my portion of the 29 mile trip, $100 dollars. No worries, the driver saved me that amount at least in another tow bill, I tipped him and he went on his way.

    Once at the dealership, they said they couldn't look at the truck until the next day, they were busy and I understand that completely. Meanwhile on the phone with Ram customer service, after hours of arguing and complaining, they agreed to get me a rental truck from the Enterprise rental car across the street from the dealership. While waiting for 5+ hours at the dealership, we start looking on google to see if this type of failure has happened before. Low and behold it has and quite a few times at that. Not only that, but there was a Chrysler Star case issued, stating "The Star case is S1307000002, release date 8/12/2013 covering the improper installation of the fan shroud at the factory." This resulting in the rubber coming loose and being entangled in the fan.…/1230249-radiator-fan-clutch-n…

    A little heads shroud

    2014 6.7 2500 Fan Shroud/Radiator failure - DODGE RAM FORUM - Dodge Truck Forums

    2013 dead on side of road - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum

    Now 4pm we are just gettng back on the road to our original destination, still 3.5 hours away. Thinking everything was under control, I relaxed a bit. Friday came and went with no call from the dealership, thinking to myself, this is clearly a warranty issue, they have me covered. I didn't think much about it the rest of the weekend, again thinking this clearly was going to be a warranty issue and it will be covered.

    Monday afternoon I finally get a call from the service writer, stating that they are refusing to warranty the truck. They claim the damage was done by an outside force such as road debris. I am a mechanic by trade, have been for over 20 years, I own my own automotive service shop, I know what happened first hand and I'm not buying this cop out. Understandably angered by this, I immediately call Ram customer service back, just to be told that there is nothing they can do. Stating that the regional rep David Hooten had the final say and his decision could not be overturned. With over $1800 dollars worth of damage done to the truck, just giving in was not an option. So I call Ram CC back again, this time getting another person. I explained the situation to her and said let me see what I can do. Apparently all channels had not been followed, as they should have been. Breathing a sigh of relief and thinking surely someone with just a little bit of common sense would be able see what has happened and help me.

    Late the next day, Tuesday the 4th of Aug, I get a call back from the Ram CC folks, I can tell from the tone of her voice it wasn't going to be good news for me. She stated, after further review they would not be warranting my truck damage, again stating that it had occurred from an outside force, such as road debris. I again plead my case but realize I'm getting nowhere fast. I hang up knowing I am out of options. I need my truck back for work, it's 2+ hours away, I'm racking up a huge rental bill now that Ram will not be covering. I have no option but to pay the inflated dealership charge and get my truck back.

    What do I do?

    I write this in hopes of someone out there knowing who I can talk to and/or someone who can help, advise or otherwise.

    A little history on the truck. 10 months old, in the shop 12 plus times with various issues. 13 new tires, yes 13! 3 new wheels, countless TPS sensors, a cruise control failure, sliding rear window failure, driver side seat electrical failure, on top of the Ram factory recall warranty issues.

    Please share this with anyone who you think could be of help.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2015
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    1. frankenyoter
      Now I'm even more happy with my OBS 7.3

      Anybody who doesn't suck and breaks down on Black Mountain grade, get in touch w me and I'll come help.
    2. benmack1
      Just went out and looked at mine. I'm just north of 13K miles on my 2014. Looks perfect for now. You would think if this is happening broadly that considering the recent fiasco that fiat-chrysler is going through that they would be very attentive to warranty issues (if there is a pattern there should be a recall and this seems like a pattern). I also have a little troube understanding how it's a road debris issue as some are claiming especially if it pulls it in on the top or sides. Keep us posted. FIle against chrysler in small claims court and time to call the local news station trouble shooter.
      Oliver's and XJfreakHO like this.
    3. Mac5005
      I'm liking the idea of calling all the local news outlets.

      "Local business owner, suffers poor customer service" bla bla bla with the related headlines.

      As well, create a buzz with multiple news outlets competing for hits with similar stories, couple that with social media, and you can get it to go viral.

      This is a good situation to use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as most news outlets and large companies ie: Chrysler-fiat monitor social media for what's trending that's related to them.
    4. XJfreakHO
      Like he said, small claims court... 90% of the time they will just cut you a check.
    5. 1-tonmudder
      While it could work,its more likely that CF will not give a rats ass about some guy in NC.
    6. YotaOnRocks
      Did you buy it from kville dodge? If so I'd try another dealership for further help. That c*** Lori and that fag John Powell over there in the service department know me well now. I'm pretty sure after the fiasco with my 2012 they screwed all up they were ready to file a restraining order on me. Best of luck resolving the issue.
      400JEEP and Oliver's like this.
    7. Oliver's
      I did buy it from K-ville dodge, my first mistake. I agree 100% with your assessment of those two also. Unfortunately the truck is in Asheville at a dealership I know nothing about. So far I'm less than impressed with their communication skills.

