Pressure Plate On Clutch May Overheat – Increase Risk of Fire

re: NHTSA campaign 20V124000

Laguna Hills, CA – March 3, 2020 – The pressure plate attached to the clutch on manual transmission 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler and manual transmission 2020 Gladiator vehicles may overheat and fracture – increasing the risk of fire and may result in metal debris falling from the vehicle’s undercarriage. 

The potential number of affected vehicles is 33,237.

The Defect:

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling 2018-2020 manual transmission Jeep Wrangler and 2020 manual transmission Gladiator vehicles whos clutch pressure plate may overheat and crack result in debris falling from the undercarriage of the vehicle and possible increase in risk of vehicle fire. Through friction between the clutch and the pressure plate, increased temperatures may cause the transmission case on the pressure place to fracture. If the pressure plate fractures, heated metal debris may come into contact with the vehicle’s ignition and could catch fire. If the pressure plate fractures and falls apart not only will this cause road debris to fall from under the vehicle, but could affect the vehicle’s transmission.

The FCA US LLC Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“VSRC”) organization received information on multiple incidents where 2018-2020 MY Jeep Wrangler and 2020 My Jeep Gladiator vehicles with manual transmission were catching on fire and decided, on November 27, 2019, to open and formal investigation into the cause of this issue. On December 17, 2019 FCA US VSRC decided to perform an examination of a vehicle fire that could possibly be related to the transmission. A month later, FCA US VRSC decided to examine a warranty returned transmission. The results concluded that the clutch on the transmission had undergone extensive damage. By February 5, 2020 FCA US VSRC Material Engineering Lab found that the clutch pressure plate on the manual transmission reached a temperature of 1100 degrees Celsius. After careful tests conducted by the both the clutch and the pressure plate supplier, who demonstrated the pressure plate failed due to exposure to high temperatures, FCA US decided to conduct a safety recall for all affected Jeep vehicles. FCA US has reported 35 warranty claims, 13 related field reports and one minor injury related to this recall. 

Solution:

On February 25, 2020, FCA US decided to voluntarily recall all affected vehicles. FCA US is still deciding on what action to take to ensure that the manual transmission works properly. If owners suspect that their vehicle is under recall they are welcome to call Chrysler customer service at 1 (800) 334-9200.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyPressure Plate On Clutch May Overheat – Increase Risk of Fire

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