By on September 13, 2019

Image: FCA

It’s Fix-it Friday, apparently, and the ailing vehicle news hasn’t stopped rolling just yet. You’ll see.

Over at Fiat Chrysler, it seems the only thing capable of stopping the mighty Jeep Gladiator is its manufacturer, which just issued a stop-sale order to prevent new pickups from leaving the lot and potentially dropping their driveshafts.

According to recall documents posted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website and first reported on by Jalopnik, Fiat Chrysler believes 5 percent of Gladiators may have left Toledo without grease in the monoblock joint portion of the driveshaft. Specifically, the automaker is hunting 3,427 vehicles suspected of having the issue.

“The suspect population was determined by reviewing the supplier’s driveshaft production records from the beginning of production of this driveshaft to identify which driveshafts may have been assembled without grease,” the automaker stated. “Driveshaft traceability records were then linked to vehicle production records to determine the suspect vehicle population.”

The tip-off came in June when four Gladiators entered the shop for warranty repairs. No injuries or accidents are linked to the issue.

Affected Jeeps rolled out of the factory between December 15th of last year and June 25th of 2019. Without grease, the driveshaft’s constant velocity joint could overheat and seize, potentially leading to structural failure and an unexpected transition to FWD-only mode.

“Some customers may experience a noise or vibration prior to the driveshaft fracturing,” FCA noted.

As FCA has provided a searchable list of VINs, dealers will be able to root out the afflicted models and set them aside for driveshaft replacement. By law, they have to. As for models already off the lot, recall notices are set to hit mailboxes on October 18th.

In launching the Gladiator, Jeep answered many long-held prayers for a bonafide Jeep pickup. The automaker accomplished the feat by lengthening the frame of a Wrangler Unlimited by 31 inches, placing an extra 19.4 inches between the vehicle’s axles. Some 7,252 Gladiators rolled out of dealers in the first half of 2019.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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22 Comments on “Jeep Gladiator Sales on Hold Pending Driveshaft Fix...”

  • avatar

    Nothing good ever happens when you forget to lube your shaft.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    How are these selling? I don’t think I’ve seen one on the road yet.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve seen one.

      Actually looks better on screen than in person.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I saw several of them off-roading in Nevada:

    • 0 avatar

      Strangely enough, I had also been wondering about how well they’d been selling for similar reasons – lots of hype, none on the roads. While killing time waiting to pick up an order at a Jeep dealer’s parts counter the weekend before last, I asked two salesmen and the sales manager how well the Gladiator had been doing at finding homes; their responses were suspiciously overly-enthusiastic to the point of suggesting that they could practically be seen flying off the lot.

      I believe that I’ve seen a total of three on the road up to today: one in white, and two in black. Both of the black ones were spotted on the same day within a few minutes of each other; one still had the just-drove-off-the-lot paper plates on it, while the other one was actually registered, so they were definitely two separate vehicles.

      Beyond that, they seem to be mostly found inside of dealer showrooms, or up on the fake rock ramps near the edge of the same property.

    • 0 avatar

      Dealers are still marking them up $5000 over MSRP here.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m seeing them everywhere, as far as looks that someone commented on, the lower trim models aren’t particularly attractive but the models ladled on options look damn good.

      I think the biggest difference is tires on the low end models and higher end models. A no option truck with 33s or 35s would look more at home on the truck and help fill in the wheel wells better than the base spec tires.

  • avatar

    A neighbor around the corner from my house has one.

    And I saw one on the street.

    /end of report

  • avatar

    Sounds like bad news for Dennis Collins’ Hemi-swapped Gladiator.

  • avatar

    Strange, now that folks mention it I am in Colorado and have not seen a single one.

    • 0 avatar

      I haven’t seen any either. So they must all be wherever Mr Hummer lives as he sees them everywhere.

      • 0 avatar

        North Carolina; I’ve seen them through the mountains, tons in the piedmont and all over eastern NC.

        It’s probably one of the quickest product ramp ups I’ve seen.

        • 0 avatar

          Here in Birmingham I saw two in the Eastern ‘burbs on my morning errands.

          Keep in mind I’m a biased Chrysler/Jeep guy, and– this is a niche vehicle. Jeep trucks are never going to sell like Ford/Chevy/Ram trucks.

          The Comanche was barely visible during its run. This one’s going to be no different.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m in Western Pennsylvania and I have been noticing the Gladiator, just saw a red/orange one yesterday in fact. I don’t recall if I have seen the new Ranger at all out and about but I will say I see the old Ranger more than the Gladiator and new Colorado combined.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen several driving around the Pacific Northwest. It was my understand they were having problems getting them in dealer hands. They also lost a train load of them when a train derailed.

  • avatar

    I’ve not seen a single one of these eyesores in my area. For that, I am thankful.

  • avatar

    There are a couple around my town. I am underwhelmed. I believe they will be a major fail.

  • avatar

    My Coworker bought one of the first 500 made. It was signed somewhere by the people who built it. I have seen two others as well. The Jeep dealers have more than I can count. I was there looking for a new truck.

  • avatar


    Has Jeep fixed those taillights that literally can’t be seen with sunglasses on?

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