Texas Journalist Watches Ram Longhorn Burn

2013-Ram-1500 motion II

Do you know what to do if your vehicle catches fire? Thankfully, Texas auto writer Terry Box knew enough to steer off the expressway to the side of the road and get out of his brand-new Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn press vehicle, not unlike the model our compatriots in Chicago had for a PUTC quick-drive. Thankfully, after seeing a few other vehicles giving him frantic hand gestures, he eventually stopped the truck, even though, he noted, none of the gauge lights gave any warning whatsoever.

According to his column in The Dallas Morning News (subscriber access is necessary to read the story), Box did later make contact with Ram CEO Fred Diaz, who, as you'd imagine, was apologetic and suggested this could be a "one-in-a-billion" situation. 

What did the grizzled veteran journalist learn from the experience? Apparently new pickups burn more quickly than old pickups, he wrote, among other things. No word on whether the auto writer's vehicle was a pre-production or new off-the-line model. 

As you might imagine, there are many unanswered questions to this story, and given the nature of our litigious culture, we don't expect to hear too much from Chrysler or Ram Truck about this (thank you lawyers), or any other Ram fire issues, in the near future. However, we have several calls and emails out to various representatives, so we'll keep an eye on this story and report any information we find or hear about.

In the meantime, this is probably a good reminder for all of us to give some serious thought to what safety equipment to keep in our rigs. We take along a few tools, a flashlight, a small fire extinguisher, some WD-40, a tire gauge, and a roll of duct tape (we like Gorilla Tape too) when we travel. What do you bring?



How ironic, I just bought a roll of Gorilla Tape, I love it.

While there can be no excuse for this one catching fire, (new and unaltered) I would bet more then a few of any kind of vehicles have burned due to installations of something electronic, and the person doing it wasn't up to snuff. "Ah, we'll just connect this 16-18 gauge wire there, that will be fine. That's all we need! That should be good for those lights/high watt amp/ electronic gadget"

I guess this was the new Napalm Edition Ram.

Hi Al from Os - with an 's'.

@Tyler: Your time will come. GM can't go to long without issues.

Wait a second, didn't I see that Chevy vans were recalled for natural gas leaks?

Yeah, a Chevy guy running his mouth.....lol. Must not observe GMS past and present.

@ sandman 4x4 Can I asume your post was directed at me? How many vehicle fires do you have experience with? As a mechanic I've delt with a few. Problem with fire is where do you stop with replacing parts? If you have a fire under the hood then every thing needs replaced. Anything plastic or rubber. Hoses, lines, computers, sensors, wiring harnesses, gaskets and seals in the engine. They all have to be replaced to make sure you dont have future problems. Chances are you will get the bare minimum replaced and suffer with numerous related problems after the initail repair. Your right about having to deal with adjusters. You think they'll open there wallet to fix problems that creep up over time? Good luck. If you can catch it when its little then save it but if your going down the road by the time you realize something wrong and get safely pulled over and have the family safe then get to putting the fire out its probably too late. Its not about collecting insurance money bubba, its about avoiding future a$$ aches.

I was glad to see some pin head had to blame the union workers, it is not posible that the problem is an engineering problem, or someone playing under the dash to see what something looked like or trying to find a place to plug in a tester.
We all know the union did it.
I have deal with a friend if I ever get that stupid he promises to shoot me first.

rear airbags over heat and burn?

Having a vehicle catch fire while a journalist is driving it has to be one of the biggest PR nightmares. They'll be working overtime to spin this one.

And for those of you trying to be funny, you aren't. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

It's also ironic the ones fighting against the trolls here have turned into psychopathic, rambling trolls themselves. Imagine what this place must look like to a passerby.

Keep the great work! Slow clap....


HemiV8 - chirp............... chirp..................chirp.............

@TrixyTom - give it up, you are starting to sound like HemiV8.

@Big little Truck dork from Oz - still taking those paranoia pills... pull your head out your butt. The air is much fresher out here.

JordanL: I never mentioned your name! and you were not the only one? so .... and by the way, I have been under a few hoods, and dashboards in my day, and the worst thng to work on in wiring, and with that said, all I was trying to say, is the sooner you put the fire out, the LESS the damage will be seams pretty simple, no? and lets not forget the poor person who, you are parked next to, with one of the most valuable possesions of his or hers, that gets totaled, because the idiot they happened to be parked next to , did not have the brains to have an ext. on hand, that anyone could buy for about $10.00!!! realy smart! and do not give me an agument about not always being parked next to anything, because that will be playing right into Mr. Murphy's hand. Lets look at it this way, maybe you would be the one parked next to some fool who has no ext., and has your property ruined, in that case I am prepared to protect mine, and you are not. Be careful out there, ther are others to consider.

This right here....is what happens when trucks start getting too complex. A truck is a rolling road ornament these days, a contentious fashion show on wheels if you will. And to think, people will pay for these options and pay big!

I see the demographics of the owners/drivers of these modes of transportation in our industrial area....they are not your typical welders/ranchers/mechanics, They drive regular trucks, not blinged out trucks like this.

