Jeep Wrangler Problems (2018-2019)

The Jeep Wrangler is a purpose-built vehicle with an image that portrays freedom, adventure, and off-road capability. The Jeep name, unfortunately, cannot be associated with reliability or build quality anymore. The Jeep Wrangler has been the center of numerous technical and mechanical defects over the years resulting in multiple factories recalls and several concerned customers. 

This article will cover all the factory defects in detail as well as the mechanical or technical solutions required to rectify the problems. Each section will include the official factory recall document sourced from the NHTSA as well as the rectification guides and procedure documents available to download.

Over the last few years, Jeep Wrangler has had a series of major mechanical and technical factory faults ranging from electrical systems, fuel system, engine, propulsion, steering, and powertrain. According to the NHTSA, Since 2010 Chrysler has received over 3586 complaints about the Wrangler with the highest being for the 2018 model Jeep Wrangler SUV 4WD which received 748 alone. The 10 recalls for problems related to the 2018-2019 Wranglers were for the following:
 

  1. Rooftop tent cover cracks and detaching
  2. Doors opening due to out-of-position door latches
  3. Front track bar bracket separating from the frame
  4. The voltage regulator may fail and cause a stall
  5. Possible intermediate steering shaft splits.
  6. Cruise Control cannot be canceled
  7. Incorrect transmission park rods installed
  8. Left rear frame section may corrode

Let’s now look at each year of the Jeep Wrangler individually in more detail starting with the 2019 model down to the 2010 model to determine what the causes of each problem were and the subsequent rectification process of each.

Related information will include the recall details, faulty components, number of units affected, the remedy as well as the associated how-to guides.

2019 Jeep Wrangler Reliability Problems

Since the turn of 2019, the Jeep Wrangler complaints seemed to have dried up quite a bit, with the NHTSA only receiving 51 customer complaints compared to 2018 where the same Jeep Wrangler received 748 complaints alone. The highest number of complaints since the inception of the Jeep Wrangler. There were only 2 recalls in 2019 compared to 8 of the previous year, however, these were for two rather serious defects.

  1. Steering Wheel detaches from the steering column
  2. Front track bar bracket separating from the frame

Steering Wheel Detaches From the Steering Column Problem        

This is a rather serious problem since if the steering wheel detaches from the steering column, the driver could possibly lose control of the vehicle and stands a high risk of a crash.  The faulty component is the improperly machined steering column stub shaft that may break.  This could cause the vehicle to veer off course and wander into the other lanes.

Vehicles affected

The vehicles affected by the above-mentioned problem where the MY Jeep Wrangler built at the Toledo North Assembly Plant
(“TNAP”) between February 5, 2019, and February 18, 2019. There were also 28 Ram 1500 vehicles which were affected.

Production Dates: FEB 05, 2019 – FEB 18, 2019
NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V-201

Official complaints logged with the NHTSA     

2019 JEEP WRANGLER UNLIMITED MOAB JL – NO MODIFICATIONS, ALL STOCK, THE STEERING SEVERELY WANDERS. NOTICED AFTER, ABOUT 1500 MILES THE JEEP WILL DRIFT OR WANDER INTO OTHER LANES FOR NO APPARENT REASON. SOME TIME THE JEEP WOULD DRIVE STRAIGHT, OTHER TIMES NOT SO MUCH. THE VEHICLE IS HARD TO KEEP STRAIGHT WITH IN A SINGLE LANE. TOOK THE JEEP TO MY LOCAL DEALER AND THEY COULD NOT FIND ANYTHING WRONG, EVEN WITH ALL THE JEEP TSB’S

CONCERNED THAT COULD LOSE CONTROL OF VEHICLE AS IS WANDERS INTO OTHER LANES. NOTE: I HAD A 2017 JEEP UNLIMITED JK WITH NO STEERING ISSUES.

extract from: www.jlwranglerforums.com

Another complaint from the owner of a 2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

“2019 JEEP WRANGLER RUBICON JL – NO MODIFICATIONS, ALL STOCK. STEERING ISSUES.

