33,000+ Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators Recalled Over Fire Risk

Clutch plates in manual-transmission models are the source of the problem.

2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon
FCA US LLC

Jeep has issued a recall for 33,327 Wrangler SUVs and Gladiator pickups equipped with manual transmissions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affected models—including 2018-2020 Wranglers and 2020 Gladiators—feature clutch pressure plates that could overheat and fracture, possibly leading to vehicle fires.

FCA

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles began investigating the issue in late 2019 after customers reported fires and related clutch problems. As you'd expect, they were accompanied by warning signs including 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 heavy blaze. A damaged pressure plate can also leave debris on the road or cause an accident after the vehicle's wheels lose driving power. 

Company engineers were able to reproduce the issue and found that the clutch pressure plate can reach 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,102 degrees Fahrenheit), which is more than enough to cause a fire under the right circumstances.

The company says that it’s currently aware of 13 field reports, 35 warranty claims, and one minor injury, though no traffic accidents have been linked to the problem. The recall will begin on April 22, but the company doesn’t yet have a fix for the issue, saying that it’s “still under development.” A copy of the recall document can be seen here, but concerned owners should call FCA 1-800-853-1403 and mention recall W12 for more information.

Owners can also utilize the NHTSA recall site to see if their vehicle is affected.

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