2013 Jeep WranglerEnlarge Photo
Chrysler is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2012 and 2013 model year Jeep Wrangler SUVs for potential transmission fluid leaks.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall at 180,131. Affected vehicles were equipped with a 3.6-liter engine and an automatic transmission and were built from the 2012 model year start of production January 23, 2011 through February 23, 2013.
The 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Altitude EditionEnlarge Photo
The NHTSA bulletin and documentation from Chrysler (PDF) describe the problem as a condition where the power steering return line contacts and wears a hole in the aluminum transmission oil cooler line. Such a condition can result in a loss of transmission fluid, which may cause transmission damage and loss of function.
Chrysler discovered the problem in August 2012 in a durability vehicle that exhibited a complete loss of transmission fluid at cycle 248 out of 250. It was determined that the power steering return line being in hard contact with the transmission oil cooler line was responsible for the transmission fluid loss.
The power steering return line was redesigned and a heat sleeve was also added to the transmission oil cooler line.
The automaker said it had received 81 reports of problems, including two field reports, but is not aware of any accidents, injuries, fires or property damage potentially related to this issue.
What Chrysler will do
Chrysler will notify owners of 2013 and 2013 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and dealers will replace the power steering return tube assembly. In addition, the transmission oil cooler lines will be inspected and will either have a protective sleeve added or the transmission oil cooler lines will be replaced on all affected vehicles. The service will be performed at no charge.
The Chrysler safety recall campaign, identified as No. N28 is expected to begin in July 2013. In the meantime, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign with any questions or concerns may contact Chrysler at 1-800=247-9753.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V234000.