I NOTICED AT ABOUT 250 MILES, THE JEEP WILL DRIFT INTO OTHER LANES AT ANY GIVEN TIME FOR NO APPARENT REASON. TRYING TO CORRECT, CAUSES A WOBBLE. IT IS VERY EXHAUSTING AND FRIGHTENING JUST TRYING TO KEEP THE JEEP IN A SINGLE LANE GOING FORWARD AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS WHILE DRIFTING AND CORRECTING.

I TOOK THE JEEP TO MY LOCAL DEALER AND THEY TOLD ME THERE WAS A NEW RECALL THAT CAME OUT JUST DAYS AGO. THE RECALL WAS FOR A NEW STEERING DAMPER. I DROVE IT FOR ABOUT A DAY AND ALL SEEMED FINE. NOW, THE JEEP IS BACK TO DRIFTING AGAIN, I THINK NOT AS BAD BUT I DO NOT HAVE MUCH TO COMPARE AS I AM NOW AT 750 MILES AND OWNED 2 WEEKS.

I AM VERY CONCERNED THAT SOMEONE COULD GET VERY HURT WHEN THE JEEP DRIFTS INTO OTHER LANES OR OFF THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

I DID NOT BUY MY JEEP SO THAT I COULD USE IT OFF ROAD OR TO MODIFY. I BOUGHT IT BECAUSE I LIKED EXACTLY THE WAY IT WAS. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN SELLING, TRADING, OR USING THE “LEMON LAW”. I AM STRONGLY URGING THE NHTSA PLEASE OPEN AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE STEERING ISSUES BEFORE PEOPLE START GETTING SERIOUSLY HURT.”

www.jlwranglerforums.com

The Risk

The risk is rather high since in the event of a steering wheel separating from the steering column could result in a loss of steering control. A moving vehicle without steering control is a major problem can cause a crash without preceding warning. The safety of the driver is also compromised by the front impact safety system, increasing the risk of driver injury in a vehicle crash.

Related Documents

Download the official safety recall report
2019 Jeep Wrangler Steering Column Safety Recall Report 19V201-1398

Download the Remedy Instruction Guide
2019 Jeep Wrangler Steering Column Remedy Instruction Guide -19V201-9984

Front Track Bar Bracket Problem

There are a batch of 2018-2019 Jeep
Wranglers with a welding problem which could be affected by the front track bar separated from the frame. The front track bar separates from the frame due to a welding defect which could result in reduced steering ability. The defective Jeep Wranglers affected by this problem may have been built with a front track bar bracket with an out-of-specification weld, where the weld to the front track bar bracket may have weld(s) located off the seam.

The vehicles affected were the 2018-2019 MY Jeep Wrangler left-hand drives. 
Production Dates were between 07 MAY 2018 and August 21, 2018, NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V675000

Official Customer Complaints Logged With the NHTSA

THE STEERING IS LOOSE. OVER 1 INCH OF PLAY IN STEERING DRIFTS TO LEFT AND RIGHT AND UNABLE TO CONTROL AT ANY SPEED. CONSTANTLY HAVE TO FIGHT THE WHEEL. I AM AFRAID TO DRIVE IT. $52,000 TO REMAIN IN THE DEALERSHIP REPAIR SHOP IS PATHETIC. I TOOK MINE BACK AFTER 3 DAYS AND NOW I AM FIGHTING AND FILING LEMON LAW. I WAS TOLD BY THE DEALERSHIP CHRYSLER TOLD THEM NOT TO FIX IT UNTIL THEY DETERMINED IF A RECALL WOULD BE SENT OUT, BUT THEY KNEW THERE WAS A PROBLEM.

www.nhtsa.gov

Another one

STEERING AT SPEEDS ABOVE 25 MPH WITH THIS VEHICLE YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THERE’S TOO MUCH PLAY IN THE STEERING, REQUIRING CONSTANT CORRECTIONS ESPECIALLY ON THE FREEWAY. DRIFTING FROM LEFT TO RIGHT TRYING TO KEEP THE VEHICLE BETWEEN LANES ON THE ROADS/FREEWAYS CAN TO LEAD TO DRIVERS FATIGUE; WHICH COULD LEAD TO A SERIOUS ACCIDENT.

