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Jeep Wrangler 4xe Battery May Fail Internally, Root Cause Not Yet Determined

On November 22, the folks at Stellantis issued a recall for 32,125 examples of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. They confirmed that 2021 to 2024 model year vehicles are recalled, yet Stellantis didn't bother mentioning production dates or why the battery has to be replaced if a certain error code is observed.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe 12 photos
Photo: Jeep / edited
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Mere days later, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued two recalls over this condition: one from Stellantis for the Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and the other from Stellantis for the high-voltage battery pack identified under part number 68488244AA. By the way, the battery in question comprises battery cells produced by Samsung SDI, and the Mopar-branded replacement pack costs around $15,000.

Five replacement batteries are recalled separately from the factory units that equip the aforementioned 32,125 vehicles. The automaker lists Samsung SDI America Inc. as the supplier, along with production dates ranging from September 18, 2020 to March 22, 2023 for the Wrangler 4xe. As for the replacement packs, make that July 26, 2021 to March 15, 2022.

One mystery, however, still remains. The defect hasn't been identified yet, and Stellantis hasn't determined the root cause either. The automaker that was previously known as Chrysler also highlights that Wrangler 4xe batteries may fail internally, therefore increasing the risk of a thermal event.

Customers are urged to park outside and away from buildings and other vehicles, for the company is aware of eight vehicle fires that occurred with said vehicles parked and turned off. Six of them were connected to chargers when the battery fires occurred. It's not known whether the plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe off-road SUVs in question were charging or not.

Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Photo: Jeep
FCA US LLC, which is the automaker's legal entity in the United States of America, started investigating Wrangler 4xe battery fires on May 12 after learning about two field reports of fires originating from the high-voltage battery. Five other field reports were filed with the automaker between May 2023 and September 2023. The total number of reports ballooned to eight at the beginning of November.

Until service techs determine whether the battery needs to be replaced or not, owners should refrain from recharging the Wrangler 4xe. Dealers will be notified on January 11, 2024 at the latest, the day owners will also be notified via first-class mail.

What is especially curious about this concern is that affected vehicles were produced through March 22 of 2023. More curious still, Stellantis understands that battery cells manufactured by Samsung SDI from January 21, 2021 to October 2, 2021 are also suspect. What actually happened after October 2, 2021 at the supplier's battery cell assembly plant? Why are battery cells produced after October 2, 2021 completely fine? Unfortunately, we don't have answers to those questions at the moment of reporting.

For more information on this blunder, please contact Stellantis at 1-800-853-1403 or the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236. The automaker's number for this recall is 89A, whereas the NHTSA refers to it as 23V-787.
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 Download: Jeep Wrangler 4xe battery recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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