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RECALL: Jeep® Wrangler & Gladiator Recalled For Possible Clutch Fires:

A Total Of 33,237 Vehicles Are Affected...

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced a safety recall on certain 2018 – 2020 Model Year (JL) Jeep® Wrangler and 2020 (JT) Jeep® Gladiator vehicles equipped with a manual transmission. The clutch pressure plate may overheat and fracture. Approximately, 33,237 vehicles are affected by the recall.

2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon. (Jeep).

According to FCA, in some circumstances, the clutch pressure plate may become overheated through friction, which may lead the pressure plate to fracture. A fractured pressure plate may crack or fracture the transmission case, allowing heated debris to contact ignition sources on the vehicle, potentially leading to a vehicle fire. A fractured pressure plate may also lead to a loss of propulsion, or generation of road debris.

2020 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon (Left) and 2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon (Right). (Jeep).

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. In some circumstances, the operator may smell a burnt clutch odor, or have excessive or abnormal clutch pedal travel prior to the failure.

2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon. (Jeep).

Chronology:

• On November 27, 2019, the FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“VSRC”)
the organization opened an investigation as a result of customer inputs for fire incidents on 2018-2020 MY Jeep
Wrangler and the 2020 MY Jeep Gladiator vehicles.

• On December 10, 2019, FCA US VSRC investigators and FCA US Powertrain engineers traveled to the FCA US Toledo assembly plant to study the transmission and clutch assembly process.

• On December 17, 2019, FCA US VSRC conducted a scene examination of a vehicle fire that appeared to be
related to the transmission.

• On January 22, 2020, FCA US VSRC reviewed a warranty returned transmission and clutch with catastrophic
damage.

• On February 5, 2020, FCA US VSRC Materials Engineering Lab completed an analysis of the transmission
components and determined the clutch pressure plate reached 1100-degrees Celsius demonstrating the
pressure plate is a competent ignition source. The supplier duplicated the failed pressure plate demonstrating
the pressure plate was not a fire effect.

• In early February 2020, FCA US VSRC conducted packaging studies and reviewed supplier records to
understand the history of the transmission and clutch failures.

• On February 10, 2020, the clutch supplier conducted testing to reproduce pressure plate failure due to
exposure to high heat.

• As of February 20, 2020, FCA US is aware of 13 CAIRS and 13 field reports related to this issue.

• As of February 20, 2020, FCA US is aware of 35 warranty claims related to this issue.

• As of February 20, 2020, FCA US is aware of one minor injury related to this issue.

• On February 25, 2020, FCA US determined, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a
voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.

2020 Jeep® Wrangler Rubicon (Left) and 2020 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon (Right). (Jeep).

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin April 22, 2020. Owners may contact FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA’s number for this recall is W12. FCA has a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem that subsequently becomes the subject of a field action. To ensure consistency, FCA, as part of the owner letter, will request that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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