Most Of That Will Buff Right Out
The H1N1-like defect bug that has recently been making the rounds with BMW, Toyota, Honda and Subaru may have unfortunately now infected the Jeep Wrangler. But if you drive a Wrangler, don’t be alarmed just yet, this is still in the investigation stage. That is unless you find yourself ankle deep in hot transmission fluid; then be very alarmed.
Not only is having a Jeep wet itself all over your new Dockers a real bummer, but the REAL danger is that this ejected fluid could cause the vehicle to catch fire. Yep, that ‘ole chestnut. Where is Ralph Nader when you need him? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to begin its investigation last week after three Wrangler owners complained about the same issue. All of the complaints thus far have involved the overheating of the transmission of 2007 and 2008 models. That may sound like too large of a pool of vehicles, until you remember that this is Jeep and not Saturn, and roughly 220,000 vehicles are potentially at risk. Automatic transmissions may be more susceptible to this problem, though the exact defect has not be clearly defined yet.
Despite the nearly week long investigation, Chrysler stated that it is only aware of a small number of alleged fires in China involving the Wrangler but not any U.S. cases. In one account, an owner said that he was alerted to a potential issue when fluid spilled onto the catalytic converter causing significant smoke. None of the reported incidents have caused injuries, and the automaker is working with regulators in the United States and China on the issue.
A previous Wrangler recall was issued last year that involved 62,000 vehicles from the 2007 model year, for a failing electrical part that could cause engine stalling. Ironically, Chrysler took home top honors in the “Most Improved” category of J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality Study.