Jeep has issued a recall for certain model years of their Wrangler SUVs and Gladiator pickup trucks. The clutch pressure plate in these vehicles could overheat and cause a fire.
2018-2020 Jeep Wranglers and 2020 Jeep Gladiators might have left the lot with a faulty clutch plate. Only vehicles with manual transmissions need to be concerned with this recall.
33,000 vehicles are involved in this recall, with nearly 30,000 being the popular Wrangler. In these vehicles, the clutch plate could become overheated from friction. The plate could crack and possibly cause the transmission case to crack as well.
Debris from the breakage could start a fire. In addition, the fractured plate could cause “a loss of propulsion,” according to a written statement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which owns Jeep.
So far, drivers have reported no accidents due to the faulty clutch plate. However, at least one person experience a minor injury and the documentation on the recall indicates at least one vehicle fire.
If you are driving a Wrangler or Gladiator and smell hot metal or any kind of burning odor, pull over immediately.
Some drivers may also notice that the clutch pedal moves farther than normal. That’s a sign that the faulty pressure plate could break soon. If possible, stop driving the vehicle until Fiat Chrysler Automobiles comes up with a fix and starts repairing the Wranglers and Gladiators.
Drivers should get an official notice in the mail sometime in late April. In the meantime, you can contact Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403.
As ever, if you think your vehicle might be part of a recall, head over to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and type in the 17-character VIN to search their database.
You can find the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the lower left of your car’s windshield, printed on the inside of the door frame on the driver’s side, or printed on your vehicle registration card. It’s also not a bad idea to jot that number down or save it on your phone in the event that your ride is stolen.
Make a habit of checking the NHTSA database twice a year to see if a recall has been issued for your vehicle. To make it easier to remember, consider designating the day the clocks change for this task.