When you’re buying a Wrangler, Jeep offers plenty of warranties built into the cost of the vehicle. As far as the corrosion warranty is concerned, painted outer body sheet metal panels are covered for five years while the term for unpainted sheet metal panels is three years.
Be that as it may, four plaintiffs have filed a class action lawsuit against Jeep for premature corrosion of the aluminum body panels on their JL/JLU Wrangler and JT Gladiator vehicles. The Orozco et al v. FCA US, LLC class action lawsuit was filed on December 3rd with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan according to the Justia legal platform. The plaintiffs argue that Jeep was aware of the aluminum corrosion and paint issues for many years now, having issued a technical service bulletin in March 2018. According to TSB 31-001-18, authorized retails had to inspect and – if necessary – remove corrosion and refinish the suspect aluminum hood, doors, or liftgate panel. Adding insult to injury, the service bulletin was revised to include the fenders of the 2018 to 2019 model year Wrangler JL and JLU. A third revision was issued in November 2018, recommending the replacement of the affected aluminum panel for severe pitting that can't be removed with sandpaper. But wait because we’re just getting started here! Fiat Chrysler Automobiles then issued TSB 31-001-19 in July 2019, expanding the population of vehicles beyond those sold in North America. TSB 31-002-20 followed suit in October 2020, adding the 2020 to 2021 model year Jeep Wrangler and the 2020 to 2021 Jeep Gladiator mid-size pickup. The plaintiffs note that FCA’s corrosion warranty only applies if the body panel becomes perforated due to corrosion, a warranty that covers the cost of parts and labor needed to repair or replace any sheet metal panels that get holes from rust or other corrosion. There is, however, a problem with that. The plaintiffs correctly present this extended warranty coverage as a “sham” because “it is widely known that aluminum body panels do not perforate from corrosion. Accordingly, the extended warranty coverage provided by FCA was – in and of itself – misleading, deceptive and – at best – illusory.”
The warranty procedures allegedly do not correct the corrosions problems experienced by Wrangler and Gladiator owners, and, in turn, Fiat Chrysler does not address the loss of value that occurs from repainting these Jeeps.