With only about a dozen miles till we hit 10,000 miles on the odometer of our long-term 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Sport Crew Cab 4×4, we have uncovered a pretty serious flaw with our truck. While our truck has performed pretty much flawlessly since we purchased it in May of this year, it wasn’t until yesterday that I discovered that our truck will start without the keyfob being present in the cab of the truck.
That’s right, the truck will start without the keyfob being present. I realized this after I left the office yesterday. I had mistakenly left my keys on my desk and hopped in our truck to make a quick run to the bank before it closed. Now, not having to insert a key into the ignition has its benefits, but our truck has always told us that the key was not detected if it wasn’t within the cab of the truck and would not allow the truck to start. So when nothing popped up on the Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), I assumed I had the keys in my jacket pocket.
Now, even without the key on my person, the truck would have still run until I shut it off at the bank. Then it should have recognized there was no key again and not allowed me to start it again. But when I got done at the bank, I climbed into the cab of the truck, pushed the start button with my foot on the brake and it turned over and I continued home.
It wasn’t until I got home and went to unlock the front door of my house that I realized that my keys were missing. I looked everywhere in the cab and even pulled the all-weather mats out of the truck to see if somehow they had fallen on the floor underneath them. It was at this point I called my father puzzled, and he said that since the truck could start he felt the keys were located in the cab of the truck somewhere. I drove over to his house, where we again pulled everything out of the cabin to realize there were no keys present.
I managed to drive back to work, get a spare set of keys to unlock the office to find my keys on the desk where I had left them. I checked the keyfob to make sure that it worked, which it did. Still puzzled, I set the keys about 15 feet away from the truck and it again started.
After getting home, I played around with the truck some more, realizing that as long as the truck was unlocked someone could just jump in it and start it up and take off. However, as long as I had the keyfob on my person I could lock the truck using the doorhandle lock button or the keyfob and once the truck was locked, no one could enter the truck. But if someone were to shatter one of the side windows, they could still start it and drive off.
So the only thing I can think of that might allow this to do what it is doing, is a recent software update Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) did for a recall on our truck when I took it in for its second oil change a couple of weeks back. Our dealer updated the flash memory of the Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) which had been recalled in late May, on certain 2019 and 2020 Ram 1500 models. We can’t say if that is the problem, but it is the only thing that we can think of.
For the past week, Ram sent us a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Black Crew Cab 4×4 to compare against our Laramie Sport. So with that truck at our disposal, we hadn’t run our truck as much as normal and never really noticed the issue since the keyfob was on our person the whole time while shooting our comparison which will be coming out in the near future.
Now we are not blaming our dealer at all. They have been superb to us since we purchased the truck and I couldn’t be happier with the service. But we will have to take the truck in this week to solve this issue. The only thing is with the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., we may have to wait till next week. So in the meantime, we will be holding our keyfob close and making sure that the truck is locked at all times we are not in the cab.
But we want you, our readers and forum members to check your 2019 and 2020 Ram 1500 for similar issues. If you do have this issue, be sure to contact your local Ram dealer immediately. We will let you know the results of our findings after we get our truck back from the dealer.