I got a call from the dealership this week saying I needed to bring in my 2011 RAM 1500 (Outdoorsman 4x4 Crew Cab) for an important safety recall. Apparently, the rear axle pinion bearing may not get enough lubrication because the fill port was designed too low on the rear end / pumpkin. The recall includes replacing the back cover of the pumpkin and putting a flow restrictor to make sure the lubrication is appropriate.
I insisted on seeing the gears when it was open and had a good talk with a very knowledgeable technician. He said mine looked fine and that it probably had received additional lubricant before I took it off the lot in April. When I checked out, I noticed in my service history that the dealership had done this.
If you get that recall notice, get an appt ASAP. Apparently this lack of lubrication can result in the rear end overheating or even locking up. My truck had 3,100 miles and there were no metal filings in the pan or any evidence of premature wear. I feel a lot better after talking to the tech and I'm really glad I have a 75k mile comprehensive warranty...
Attached is a photo of the rear end with the gears exposed.