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Jeep is Recalling 2018-21 Wranglers and 2020-21 Gladiators With Manual Transmissions for Potential Fire Risk

Jeep will be notifying owners of some Jeep Wranglers and Jeep Gladiators about getting a software update to avoid a possible fire risk.

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Jeep is recalling nearly 43,000 of its popular vehicles because an overheating clutch can trigger a fire risk. The recall only involves vehicles with manual transmissions. Jeep is calling back 2018-2021 Jeep Wranglers and 2020-2021 Jeep Gladiators. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the clutch pressure plate may overheat and fracture.

Jeep issued a similar recall last March but apparently now they have new software to better correct the problem. NHTSA says that if the clutch pressure plate overheats it can break and cause a fire, plus it could force the vehicle to lose power and potentially cause an accident.

The Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Gladiator are both incredibly popular vehicles. The recall affects 36,692 2018-2021 Jeep Wranglers, built from Aug 23, 2017 - Jan 22, 2021. It also involves 6,195 2020-2021 Jeep Gladiators built from Dec 21, 2018 - Jan 22, 2021. Again, the recall only involves vehicles with manual transmissions. Jeep says it is aware of one accident but no injuries related to this problem. Jeep identified approximately seven customer assistance records, six warranty claims, and one field report related to this issue, at least three involved fires.

NHTSA Safety Report

According to the NHTSA Safety Report, “When a pressure plate fractures, it may result in cracks or holes in the transmission case, allowing heated debris to be expelled from the transmission case. Heated debris expelled from the transmission case may come in contact with combustible materials in the vehicle, potentially leading to a fire. A fire can result in increased risk of occupant injury and injury to persons outside the vehicle.”

NHTSA goes on to say that in some cases, the driver may smell a burnt clutch odor prior to the clutch failure.

How Jeep Will Fix the Problem

Jeep and its new parent company Stellantis will conduct a voluntary safety recall on all affected vehicles to add software to reduce engine torque capability when clutch assembly temperatures rise to a level that may damage the inner pressure plate. In other words, if the software detects that the clutch is starting to overheat, it will automatically reduce the engine torque. The fix does not require any new parts, only new software. The recall and repair will be free. The NHTSA campaign number for the recall is 21V028000.

The recall is expected to begin March 19, 2021. Owners may contact Stellantis LLC customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to

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Dean Myslivecek (not verified)    March 9, 2021 - 10:18AM

We have a new Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 6 cyl. Manual Transmission. I have a question: It seems that the software issue will solve the problem but is anyone asking if that it fail to the consumer that purchased a Jeep for the sole purpose of performance (even in tricky clutch performance circumstances such as snow, ice, 4 wheeling, mountain climbing and rock climbing)? It seems that they are creating a handicap in the performance and not compensating the consumer. The fix obviously, is to replace the entire clutch assembly that can handle the torque from the Motor and Transmission, right?

Danalee Potter (not verified)    January 20, 2023 - 11:44AM

In reply to by Dean Myslivecek (not verified)

Hi Dean: Are you the same Dean Myslivecek who has joined teams with several other Jeep owners to file a class action lawsuit? I am a member of a Facebook Jeep group for the same issue. I've created a spreadsheet to document every members clutch issues related to the failed recall and we have a lot of members who have been "shafted" by Jeep and had to pay out of pocket expenses after the clutch plate overheated and exploded through the transmission and bellhousing (myself included). I'd love to hear from you using the link provided above for the FB group title Jeep clutch recall.

Roger D Kendall (not verified)    March 11, 2021 - 10:39PM

The fix is to "DETUNE" the engine thru the "POWERTRAIN CONTROL MODULE" to put out less HP & TQ from the engine. With no "sensors" to monitor heat from a manual transmission, and its components', ie, pressure plate, flywheel, etc. makes me wonder when they state: when temperatures get to hot, the amount of torque will be reduced??? The only way is to "DETUNE THE ENGINES HP & AND HENSE TQ OUTPUT"

Peter (not verified)    March 13, 2021 - 2:01PM

This is beyond ridicules!!! I just came out of the dealer for the 3rd time with my 2020 Gladiator Rubicon and they never were able to take care of the problem. Today I was told that there is another safety recall Y07 coming up (safety recall!!!)! So they don't care about giving us what we payed for (performance). They care about safety so they don't end up in court. Such businesses are no different from criminals, who rubs people. Jeep is already under TQ now they want to reduce it more!!! What happened using the proper materials and make quality parts, or after we pay arm and a leg for the car, if we want it to work we should go to after market industry and literally build a new car with after market parts!!! Clutch, one of the olds parts in the car industry, whatever hell is the name of this company this days, they don't know how to make a clutch!
I suggest to Jeep manual transmission community from all over the country that we take whatever long drive it might be, and drop our Jeeps, in front of their main office whatever where that is, and sue them not only for money back, but for all the aggravation they are making us go through.

Roger D Kendall (not verified)    March 13, 2021 - 3:14PM

In reply to by Peter (not verified)

Hey Manual Jeep guy's & gal's. Went snooping around to find a "CENTERFORCE CLUTCH" for the 2108 + Jeeps, they seem to be sold out at some places??????? Wonder if people are buying to replace the stock components'???
FYI. For if Jeep does not fix the real issue (pressure plate, etc), that is probable the route I will go. Take care!

Trekjl (not verified)    May 30, 2021 - 12:32PM

I want to thank the frustrated Jeep community for saving me some time. My 6spd 2018 wrangler came right off the showroom floor at Williams Bros in Mich. Unfortunately the Perfect purchase experience I had driving it off the floor, Is gone. Allowing me to take it overnight before signing, Cassandra made the paperwork easy...I was stoked!

Now I'm spending valuable time researching ways to repair or replace the Several faulty "design flaws" my Jeep has had after first 5K miles:

Clutch smells burnt: No visual checks, no remedy.
Radio goes dead, power returns in 12-24 hours, volume and other controls freeze up, dealer allegedly replaced with new.. It does the same @%#$$*! thing!
Steering dampner (replaced 2x) running on third.
Rear axle gear broke a tooth. Replaced.
Loud auxiliary fan. Tech says its loud, but no replacement necessary??! Hmmm

So 7 stressful dealer drop offs, too many 20min jeepcare calls, reading lawsuits and recall articles... I am beyond "Unsatisfied" with Jeep.

Here's an idea Jeep...Just give us a cash refund on the radios and let us buy a stable replacement. One that has been engineered and tested for reliability. Keep paying complaint receptionists instead of research testing.
; < realizing more time wasted.