Report: ‘Certain’ 2018-19 Jeep Wranglers To Be Recalled Over Potential Steering Failure
A bad track bar bracket could cause a sudden loss of control.
The JL Jeep Wrangler is better than the old model in nearly every way, yet a rash of steering issues this year has some owners wondering if the rough-and-ready off-roader was hiding a deeper problem. And now Fiat-Chrysler will be launching a recall covering "certain" 2018-19 Jeep Wranglers for a series of bad welds that can cause a sudden loss of control while driving.
Word first popped up on JL Wrangler Forums, where a user posted a screenshot of a service bulletin sent out to Jeep Dealerships today. We reached out to Fiat Chrysler to confirm the recall plan; a spokesman said that an official notification is forthcoming and described the issue as "small scope." It's so fresh that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website also hasn't been updated yet, though the 2018 Jeep Wrangler page is flooded with official complaints over steering problems.
The dealer notice states that the front track bar bracket in the Wrangler may have welds that are "off seam," which can cause the bracket to detach from the frame. The track bar helps keep the solid front axle centered and in line with the body of the vehicle. Symptoms of this can range from loose, vague steering to a complete system failure if the break happens at the wrong time.
"The separation of the front track bar bracket from the frame may cause a reduction in the steering response, which can cause a vehicle crash without prior warning," the bulletin reads.
It goes without saying that this is not ideal in a vehicle that's supposed to be able to take a beating off-road. The bulletin also states that a stop-sale order has been placed on affected 2019 Wranglers that are either in transit from the factory or already sitting on dealer lots. That would indicate the problem was only recently discovered and corrected.
A fix is said to be ready sometime before the end of the year. Since the recall hasn't officially been launched yet—this notice is intended to give dealers a heads-up—there are no details on specific trims, body styles, or VIN ranges that could clarify which Wranglers specifically might have this problem. Fiat-Chrysler will begin contacting owners by mail shortly. Users on JL Wrangler Forums also discovered that the recall has already been added to the Mopar service website and app, which has a VIN search tool that will show if your Jeep is affected.