Even if you’re not particularly well-versed in how cars work, you know that vehicles require fuel to move. Cars with standard gas- or diesel-powered engines can’t run if gas doesn’t get to the motor. That’s why recalls for faulty fuel pumps are a big problem.
Unfortunately for owners of certain 2020-2022 Jeep Wranglers, Ram 1500s, and 2021-2022 Jeep Gladiators, that’s precisely what they’re receiving. Fiat Chrysler has recalled more than 60,400 vehicles from these models and years that are equipped with 3.0L diesel engines. According to the recall, the affected cars and trucks are at risk of fuel pump failures that could cause them to stall while in operation.
The problem appears to be caused by faulty high-pressure fuel pumps installed within the 3.0L diesel engines. If the part fails, the car cannot transport fuel from the tank into the engine. As a result, the engine will be starved of power, and the vehicle will stall. It appears most failures occur while the cars are running, as the stress of high-pressure fuel delivery causes the faulty part to break down. However, some were discovered after the vehicles refused to start.
According to the report, FCA was aware of more than 205 warranty claims, 22 customer assistance records, and 33 field reports related to the problem in just the three months between June and September of this year. While the company states it is not aware of any accidents caused by the failure, that’s still an average of more than 80 problems per month. It’s just a matter of time before someone’s car stalls at an inopportune time and a serious accident results.
If you own a recent diesel Jeep Wrangler, Gladiator, or Ram 1500, you may be about to receive a recall notice for the problem. Here’s what you need to know about why the issue is so dangerous, how to tell whether your car has the problem, and what you can do to get your vehicle fixed under warranty.
Importance of Fuel Pumps to Your Engine
As you might assume from the name, a fuel pump is a specialized pump responsible for pushing fuel out of the tank and into the engine. A failing fuel pump can’t deliver sufficient gas to the engine at a regular rate. It may send too much gas at once or consistently send too little. Either problem can leave the vehicle struggling to run correctly.
Fuel pumps are most likely to fail while vehicles are running, particularly when accelerating, because of the extra stress on their components. They rely on a tight system of pistons, seals, and gaskets to do their job. These parts experience more pressure and higher temperatures when trying to keep up with the demands of speeding up a car.
That means failing pumps can pose a serious risk because they are most likely to stop working completely when cars operate at highway speeds, take on-ramps, or accelerate through an intersection. If the pump dies in these circumstances, the engine will lose motive power entirely, and the driver is at risk of getting hit by another car.
How to Tell If Your Car Still Has Fuel Pump Problems
If you’ve received a recall notice from Chrysler about a fuel pump problem, you should absolutely take your car to the dealership to get it fixed. But what if you’ve already had the part replaced under warranty? These problems can sometimes reoccur, especially if your fuel pump was replaced with a similarly faulty part. It’s essential to carefully monitor your vehicle after any warranty repair to make sure the manufacturer actually repaired the issue.
Signs of a faulty fuel pump are the same whether or not you’ve had it repaired. Watch out for issues like:
- Vehicle jerking or sputtering at high speeds: The first sign of a faulty fuel pump is often problems with consistent performance. If your engine sputters or the vehicle jerks while driving on the highway, the pump might be the actual problem.
- Problems with accelerating: If your car struggles to accelerate, or if it “surges” or speeds up without pressing the gas pedal, the fuel pump is probably struggling to do its job.
- Vehicle losing power during high-demand situations: Similarly, if your car loses power temporarily when driving uphill, when towing a load, or accelerating, the pump is likely failing.
- Engine refusing to start: If you ignore these other symptoms, your car may lose power entirely and refuse to start again. This occurs when the pump breaks down completely.
What to Do If a Recall Doesn’t Fix Your Car
Unfortunately, some warranty or recall repairs aren’t successful. If you’ve already had your Jeep, Ram, or Gladiator’s fuel pump repaired, but the problems have returned, the new part may be failing. In that case, you may be able to make a claim under California’s lemon laws.
According to state law, manufacturers have two opportunities to repair a potentially deadly manufacturing defect in a vehicle. If the problem isn’t directly dangerous, they have four chances to fix it. The first step to any potential lemon claim is to take your vehicle to the dealership while it’s still under warranty and have them try to repair it again. If you’ve done that, it’s time to learn whether you’re eligible for a lemon law claim. If you suspect you are, you can consult with the expert attorneys at Johnson & Buxton — The Lemon Law Guys to discuss your situation. We have years of experience on both sides of lemon law claims, so we have the skills and knowledge to help you file a successful claim. We will help you determine the best course of action for your claim and help you take a stand against the manufacturer that’s failed to fix your car. Please schedule your appointment by calling 1-866-761-2317 or emailing us today.