Jeep Recalling More Than 33,000 Wranglers and Gladiators Over Fire Risk
Jeep has issued a recall for 33,327 Wrangler SUVs and Gladiator pickups with manual transmissions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that affected models—including 2018-2020 Wranglers and 2020 Gladiators—are equipped with clutch pressure plates that could overheat and fracture, which could lead to vehicle fires.
The suspect period began on August 23, 2017, when 2018 production of vehicles with a manual transmission began and was concluded on February 13, 2020. The suspect vehicle population was determined using vehicle production records.
FCA began investigating the problem at the end of 2019 after customers reported fires and related clutch problems. Customers reported red flags such as a strange clutch feel and a burning odor. If the clutch pressure plate fractures, it can release heated debris into contact ignition sources, potentially leading to a fire.
If the heated clutch components ignite a fuel source, a vehicle fire can result, which increases the risk of occupant injury and injury to persons outside the vehicle, as well as property damage. Also, a cracked or fractured transmission case can generate road debris and/or result in loss of propulsion, which can cause a vehicle crash without prior warning.
As of now, there have been 13 field reports, 35 warranty claims, and one minor injury. The recall will begin on April 22, however there is no fix for the issue yet. Concerned owners should call FCA 1-800-853-1403 and mention recall W12 for more information or visit the NHTSA recall site to see if their vehicle is affected.