Two Fiat Chrysler brands have recall homework to do on three models. Dodge is recalling 139,019 Durangos from the 2021 to 2023 model years over rear spoilers that in very rare cases could come loose and detach from the vehicle. Jeep is recalling 58,082 units of the 2018-2023 Wrangler and 14,119 units of the 2020-2023 Gladiator over clutch intermediate pressure plates in manual transmissions that could overheat and crack.
Starting with Dodge, it's possible that Durango SUVs built from October 24.2020 until February 16, 2023 could have had their hatch spoilers built "over-flush to the roof." If these instances, the spoiler can come into contact with the roof when lifting the tailgate. Repeated instances could end up causing the spoiler to work itself loose. Owners might recognize the situation by a strange noise when using the hatch, or the spoiler rattling when the vehicle's moving. In the worst case, wind at speed could wrench a loose spoiler off the Durango, causing a danger to other road users.
Dodge says it knows of no injuries or accidents related to the situation. The fix is a trip to the dealer to have the spoiler inspected and replaced if necessary. Letters to owners will begin going out April 14.
Over at Jeep, engineers had to stop shipping Wranglers and Gladiators equipped with manual transmissions in February because it seems a previous recall didn't get fully remedied. In 2020, Jeep recalled six-speed manual Wranglers and Gladiators because their clutch pressure plates can overheat and fracture. Since the pressure plate rotates with the flywheel, cracks can cause high-speed debris to tear through and potentially out of the transmission, the hot debris then able to start a fire. In early 2021, the recall widened. The automaker's fix that same year was to have a dealer technician "add software to reduce engine torque capability when the clutch assembly temperatures rise to a level that may damage the inner pressure plate."
It appears the solution wasn't enough. At the beginning of this year, FCA investigators detected "a potential trend of vehicle fires related to failed clutch assemblies" in models built after the 2021 recall fix. So the initial recall population of 33,237 units has expanded to 69,201 units. The automaker says it knows of no accidents but one injury related to the situation.
It shouldn't be surprising to hear Jeep is still working on a remedy which the previously recalled models will also receive. Letters to owners will go out starting on April 14.
Until then, owners of all of these vehicles can contact Fiat Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403. Durango owners should mention internal recall number 20A, Jeep owners should mention internal recall number 19A. They can also get in touch with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 (TTY 800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov and refer to campaign number 23V115000 for the Durango, 23V116000 for the Wrangler and Gladiator.
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