A fellow opeartor drives a fancy FX4 F250 (the new one with the hideous front end). Yeah, he cares a whole lot what everyone thinks of his truck when he starts it from the control room. Again, fashion statement that he is proud of. He hauls heavy loads with it....a camper. Trucks are getting too complicated and expensive, even at my nearly 100K/yr salary.

I really don't see how the regular working man works on/buys trucks like this....unless they make payments for a long time. With the amount of trucks like this being sold, I am hard pressed to believe America is in any type of dire fanancial status...otherwise americans with average wages would not be buying 40-50K trucks to use as commuter vehicles. I know flaming will begin, but I stand by what I have observed and know to be true for many.

Oh!! just 3 other things jordan, I have had experiance with fires, in vehicles, and the three I have had, it was more of a chore to clean up all the white powder, that to replace ruined parts, because I had the ext. to put the fire down, right away! I can only say one thing, if your vehicle does have a fire, and you have still not bought an ext. you had better hope that 1) you can still either drive, or move the vehicle out of your garage, or 2) have a good neighbor with a fire extinguisher, or 3) have fire insurance, and your home owners adj on speedial!!!!~ Good Luck!

Last year ALLPAR was full of stories about Durangos catching on fire, including one (very embarrasing) , in a parade. They may have a systemic problem

I sure do like this story!! When a FORD or a chevy burns the ram boys are the first to attack and go crazy. Now they are saying all cars and trucks are subject to burning. Well ain't that the pot calling the kettle black!! This one burned while a journalist had it. That's about as bad as it gets right there!! I used to drive a ram on my job and the problems were very numerous, to the point the guys at the dealership knew me by first name and kept saying we're sorry. Thank GOD I didn't own that POS. I just hope they can fix this problem and pick up the pieces and try and go on. Maybe they need to put smoke detectors in these trucks!!

A month ago, there was (or still is) a burnt to a crisp Ram 1500 at my local Ram dealer's service dept. I didn't bring it up here at PUTC because it seemed fairly anecdotal. Now this is one of, if not the smallest Chrysler/Ram dealers in the nation, mind you.

Heres a deputy's truck burned to the ground:

This is comedy gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with you @sandman most of the time if there is a fire under the hood I would much rather it be a total loss and not deal with repairs and payment of repairs with insurance company and any future problems. Wiring and electrical can be tricky.

I am not sure why people always love to bash. Everyone does it and it is pretty childish. Ford has had issues in the past with fires and I believe if I remember right had to do with a cruise control switch correct me if I am wrong. People still buy Fords.
GM recalled vehicles for a faulty washer fluid warmer that could catch fire and people still buy GMs.
Toyotas seemed to like to accelerate full throttle a couple of years ago and people by Toyotas.
I am pretty sure that 1 Ram fire will not deter people from buying and I am sure they will fix it since Chrysler likes recalling even the smallest thing to make it right.
So what is up with the bashing or do you guys just like being childish?

I guess Dodge is trying to take fords title for most roasted trucks! lol

A Laramie Longhorn for a press vehicle? Yep, there you go.

Do all you guys have to screw up every article? Ram, Trx-4, Al, you guys are dipshits.

@pickuptrucks.com, do you guys read the posts anymore? Lots of trash. You need to regulate it before nobody cares anymore.

The last time anybody heard from "HEMI V8", he had this to say on the "Mopar to explore feasibility of Ram Runner" tread:

"@ Carilloski, What good does all those safety ratings while it's burning to the ground. I get it. This is Fords first real capable 4x4..."

Posted by: HEMI V8 | Mar 27, 2013 5:42:02 PM

Sorry if it's childish, but still. But just where did that boy scamper off to???

LOL Glad to see Yall still half high as a bird before you comment on here, any way peace out girl scout.

@the complainers
What kind of response to did you expect to see by just reading the title of this article.

@the complainers
What kind of response to did you expect to see by just reading the title of this article.

@the complainers
What kind of response to did you expect to see by just reading the title of this article.

@ MikeG

That's what this story made me think of. It wasn't that long ago a Durango caught fire at some PR event.

Not sure what the deal is, but the Chrysler/Ram folks definitely seem to be having some trouble with vehicle fires at some pretty inopportune times.

Not Good - 2011 Durango catches fire at Parade

Do all you guys have to screw up every article? Ram, Trx-4, Al, you guys are dipshits.

Sorry, but if you looked at what is really going on you would see that someone is using my name.

This site isn't secure. Everyone can blame everyone, but someone is causing problems.

This WILL be getting duplicated, for sure.

It sucks that this is happening and I hope they fix it soon as I have friends and family members that drive Dodges/Rams.

To HEMI V8 where ever you are. I am going to bookmark this and all of the articles posted to save for the next time you spew your "Ford's catch fire" rants without mentioning any Chrysler faults. As I have told you before that every manufacturer(even the premium brands) have their faults and you can't point the finger at every other brand without mentioning your own fan boy brand either without being a hypocrite. You sound like those TundraHQ guys that make articles about every truck manufacturers problems yet will play dumb if you bring up the Tundra recall from last year and the millions in fines they payed to the NHTSA in 2010 & 2012.

