Jeep Gladiator Sales on Hold Pending Driveshaft Fix
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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