Consumers looking to buy a 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup may have to wait. Parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a recall for the popular new model and told dealers to stop selling certain Gladiators until a fix can be made on the rear driveshaft.
On Sept. 5, FCA issued a voluntary recall for 2020 Jeep Gladiators built from Dec. 15, 2018 through June 25, 2019 and told dealers to stop selling them. These vehicles may have a part in the rear driveshaft that was assembled without grease. Even though it sounds minor and only covers 3,427 Gladiators, a monoblock joint in the driveshaft made without grease can overheat and seize, causing the rear driveshaft to fracture. A fractured driveshaft can cause the truck to lose power or the driveshaft can separate from the vehicle creating road debris. Both eventualities could be very bad for the driver and surrounding vehicles. Six warranty claims have been made so far, according to FCA paperwork filed to the NHSTA on Sept. 10.
Current owners will be notified by Oct. 18, and Jeep will fix the driveshaft at no charge.
Dealers tempted to sell the new Gladiator, which is reportedly getting markups of thousands of dollars over the manufacturer's suggested retail price, could face steep charges. If dealers continue to sell the affected Gladiators after the stop-sale order, they’ll have to pay to the feds up to $21,000 for each affected vehicle.
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a top draw for dealers. It has a base price of $35,040 including destination, a fully loaded Rubicon reaches about $65,000, and consumers pay about $56,000 on average.
Owners can call FCA at 1-800-853-1403, or enter their VINs at the NHTSA site to learn if their trucks are affected by the recall.