by Matt Konkle
Quadratec Channel Editor
It is a somewhat tough time to be a truck these days in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lineup.
First, the automaker recently added nearly 700,000 Dodge Ram vehicles to an ongoing power tailgate recall that has already swept up over 1.5 million 1500, 2500 and 3500 model pickup trucks.
And now comes word that FCA this week filed notice with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalling 3,427 Jeep Gladiator trucks for a potentially serious rear driveshaft issue.
According to documents filed Tuesday with the NHTSA, the recall will cover Gladiators built between December 15, 2018 and June 25 of this year, although FCA stressed the estimated number of trucks with a defect is only about five percent of that nearly 3,500 segment. Still, because of the seriousness of this recall, FCA also issued a stop sale on Gladiators built during this time frame until the problem has been resolved.
FCA said in the filing document that Gladiators involved in this recall may experience rear driveshaft failure because they were installed without any grease in the constant velocity (CV) joint portion of the shaft. This could cause the joint to overheat and seize, resulting in driveshaft fracture that would eliminate power and could separate the shaft from the vehicle—posing risks not only for the Gladiator driver, but for those around as well.
Any affected owners would notice driveline noise or vibration before that failure, FCA said.
The company reported in its NTHSA filing that it first noticed the grease error earlier this year, when four driveshafts arrived back under warranty and were sent to the supplier for analysis. FCA also noted it is not aware of any injuries or crashes related to the issue, but that it’s had six overall warranty claims. FCA reported that trucks not included in the recall were found through supplier records to have been built containing grease.
For those affected by this recall, FCA said it will replace the driveshafts under warranty, and any owners who have paid for work related to the problem will be reimbursed. The plan is to begin notifying owners on October 18.
The Gladiator debuted in late 2018 and is the first production Jeep pickup since 1992. As of June, FCA said is has sold 7,252 Gladiators in the United States so far in 2019.
FCA’s next quarterly sales report is due at the end of September.