Recall Issued on Jeep Wrangler 4XE as Engine Shuts Off While Driving

The Wrangler 4xe is Jeep’s first-ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). It has been successful since it debuted in September 2020 and was released in early 2021. Drive it on the rough terrains if you put on a nice set of off road tires. Due to its impressive features, it is dubbed the most eco-friendly Wrangler.

Despite its popularity, Jeep recently issued a recall and halt sales to brand-new models. If you own a Wrangler 4xe, read on to know the reason behind the recall issue and what steps to take if your vehicle is affected.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Reported cases

Reports of Wrangler 4xe losing power started coming in September 2021. The company analyzed the vehicle histories and stall reports to determine what was leading to the issue. A month later, a recall order was issued.

As of November 3, Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis, said they have been aware of the issue on the Wrangler hybrid. They have received 196 warranty claims, 65 field reports, and 112 customer assistance records. There were also two accidents and one injury reported, which potentially be related to the engine problem in all markets, globally.

As specified in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall report, certain Jeep Wrangler 4xe vehicles with model years 2021–2023 are affected by a recall issue. The vehicles are equipped with the 2.0-liter PHEV engine, which may experience an engine shutdown condition.

Glitch affected thousands of Wrangler 4xe

Jeep has recalled 62,909 sold units of Wrangler 4xe. This is due to the risk of the engine spontaneously shutting down while driving. Unsold vehicles are also subjected to a temporary stop-sale until the recall issue has been resolved.

The reason behind the recall of the Wrangler 4xe is due to a software glitch. The problem is traced to a software glitch in the transmission computer that affects the powertrain, which may trigger a loss of drive power.

The transmission computer issue can cause the engine to stop without warning. The Jeep wheels, whether stock or aftermarket like Black Rhino wheels, will abruptly cease in the middle of driving. Based on reports, the loss of communication seems to have been triggered by a software glitch between the control module and processors.

Based on the documents filed with the NHTSA, 100 percent of the targeted group of the Wrangler 4xe have the defect. It is a major concern as it may cause a vehicle crash without prior warning. The immediate shutdown of the 2.0-liter plug-in hybrid’s electric vehicle engine can increase the risk of accidents. It may jeopardize the safety of drivers, passengers, and other vehicles nearby.

Update on the software

Now that the automaker has discovered the root of the problem of the Wrangler 4xe, Jeep issued a recall. The resolution to the glitch is to update the software on all vehicles affected. The software update will prevent the vehicles from spontaneously stopping and avoid the risk of loss of control.

The new code updates will calibrate the software in the Transmission Control Module, Hybrid Control Processor, and Auxiliary Hybrid Control Processor. Many 2023 plug-in Wranglers have new software installed, meaning the issue does not affect them.

As part of the recall campaign, Stellantis will reimburse any Wrangler 4xe owners who paid charges in repairing the vehicles themselves. To get the reimbursement, owners must present the original receipt for the work. Starting on the 12th of January 2023, Jeep plans to notify customers about the recall action.

Another recall on Wrangler 4xe

Back in October, Stellantis North America posted a recall order on certain Jeep Wrangler PHEVs with 2022 to 2023 model years.

The recall is caused by an HV battery pack assembly, which was built with incorrect fasteners. The fasteners are used to secure the 200-amp fuse. However, it can cause high resistance in the fuse interface, due to the excessive heat generated from the incorrect installation.

Excessive heat may cause the fuse to fail. As a result, the vehicle may experience a loss of drive power. This problem may lead to a crash and can endanger drivers, passengers, and other vehicles surrounding it.

Here is the chronology of the recall order:

  • On the 25th of April 2022, the Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance (TSRC) organization of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US opened an investigation. It happened after they received a report of a damaged fuse in the high-voltage (HV) battery pack assembly on a 2022 model year of Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe. The second and third report on the same issue was received on the 26th and 29th of April 2022.
  • The incorrect fasteners securing the 200-amp fuse were initially used in vehicle production on the 13th of January 2022 and ended on the 18th of May 2022. Vehicle and supplier manufacturing records can determine the population of affected units, but the potential number is 13,722.
  • On June 24th, 2022, the company arranged to have the battery of affected vehicles returned to the supplier. On September 9th, the company received confirmation of the wrong fastener on the battery assembly. The company has been aware of six field reports, three customer records, and three warranty claims that were potentially related to the issue.

Owners who have experienced this problem with their electrical system can go to the dealers for an inspection. Upon inspection and confirmation of the issue, the dealers will replace the high-voltage battery fuse. The battery assembly will also be replaced if it incurred damage. The repairs will be free of charge.

Recall announcements

Aside from preventive maintenance, it is also crucial to check the recall announcements to see if your vehicle is affected by a recall. It isn’t complicated as most automotive news outlets and organizations, such as IIHS, NHTSA, and Consumer Reports, release reports on recalls.

If you’d like to personally check the website for recall announcements, you may visit the NHTSA’s website and use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) search tool. To see the current recall notice applied to the model year of your vehicle, type the 17-character VIN in the search bar.

If you are unfamiliar with the VIN of your Jeep Wrangler, there are three ways to check:

  • Check the A-pillar behind the windshield frame, you can see the VIN etched along the side.
  • Look for a sticker on the B-Pillar of your Wrangler, and you’ll see numbers and letters — that’s the VIN.
  • Underneath the Jeep, try to look along the midway of the frame. You will notice a plastic part with the alphanumeric code etched on it.

According to the Safety Policy Manager at Consumer Reports, William Wallace, drivers must take recalls seriously. Does not matter if it is a minor or major defect, as it can put people’s safety at risk. It is important to check if the particular Jeep you own is affected by a recall as it helps guarantee the top condition of your vehicle. If you know there’s no fix yet, you’ll be extra cautious in driving your Jeep.

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