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Still to come: 2018 Ram 1500 diesels

by David Zatz on

Allpar readers have asked when the 2018 Ram 1500 diesel option would be added to the ramtrucks.com Build & Price system. To answer that, we first verified that the Ram 1500 diesel has not started production yet; and it is still early in the 2018 model year.

According to an FCA spokesman, the EPA is currently evaluating the VM diesel’s emissions control software; until the 2018 software is certified, the Ram diesel will be in the future, rather than the web site.

While the EPA approved the 2017 Ram 1500, based on timing, one can speculate that they only did so to allow Ram to fill 2017 orders. Ram could not confirm it,  but it appears that the company made just enough 2017s to fill outstanding orders, and no more. Neither Ram nor the EPA commented on this possibility.

When we asked about a timeline for certification, an EPA spokesperson told us that “We protect the confidential business information of manufacturers and do not comment on vehicles prior to approving them for sale.”

We also asked whether the on-road tests were standardized, to see whether the Ram 1500 is being tested more rigorously (taking more time) than usual, since the first Ram 1500 diesel issues only showed up in settings that were not covered by tests. (This does not appear to have been FCA’s fault.)

The EPA spokesperson replied, “While on-road PEMs testing is one of the tests we use, we will not get into specifics about our testing.” Not releasing details might be part of an effort to avoid abuse of the system; Volkswagen used their knowledge of the test cycle to detect it, through software, and “game the test.”

It is still early in the year, and FCA clearly intends to sell 2018 Ram 1500 diesels; but until they have EPA certification and updated or verified fuel economy figures, they won’t be on Build & Price or dealership lots in the US.

As for Canadians — the Ram 1500 diesel is showing up on ramtruck.ca, as a “late availability” option. The added cost for the engine, on an Outdoorsman, was $5,700.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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