Fiat Chrysler is getting ready to issue a recall on their Jeep Wrangler JL thanks to some faulty welding.
For months, owners of newer-model Jeep Wrangler JLs have been complaining about poorly-done frame welds. Pictures abound on the JL Wrangler Forums showing welds in the wrong spot, welds with holes and air pockets, or welds that have already begun to show signs of corrosion.
As Jalopnik explains, these faulty welds are a serious problem. For many Wrangler owners, welds this bad are causing the track brackets to completely fail and come detached from the frame. Just take a look at this video from 2018 Wrangler JL Unlimited Rubicon owner Bret Stevens showing the front right tracking bracket and how it doesn’t seem to be touching much of anything when he turns the wheel.
That’s bad. This weld failure happened while he was getting onto the highway and required him to have his steering set 45-degrees to the left just to remain straight. He managed to get home without incident, but his story is not a fluke. There are tons of similar stories on the JL Wrangler Forums (and compiled by Jalopnik).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a JL Wrangler Forum user located an internal FCA document that seems to indicate an impending recall in the fourth quarter of October. FCA says this will be a voluntary recall, but you should really get this checked out if you happen to own a 2018 or 2019 Wrangler JL.
According to FCA, the consequences of not getting this weld fixed could result in a “reduction of steering” and increase the possibility of a "crash without prior warning."
FCA estimates that about 18,000 Wranglers are affected by the recall, and of those, 4% have faulty welds (or roughly 780 Jeeps). Fiat Chrysler will inspect each Jeep and repair the faulty welds at no cost to the consumer. There have so far been no reported accidents or injuries, but Bret’s story is plenty scary enough that we don’t think you need to hear about an accident to know that one could absolutely happen.
Wrangler owners should stay tuned for the official word from FCA.