www.nhtsa.gov

Lastly

STEERING ON OUR NEW JEEP WRANGLER IS ALL OVER THE PLACE. YOU CONSTANTLY HAVE TO CORRECT AS THE CAR MOVES FROM SIDE TO SIDE CAUSING A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION AND THE APPEARANCE YOU ARE AN IMPAIRED DRIVER. IT IS NOT SAFE TO DRIVE THIS CAR AND IT IS BRAND NEW.

www.nhtsa.gov

The Risk

There are numerous complaints about vague steering on the 2018-19 Jeep Wranglers where the vehicle tends to drift off-course. The Driver has to constantly correct the steering to keep the vehicle on track. The vehicle can veer into oncoming traffic and cause an accident.  A letter of apology was issued to all owners which acknowledged that the vehicle track bar weld may not have been properly inspected. Owners were asked to contact their local dealer to have the inspection of the front track bar weld separation performed again. The dealer will re-inspect your vehicle and make the necessary repair if required, free of charge.

Related Documents

Download the official safety recall report:
2019 Jeep Wrangler Front Track Bar Recall Report -18V675-1532

Download the Remedy Instruction Guide:
2019 Jeep Wrangler Front Track Bar Remedy Guide

2018 Jeep Wrangler Problems

The 2018 model Jeep Wrangler was responsible for 8 out of the 10 recalls issued. According to the NHTSA There were a total of seven hundred and forty-eight customer complaints at the time this article was written.  The bulk of the complaints where steering related with over 560 complaints logged at the NHTSA. This was followed by over 161 suspension related complaints.

The factory defects we will cover are the following:

  1. Rooftop tent cover cracks and detaching
  2. Doors opening due to out-of-position door latches
  3. Front track bar bracket separating from the frame
  4. The Voltage regulator may fail and cause a stall
  5. Possible intermediate steering shaft splits.
  6. Cruise Control cannot be canceled
  7. Incorrect transmission park rods installed
  8. Left rear frame section may corrode

2018 Jeep Wrangler Roof Top Tent problem

Certain 2018 model Jeep Wranglers experienced problems with the rooftop tent. The problem was the top cover of the roof may crack or break, which could cause the cover to detach from the vehicle while moving.  This is a possible safety risk. The problem was caused by a Chinese part supplier that had quality issues. This caused the roof to crack under severe weather conditions. This can result in the damaged roof detaching itself from the vehicle while moving, causing a safety hazard to the occupants as well as other drivers.

Vehicles affected

2018-2018 Jeep Wrangler
Production Dates: JAN 08, 2018 – DEC 21, 2018

Risk Involved

A broken or crack top cover can become disconnected from the tent assembly if enough wind is caught underneath it when the vehicle is in motion. The problematic vehicles were shipped to customers with a tie-down strap for prevention of any disengaged part of the rooftop tent.

Repair Option

At the time of this article, there was no repair option at no cost provided yet. One potential remedy is to repurchase the vehicles. Dealers have been notified of the recall and directed not to sell any of the affected units.

Related Documents

Download Recall Report:
2018 defective rooftop tent Recall

2018 Jeep Wrangler Misaligned Door Latch Problem

There are certain four-door jeep wranglers with a problem with the rear passenger door. The vehicle may have been built with a right rear door latch that is off location. This misalignment problem can cause the outside door release handle link to bind on the latch reinforcement and result in a non-latch condition. The door is a major safety hazard for rear passengers since it opens unexpectedly which can increase the risk of injury if an occupant falls out while the vehicle is in motion.

Certain 2018 MY Jeep Wranglers unlimited have been recalled for this problem to be rectified. The problem is with the rear door latch that is not in the correct location. This could possibly be the cause for the door not latching properly.

Chrysler has notified all owners and dealerships will repair the door latch free of charge. This recall began on 6 December
2018.

Vehicles affected

The vehicles affected were the 2018-2018 Jeep Wrangler which had the defective part installed between production dates of September 26, 2018, and September 28, 2018.

Risk involved

There is a risk of the rear door opening unexpectedly while the vehicle is in motion. The rear passengers can be ejected from the
moving vehicle which can result in major injury or even fatalities. The problematic door can also possibly open in the event of a crash, thereby increasing the risk of injury.

Repair Option

If the owner has incurred a cost to rectify the door latch, FCA US has policies in place to reimburse owners provided they can send the original receipt and/or other proof of payment for confirmation of expenses.

