Jeep Wrangler is no stranger to awards, bestowed with Best Resale Value by Kelley Blue Book and other notable honorifics since the model debuted in the mid-1980s. But what may be the automaker's most iconic model has been the recipient of numerous recalls in 2018, some of which involve corrosion adversely affecting performance and safety.
"Six recalls are in effect for the Jeep Wrangler."
Since April, no fewer than six recalls were ordered either by Jeep or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For instance, in early spring, Fiat-Chrysler announced it was recalling certain Wrangler automobiles due to the possibility that the left rear frame section of the model could corrode prematurely. As a result, seat mounts may loosen, causing potential injury to motorists.
Fiat-Chrysler has since notified owners of the corrosion problem, advising them to bring their vehicles to their nearest dealerships so the proper fixes can be implemented free of charge.
Less than a month later, however, Fiat-Chrysler and NHTSA announced they were recalling several additional Wranglers – as well as Grand Cherokees and RAM 1500 models – due to incorrect transmission lock rods installed in engines. Owners were informed officially in June, but the alert was first reported in May. As with the previous recall, motorists can take their vehicles in to shops to get the flawed parts replaced.
Latest Jeep Wrangler recall reported in September
But the recall onslaught has yet to abate for the Wrangler, the latest one related to how corrosion may affect the model's body.
As posted in the JL Wrangler Forum, Fiat-Chrysler says it will be getting in touch with 2018-19 model year owners, letting them know that the welds used on the front bar brackets of certain Wranglers are improperly aligned and may cause the frame to separate without notice. Should this transpire, automatic steering systems may malfunction, potentially leading to an accident.
Fiat Chrysler says it's taking this action out of an abundance of caution, noting that it's unaware of any crashes transpiring as a result of the manufacturing flaw, CNET reported.
Other Wrangler recalls ordered by the automaker and the safety agency include those related to malfunctioning cruise control – which could prevent motorists from turning it off once engaged – and flawed voltage regulator chips impacting powertrain control modules. The respective recalls were announced by NHTSA in May and August.
Over 49,000 Mazda6 vehicles due for recall
While the Wrangler recalls weren't all related to corrosion, premature rusting has affected other major auto manufacturer models over the past year. As reported by CarBuzz, Mazda is working with the NHTSA to recall approximately 49,000 Mazda 6 sedans due to corrosion affecting the structural integrity of certain components. The problematic models are believed to be confined to 22 states located in the East and Midwest.
Corrosion is caused by a variety of factors and can be especially problematic when temperatures fall and road salt gets used, supplying streets with greater traction. The automaker attributes the corrosion issue to Mazda6 subframes being susceptible to the ill effects of road salt, CarBuzz reported.
Corrosion test chambers may be the best way for carmakers to identify rust formation so the appropriate applications can be implemented before they're sold. According to the American Automobile Association, de-icers result in vehicle repairs that cost motorsts an estimated $3 billion per year.