      Thanks for the comments guys. I'll update as I know more.
    8. Ron
      Is it at skyland? If so @Jody Treadway knows all the players there....
      Andy J., Oliver's and snappy like this.
    9. Oliver's
      It is. I should have thought of that myself.
    10. RobMcBee
      I'd have them show me how they came to the conclusion it was caused from road debris. Wouldn't this mean there would be damage to the grill? Just curious. Hope you get this resolved to your favor. Good luck
      justjeepin86 likes this.
    11. StretchASU
      Sounds familiar.
    12. Lankford
      I agree with this. The service department there sucks. I hope like hell i never talk to them again. The buying process was OK but i go somewhere else for my recall work.
      Kernersville dodge can eat a dick. Lori is a wretched bitch. I had it out with her too. Their "diesel tech" is an idiot. He got dirt in my fuel filter and took out 6 injectors. Service department is a bunch of morons.
      400JEEP likes this.
    14. benmack1
      @Oliver's Not sure if you mentioned it but what was the fix like? Did they just replace the parts like it was from the factory (same rubber flap to bridge the shrouds or is there an improvement)? I am wondering is this a design failure where all are susceptible to the same thing or do some come off the line with the rubber piece folded under and more apt to flex in the heat and get caught? I looked at mine and it seems like it overlaps the front shroud by a couple inches and is a fairly hard rubber. I could not see how it would get folded under and get caught but obviously there are many that are doing this. I wonder if some come from the assembly line with the rubber folded under rather than molded over the front shroud??? If the fuckers just put the same shit back on, what is going to stop it from happening again IF it is a design issue. I hope it's an assembly line snafu.

      Also, where did it 'catch'? Top, side or bottom? I only looked at the topside of mine and didn't crawl under to see if there is a more vulnerable area underneath or even if the rubber goes all the way around. The pics on cumminsforum seemed to look like the top/side were chewed up on some but hard to tell from the pics and get oriented so I am not sure.
    15. YotaOnRocks
      Don't give up. They kept refusing to fix mine after they attempted to 4 times. They actually damaged it more the fourth time they had it. After that 4th time that douche John Powell told me "to bad. If you don't like it go get a lawyer. Now get out of my office". I told him that I think he would look funny with a crew cab dually shoved up his a**. And that if he wanted to sleep another night without wondering if he would wake up he better change his attitude. I went to blake mitchell the owners son and got a check for a third party of my choosing to fix the truck a couple weeks later.

      In closing I hope the kville dodge service dept all chokes on dicks at supper tonight.
      02gmc5.3 and Chris_Keziah like this.
    16. GONOVRIT
      Shitty situation. I briefly looked into a new truck this yr and called kville dodge about trading my one owner 02 cummins in for shits and giggles knowing full well I'd be better off selling it outright..... They offered me $5k... I laughed, said a couple 4 letter words, hung up on them and drove it to Colorado and back without issue the next week. I'll spend my money on repairs.

      Hope you get this bullshit worked out.
      trailhugger likes this.
    17. Oliver's
      The rubber came loose on the passenger side, about middle ways down the shroud.
    18. ManglerYJ

      Small claims court where? While the dealer may be local, the warranty claim is filed with Chrysler Corporate which is most likely out of Auburn Hills, Michigan. Is that the appropriate jurisdiction for the small claims court?

      My question would be how can they possibly make a claim that road debris caused damage to a fan which I'm assuming is on the engine compartment side of the radiator? Did the particular road hazard item go through the radiator and cause the plastic clip to get damaged and fail causing the cooling fan to be sucked into the fan from the back side? I think I'd want to see some proof from the warranty side of how it could have possibly been road hazard related.
    19. Andy J.
      Andy J.
      That sounds awful. I hope the insurance can work it out for you. In for updates..
    20. Oliver's
      Trust me, I totally agree that their find is total horse sh!t. The even more amazing thing is, how did this "debris" make it through the fan into the radiator, cutting a 4" radiused gash in the motor side of the radiator, yet didn't destroy the fan or for that matter harm it in any way?

      I've been told by many folks via PM and Phone to get an attorney. My question is, now that I have involved the insurance company, if the insurance company pays the claim, (Don't know yet) do I still put the time and effort into hiring a lawyer? If so, how will that work? Will I have to pay the insurance company back for what they've paid out?

      Right now, I'm in a rental truck, costing me 40 bucks a day plus mileage. I would surely like to be reimbursed for this expense. The insurance company is not going to cover the rental. So this in itself may be worth contacting a lawyer over.

      Thanks for the replys guys!
    21. Oliver's
      Also, I have been advised to report this to the NHTSA. My only concern is that this will be a scarlet letter on the truck, when I go to get rid of it. Anyone have any experience with this?
    22. Blkvoodoo
      If it were road debris, how were the charge air cooler, trans cooler and radiator not damaged from the bottom or front side, but damage is only inside the fan area of the radiator fan shroud and Engine side of the radiator ?

      Think this thru carefully and use logic. They don't want to pay, and will make it your fault until you can beat them to prove it.

      I HATED warranty work and the way the dealer/manufacturer treated the customer and the tech ( who is also caught in the middle of this, he'd rather it be customer pay cuz it'll be worth his time them, a warranty repair won't pay him shit, and I'd probably expect that sort of work in exchange as a result )

      You can pretty much bet they've seen your problem before, but haven't had anyone savy enough to prove the problem exists so that they just have to eat it. Be THAT GUY !
    23. XJfreakHO
      That's why it usually wins. It costs more for them to fly an attorney and make sure that attorney knows the situation than it does to write a check
      Last edited: Aug 7, 2015
    24. 13bullets
      Seeing that your truck has been in the shop a dozen times already and is still less than a year old, what's one more scarlet letter?
      trailhugger likes this.
    25. fordwheelinman
      It's simple. They don't know you, you didn't buy it there, they don't want to have a tech pissed of because warranty only paid them 1.7 hours to do a 3-4 hour job. So they claim road debris, get their buddy buddy rep to sign off on it, and you get screwed because you had bad luck and they don't want to help you out. Happens more than anyone wants to admit, sometimes dealers are douches, sometimes customers are. This sounds a lot like a dealership service department blowing smoke to get out of it.
      Blkvoodoo likes this.

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