Related Documents

Download Recall report:
2018 defective rear passenger door latch Recall Notice

Download Remedy Instruction Guide:
2018 defective rear passenger door latch Remedy Instructions

2018 Jeep Wrangler Voltage Regulator Problem

Certain 2018 Jeep Wrangler models have a problem with the powertrain control module. The problem could be that the control module is equipped with a voltage regulator chip in the circuit board that may malfunction, causing the vehicle to stall or not start.

Real-world Customer Complaints

My 2018 Jeep JK has a very annoying no start issue. I only recorded the last one
due to the fact, that is the only exact date I remember. It won’t start for around 15 to 20 minutes. It is very intermittent. The dealer cannot seem to duplicate it when it is in the shop. However after narrowing it down it appears to happen after using the remote start and then you have a short or quick stop, that is to say, you get gas or just go into the store and come right back out. The Jeep will not start you wait 15 to 20 minutes then it starts. This is
a very annoying problem would love to see it fixed.

Risk involved

If the powertrain fails the customer’s vehicle will not start or the vehicle will start and stall immediately afterward or the engine will stall while the vehicle is driving. This problem could cause an accident if the driver unexpectedly experiences a loss of power to the motor. The engine can stall while driving which can result in a crash without prior warning.

Repair Option

All owners and dealers will be notified by Chrysler to replace the problematic powertrain control module at no charge.

Related Documents

Download Recall report:
2018 Voltage regulator Recall Report

Download Remedy Instruction Guide:
2018 Voltage regulator Remedy Guide

2018 Jeep Wrangler Intermediate Steering Shaft Problem

Some 2018 MY Jeep Wrangler vehicles may contain a steering intermediate shaft that has an incomplete high-frequency long seam weld, which may eventually result in a split where the external spline is formed. Only Jeep Wrangler vehicles that were built at Toledo North Assembly Plant (“TNAP”) from January 30, 2018, are affected by this intermediate steering shaft problem. Similar 2018 MY Jeep Wrangler (JL) vehicles are not affected by this recall since they have steering intermediate shafts manufactured by the supplier on a different unaffected production run.

Risk Involved

Under high steering wheel torque, the intermediate shaft may index on the spline, causing the steering wheel to lose center positioning. Emergency maneuvers may result in diminished steering responsiveness, which can cause a vehicle crash without prior warning.

Repair Option

FCA US will conduct a Voluntary Safety Recall inspecting the steering intermediate shaft of the suspect population of vehicles and replace the shaft if necessary.

Related Documents

Download Recall report:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Intermediate Steering shaft Recall Report

Download Remedy Instruction Guide:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Intermediate Steering shaft Remedy Guide

2018 Jeep Wrangler Cruise Control Problem

The cruise control fails to deactivate and maintains its speed or even accelerates despite attempts to disengage it. The risk of a crash is high. When activating the cruise control an electrical short circuit occurs within the vehicles wiring resulting in the driver not being
able to shut off the cruise control. Depressing the brake or manually attempting to turn the system off is unsuccessful. This cruise control problem results in the vehicle either maintaining its speed or even accelerating. This is a major safety hazard.

Risk Involved

In the extremely rare instance of an electrical short in the vehicle causing the CAN-C bus to stop communicating while the cruise control is active, the vehicle will maintain its current speed or possibly accelerate. If the driver does not shift to neutral or apply the brakes to stop the vehicle this condition can cause a vehicle crash without warning.

Repair Options

Chrysler will have notified owners and dealers to inspect and update the software by performing a software flash on the engine or powertrain control module. This service is free of charge. Owners are advised to refrain from using the cruise control until the software update
has been carried out. In the event that the cruise control has been activated and does not want to disengage, drivers are advised to firmly and steadily depress the brakes and shift the transmission into neutral. Once the vehicle has stopped place the transmission in park.

Related Documents

Download Recall report:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Cruise Control Recall Report

Download Remedy Instruction Guide:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Cruise Control Remedy Instruction Guide

2018 Jeep Wrangler Incorrect Transmission Park Rods
Problem

There is a parking problem with certain 2018 MY Jeep Wrangler vehicles. The problematic vehicles were built between 27 February 2018 and April 4, 2018. The vehicles equipped with 850RE transmissions were built with an incorrect park lock rod which may result in the vehicle not being able to achieve PARK. The ability to achieve PARK may cause the vehicle to
unintentionally move and cause injury to vehicle occupants and/or persons outside the vehicle.

