At the end of March 2023, Chrysler announced that nearly 36,000 Jeep Wranglers are being recalled for potential serious fuel leaks and fire risks. Affected vehicles include 2020-2022 Wranglers, almost all of which remain under manufacturer warranty.
The recall was issued after an internal investigation at Chrysler determined that the frame studs on the affected vehicles could puncture the fuel tank in a crash. This could cause fuel to leak and potentially ignite, making accidents significantly more dangerous.
Chrysler will be mailing letters to owners of affected Jeeps on May 12th. If you are concerned about whether the Wrangler recall affects you, keep reading to learn the risks posed by the defect and what you can do to get your vehicle repaired, replaced, or even refunded.
Risks of Jeep Wrangler Frame Studs
According to Chrysler, the Wrangler recall is based on a problem with the frame studs on affected vehicles. These studs are incorrectly shaped for their location on the car. As such, the studs could puncture the fuel tank in certain crashes.
This is an obvious and significant danger. Holes in the fuel tank allow highly flammable gasoline to leak. All it takes for gasoline to ignite is contact with a sufficiently hot surface, such as brake rotors that have just been worked hard in an attempt to avoid an accident. If the leaking fuel ignites, it can turn an otherwise unremarkable accident into a dangerous car fire.
This is particularly problematic in vehicles like the Wrangler. Jeep’s flagship model is intended for both on- and off-road use, so people are more likely to drive them in remote locations or on difficult terrain. The terrain means that rollover accidents that could damage the frame around the tank and cause punctures are more likely. Furthermore, car fires in remote locations are more likely to harm vehicle occupants by leaving them stranded far from help or causing injuries if they cannot get out of the vehicle.
While Chrysler reports that it has not yet found any reports of customer complaints, accidents, or injuries from the issue, it’s still a significant risk. Wrangler owners should be particularly cautious until they confirm whether their SUVs are affected.
Is Your Jeep Affected?
The 2023 Jeep recall only applies to the 2020-2022 year model Wranglers manufactured between October 16th, 2019, and May 14th, 2022. This is the period during which the frame studs were used during production. The affected models only include two-door models, not four-door vehicles.
As such, if you have a two-door Wrangler made between 2019 and 2022, your vehicle may be included in the recall. Your best course of action is to drive carefully, avoid driving off-road or in difficult conditions, and wait until the end of May to see if you receive a recall notice from Chrysler.
If your car is included in the Wrangler recall, Chrysler will repair the problem for free. You must take your vehicle and the recall notice to a certified dealership, where they will inspect it to see if the incorrect frame studs were used during manufacturing. If so, they will remove and replace the studs and apply paint to the area free of charge.
What You Should Do During a Car Fire
If your car has the Jeep Wrangler frame stud problem, you are at greater risk of fires during accidents. Here’s what to do during Jeep engine fires that occur because of a crash or other accident:
- Pull over immediately if you are not already stopped and shut off your car.
- Get out of the car and help other passengers out if possible.
- Move at least 100 feet away from your vehicle, ideally upwind.
- Stay out of the road and away from traffic.
- Call 911 or ask another person to do so for you.
- If you have a class B or C fire extinguisher in your vehicle, you know how to use it, and you can clearly see the source of the fire, you can try to extinguish the flames. Otherwise, wait for professionals to arrive.
- Do not open the hood or trunk of your car if you suspect there is fire there.
These tips will help you stay safe until experts arrive on the scene to extinguish the flames for you.
Is Your Jeep Wrangler a Lemon?
If you have a 2020-2022 Jeep, the Wrangler frame stud recall may not be the first you’ve experienced. For instance, 2022 Wranglers have already been subject to six independent recalls despite being only a year old. If your vehicle has been recalled more than once, or if the recall repairs didn’t resolve the problem, you may have a lemon on your hands.
In California, car owners can file claims against manufacturers like Chrysler if their vehicles have defects that cannot be repaired in a reasonable number of attempts. For example, if your car is in the shop for more than 30 days for manufacturer defects while it’s still under warranty, you could demand that it be replaced or refunded. The sheer number of recalls to which recent Wrangler models have been subject means that many of these vehicles may be approaching this limit. If you think your Jeep is a lemon, taking action quickly is important. Lemon law claims have a strict statute of limitations. At Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys, we specialize in helping California residents manage their lemon claims successfully. Reach out today to discuss whether you have grounds for a Jeep lemon law claim and discuss the next steps to receive compensation for your defective vehicle.