"@pickuptrucks.com, do you guys read the posts anymore? Lots of trash. You need to regulate it before nobody cares anymore"

It is becoming farcical. @Lou is posting less as well.

"We take along a few tools, a flashlight, a small fire extinguisher, some WD-40, a tire gauge, and a roll of duct tape (we like Gorilla Tape too) when we travel. What do you bring?"

If you drive a Ram you better bring along an extra vehicle.


Posted by: RAM LOL | Mar 29, 2013 10:42:22 AM

If this wasn't so true, it would be funny. lol.

To all who really care about this site.
Here is a copy of an email I just sent to Mark Williams.

I have been in constant touch with him to try and track down the $hithead who's destroying this site. Maybe 25% or less of what has been posted had been mine.

I have speculated certain people on this site because of the views they had held, but not all of them are the 'culprit/s'.

The site was good up until a couple of months ago, then it has turned to $hit. I have not had any support from anyone.

From what I gather you guys don't want to talk about trucks and differences in trucks. You guys argue over 1hp or 1/2 longer bed.

I understand loyalty, but these are only trucks.

An interest of mine has been economics, as you can tell by some of my writing.

I wish luck to the guys who saw what was going on and not blaming me. Try and keep this site going.

Here's the email (edited)

I do know your hands are tied trying to manage this. Due to the structure of Cars.com control of the site is awkward.

You can only address the issues after the fact and this makes it harder for me to be a consistent contributor.

DenverMike claims to be a Spainard I found out (so he stated). Hemi V8 is an unknown.

I don't think TRX4 Tom is involved. As he was just a mouth.

I will not be posting for much longer on the site which is a pity. I'll give it another few days. I did enjoy posting and having good debate up until several months ago.

I do understand the 'open' approach to managing the site, but its like Wall St. Self regulation can eventually lead to a disaster.

For your information I'm involved in the aviation industry in the mechanical side of the business and specialise in many areas from engines (all types), hydraulics, ECS (pressurisation & A/C), flight controls (including fast jet, supersonic flight), fuel systems, brakes/landing gears etc. Economics and the transport industry are my hobbies along with travel.

I did offer and had a lot to offer until recently. Now I'm being laughed off the site, sorry.

They succeeded.

Denverdick-You really are a jerkoff.


Wow !

Still no clue as to what went wrong?

Never a follow up story.

Lawyers want it to quietly fade into the past.

No great loss!

Yep, another fire from another manufacture.
What does it prove, Ram is as good as Toyota, GM, & Ford?
All manufactures have problems from time to time.
Anyone who doesn't have a manufacture that doesn't have problems, then please cast the first stone.


@Fred Diaz, Ram CEO,

"This is a one-in-a-billion..."

No, this will cost you a billion.

The Ram, the Ram, the Ram is on fire.

The Ram, the Ram, the Ram is on fire.

We don't need no water let the motherf***er burn.

Burn motherf***er, burn!

Sung to the tune of a Kiss song.

Burn, Ram, Burn, ooooooh.


Wow this is crazy! I have owned quite a few Ford F-150's, my family drives them, our farm employs 10 F-Series trucks, and none have burned, thank god. This is just crazy. Fuel line popped it seems. I worked at a dealer in PA and we had a than new for 09 Ram 1500 Hemi towed in burnt to a crisp, same thing, the guy smelled fuel, lost power and BURN BABY BURN!!! That guy had the truck 4 weeks. Brand new. I hope this is an isolated incident, for I really like the New Rams. I'm Ford at heart but Rams rock too! I hope for the sake of my customers, Ram takes care of this and investigates to the fullest!!!! I already have customers calling me asking is thier truck going to burn. Crazy stuff! I will continue buying Fords trucks til the day i die. My 11 Ecoboost FX-4 is awesome!!!

@HemiV8 - where are you? Hellooooo?


Nice selling point. The Ram came with a built-in BBQ

one in a billion? Bullsh-t. A preproduction test fleet model means there are a few thousand max out there.

Stuff happens, I've had brand new electronics not work after getting them home. Had a couple new houses built and they have had problems. I've even bought new clothes that were my size that didn't fit. Big deal. If large numbers of vehicles were spontaneously combusting I could see making it a large ordeal. Let's be realistic for a minute and think about this, If there was no risk of bad things happening to us every day why would insurance for anything even exist? I'm not a Ram fanboi either, I own 2 Ford's and 1 Ram. None of which have caught fire. If they did and I survive I'll buy another new truck. (Just not a GM truck.... I really hate GM. Just a personal preference.)

On a side note, it takes at least 2 people (or 1 mentally ill person) to have an argument. I occasionally like to banter back and forth with some people on here but I am also adult enough to stop or ignore it if it were to actually bother me, Instead of continuing to try to rationalize or win. I will say that all the BS is slightly annoying to sift thru. If the first sentence or 2 of a post sounds stupid I just skip to the next post, except a post from miath. Those are always sensible and well written.... Especially compared to the main drama queens here.

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