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Jeep Wrangler 4xe Investigated Over Loss of Motive Power Allegations

Jeep Wrangler 4xe 11 photos
Photo: Jeep / edited
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November 2022 saw FCA US LLC issue a recall for 62,909 units of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. Specifically, 2021 through 2023 models produced at the Toledo assembly plant between September 2, 2020 and August 17, 2022.
Fiat Chrysler's US division started looking into customer assistance records, warranty claims, and field reports alleging a loss of motive power back in September 2021. Prior to filing the recall documentation with the federal watchdog, the automaker was aware of 112 records, 196 claims, and 65 reports with dates of receipt from December 17, 2020 to October 26, 2022.

Unfortunately, the company was aware of an injury and two accidents potentially related to said concern. FCA claims that Wrangler 4xe vehicles may experience an unexpected engine shutdown condition stemming from diagnostic reactions to faults caused by a loss of communication.

Fiat Chrysler's remedy for this condition was an updated calibration software for the hybrid control processor, auxiliary hybrid control processor, and transmission control module. Owner notifications were mailed in January 2023. Fast forward to July 2024, and the Office of Defects Investigation has received a plethora of vehicle owner questionnaires alleging a loss of motive power from owners of 2021 through 2024 Jeep Wrangler 4xe sport utility vehicles.

Emphasis on model year 2024, for said vehicles were not included in the recall. As per the failure report summary published on the NHTSA's website, "the current complaint rate is higher in the out-of-scope vehicles than it was for vehicles that were later covered by the recall." Compared to the 62,909 recalled vehicles, this recall query may result in a different recall for 94,275 examples of the 2021–2024 Wrangler 4xe.

Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Photo: Jeep
Considering the 2024 model year mid-cycle refresh of the Wrangler and how much software is needed for the plug-in system to work as intended, chances are that we're dealing with improperly calibrated software yet again. Whatever the root cause for these unexpected losses of motive power affecting vehicles that received the remedy and those produced for 2024, the NHTSA will sort this matter out.

Looking at the glass half full, the cited report summary lists no crashes, injuries, or fatalities potentially related to the described condition. All subject vehicles were produced at Toledo North, which presently churns out Wranglers exclusively. Toledo Supplier Park, a.k.a. Toledo South, is tasked with assembling Gladiators.

Speaking of which, the southern plant was idled on July 8 in preparation for a new model. Production will resume on August 19. Regarding the new model, that's most likely the 2025 Jeep Gladiator 4xe. It will follow in the footsteps of the four-door-only Wrangler 4xe, which is due to receive an updated powertrain for MY2024.

Page 8 of the UAW-Stellantis hourly agreement reveals that JL and JT production at the Toledo Assembly Complex will continue into 2028, the year the next-generation Wrangler is due to enter production with BEV and REPB setups. The JL's replacement is referred to as the J70. Although a successor for the JT has yet to be announced, the Belvidere plant is preparing to welcome a new mid-size truck in 2027. One potential candidate is a Dodge Dakota-replacing Ram pickup truck.
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 Download: Jeep Wrangler 4xe loss of motive power investigation and recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

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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