Jeep has issued a vehicle defect recall for 42,887 Wrangler and Gladiator vehicles equipped with a six-speed manual transmission because the clutch pressure plate could potentially overheat, fracture and cause a fire. According to Consumer Reports, the Jeep Wranglers from the 2018 to 2021 model years and Gladiators from the 2020-2021 model years with manual transmissions because they not only pose the risk of fire but may also create road debris.
The problem is that the clutch pressure plate, which is used to transfer power from the engine to the transmission, could overheat and cause the clutch to fracture. This could lead to cracks or holes in the transmission case allowing heated debris to be expelled. In some cases, drivers may smell a burnt clutch odor before the failure. Stallantis/FCA, the parent company of Jeep, is aware of one accident but no injuries related to the problem.
Owners will be notified about the recall in mid-March. Dealerships will update the software to reduce engine torque capability when clutch assembly temperatures rise to a level that may damage the inner pressure plate. If you are not sure if your vehicle is included in the recall, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website and enter your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number or VIN. For more information, call Stellantis/FCA customer service at 800-853-1403.
In this particular case, these defects could cause not just fires, but also leave debris on the roadway that could be harmful to other motorists or even bicyclists and motorcyclists, who are particularly vulnerable to roadway debris. Vehicle owners in California could be held liable for roadway debris that leads to injuries or fatalities. It is important with any vehicle defect to make sure that you get your vehicle repaired as soon as a fix becomes available. If you are buying a used vehicle, make sure there are no open vehicle safety recalls on the vehicle. These repairs must be provided at no cost to consumers by automakers under federal law.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a vehicle defect, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and options.