Jeep is recalling certain 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup trucks equipped with manual transmissions because they could overheat and pose an increased risk of fires. According to Consumer Reports, the concern with these vehicles is that the clutch pressure plate, the mechanism, which transfers engine torque to the transmission, may overheat because of friction and cause the transmission case to crack.
Details of the Recall
If the case fractures, there is a risk that heated debris could contact ignition sources on the vehicle and start a fire. A damaged pressure plate could lead to a loss of propulsion and create road debris. The driver may then smell a burnt clutch or clutch pedal that may move farther than usual before the pressure plate breaks.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which owns the Jeep brand, is in the process of developing a repair procedure. However, documents from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that the fix will include a new pressure plate. Owners can expect to get recall notices in the mail in late April. The recall vehicles were manufactured between Aug. 23, 2017 and Feb. 13, 2020. Consumers with questions are urged to call Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403.
The Danger of Car Fires
While car accidents are one of the most common causes of vehicle fires that result in catastrophic injuries or deaths, defective vehicle design and manufacturing defects also commonly cause dangerous vehicle fires. In this particular recall, the vehicle may contain a damaged pressure plate that could create road debris. When the heated debris comes into contact with ignition sources, it could result in a fire.
If you believe your vehicle may be included in this recall, visit NHTSA’s website and enter your vehicle identification number or VIN to determine if it is part of the recall. If so, it is important to take your vehicle to the dealership to get the repair done. Under federal law, recall repairs must be made free of charge to consumers.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a vehicle fire, it is important to preserve the vehicle in its current state so an expert can examine it thoroughly for evidence of vehicle defects, mechanical malfunctions and other evidence. An experienced auto defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.