Save the manuals is taking on a whole new meaning at Jeep as the company is recalling 42,887 Wranglers and Gladiators with six-speed sticks.
According to a Safety Recall Report, some 2018-2021 Wranglers and 2020-2021 Gladiators equipped with manual transmissions “may experience overheating of the clutch intermediate pressure plate” which could cause them to fail.
The company went on to explain the overheating is caused by friction and this can result in the pressure plate rapidly fracturing. If this occurs, it can cause “cracks or holes in the transmission case allowing heated debris to be expelled.” Should this debris come into contact with combustible materials, a fire could result.
This isn’t just theoretical as FCA opened their investigation in October after a Gladiator at the Toledo North Assembly Complex caught on fire. As part of their investigation, FCA examined two other vehicles that experienced a “transmission related fire event.” The company also dug through their records and found “approximately seven customer assistance records, six warranty claims, and one field report potentially related to this issue.”
To resolve the problem, Jeep is recalling the affected vehicles to add software that will reduce engine torque capability when clutch assembly temperatures rise to a level that may damage the inner pressure plate. While the company said “there is no defective part” involved in the recall, they will reimburse owners who have already paid to fix issues related to the problem.
Owners will be contacted next month and the company noted that drivers may smell a burnt clutch odor prior to pressure plate failure. If this occurs, you might want to pull over and let things cool off.