The cause of the problem was due to two different park lock rods being used in 8-speed transmissions. One park rod was for cars and one for sport utility vehicles and trucks. The rods differ in geometry by 7.3mm and have different engagement springs. The car and SUV/truck park lock rods are both installed at the FCA Kokomo Transmission Plant (“KTP”)
final assembly station. A process change in the factory caused certain transmissions to be built with incorrect park lock rods.

Risk Involved

Vehicles assembled with the incorrect park lock rod may lose the ability to achieve PARK which could cause the vehicle to unintentionally move. This problem can cause a defective vehicle to crash without prior warning.

Repair Options

FCA US will conduct a Voluntary Safety Recall replacing the park lock rods in affected vehicles.

Related Documents

Download Recall report:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Incorrect Transmission Park Rod Recall Report

Download Remedy Instruction Guide:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Incorrect Transmission Park Rod Remedy Instruction Guide

2018 Jeep Wrangler Left Rear Frame Corrosion Problem

The driver’s side rear underbody ladder rail may have been built with reduced corrosion protection. This problem could affect as many as 100 2018 Jeep Wrangler vehicles. The corrosion problem, which may, in certain circumstances, eventually result in a loose left rear seat mount or reduced strength of the rear floor pan due to premature corrosion. A loose left rear seat mount or reduced strength of the rear floor pan due to corrosion could, during a vehicle crash, allow two of the six attachment fasteners for the left rear seat to not be retained to the floor pan and/or the left rear floor pan structural frame member to buckle, which may increase the risk of injury.

Risk Involved

A loose left rear seat mount or reduced strength of the rear floor pan due to corrosion could, during a vehicle crash, allow two of the six attachment fasteners for the left rear seat to not be
retained to the floor pan and/or the left rear floor pan structural frame member to buckle, which may increase the risk of injury.

Repair Options

FCA US will conduct a Voluntary Safety Recall on all affected vehicles. The remedy for this item is currently under development.

Related Documents

Download Recall report:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Left Rear frame Section Recall Report

Download Remedy Instruction Guide:
2018 Jeep Wrangler Left Rear frame Section Remedy Instruction Guide

Conclusion

The Jeep Wrangler 2018 model seems to have its fair share of steering and handling problems. Most forums and review sites are riddled with complaints of the 2018 Wrangler’s drifting steering, most notably into other lanes on the freeway.

Many owners complain about being unable to maintain a straight line without constant steering correction. Very noticeable at freeway speeds as the vehicle will want to drift left or right immediately after correcting steering.”

As you will discover below as we delve into more detail that there were problems with the welding on the intermediate shaft. This is a very important component since it connects the steering wheel to the steering gearbox. If it fails all steering control is lost and can quickly become life-threatening.

There are very few if any modern vehicles in production that are not riddled with electronics and sensors which govern and control many of the vehicle’s functions. That is not necessarily a bad thing since we need to progress forward and make vehicles safer, cleaner and smarter, however, technology can become dangerous when so much is depending on electronics and it malfunctions. This is the quickest way to make many customers unhappy when they no longer can trust your brand.

There have also been many welding quality complaints where welds are incorrect, badly welded and just sub-standard. Many Owners are throwing their toys out over sub-standard production. If you cannot even trust the structure, how about the rest of the technology built on top of it? Many admit to feeling unimpressed and plane unsafe in their Jeeps.

Jade C.

4-Wheel drives and off-road driving techniques has been my passion for over 20 years. Here we strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, information about the functionality, common faults and latest technology built into most 4 Wheel Drives.

Recent Content

link to 35x12.5R17 vs 315/70R17 – SIZE/WEIGHT/HEIGHT/LOAD Difference

35x12.5R17 vs 315/70R17 – SIZE/WEIGHT/HEIGHT/LOAD Difference

Understanding tire measurements can be very tricky and complicated, especially when tires are similar in size but described using different measurements. There is the metric measurement and the imperial or standard measurements and these can become confusing very quickly. So what is the main difference between 35×12.5R17 vs 315/70R17 tire? The 35” tire represents the […]