Car Recall

Jeep Recalling 68,000 Wrangler SUVs

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer May 2012
  • Jeep is recalling 67,872 Wranglers due to a fire risk
  • The recall only affects 2010 models with an automatic transmission
  • The SUV's transmission skid plate could accumulate debris and catch fire

Jeep is recalling nearly 68,000 Wrangler SUVs due to a potential fire risk. The automaker and the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced the recall, which affects 2010 Wrangler models equipped with an automatic transmission.

According to Jeep and the NHTSA, the recall is necessary due to a problem with the Wrangler's transmission skid plate. The automaker says that the skid plate - which is designed to protect the transmission from road hazards - may collect excessive debris during normal driving. Because the skid plate is placed near the SUV's catalytic converter, the debris may become hot and could ignite, leading to a vehicle fire.

The automaker says the Wrangler's catalytic converter was relocated for the 2010 model year due to emissions compliance, accounting for the small scope of the recall. Jeep's parent company, Chrysler, says it's aware of at least 14 complaints related to a fire originating in the area of the transmission skid plate, but says it has not received reports of any injuries stemming from the defect. According to Jeep, Wranglers equipped with a manual transmission aren't affected since those models use a different transmission skid plate.

Chrysler says it will begin notifying owners of affected vehicles by mail later this month. Letters will urge drivers of Wranglers that include the defective skid plate to visit a dealership service department, where the skid plate will be replaced by a skid bar that poses little threat of gathering debris. Owners with any questions about the recall are advised to contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 or call the NHTSA recall hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

With nearly 42,000 units sold through the end of April, the Wrangler is Jeep's second-most popular vehicle after the midsize Grand Cherokee. According to automotive analytics firm Kelley Blue Book, the Wrangler boasts the best resale value of any vehicle available, retaining a whopping 68 percent of its value after three years and an impressive 55 percent after five years of ownership.

What it means to you: If you own a 2010 Wrangler with an automatic transmission, you may want to thoroughly clean your SUV's underbody as you await your recall notice.

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Jeep Recalling 68,000 Wrangler SUVs - Autotrader