Unexpected engine shutoffs sit at the heart of the voluntary recall.
Every Jeep Wrangler 4xe produced between September 2, 2020 and August 17, 2022 is facing a recall related to the vehicle’s powertrain software, according to a filing from NHTSA and FCA from late November.
The hybridized off-roader is being recalled because it may experience a complete engine shut-off due to a loss of communication between the Transmission Control Module, Hybrid Control Processor, and Auxiliary Hybrid Control Processor. As of November 3, Jeep had become aware of 112 customer assistance records, 196 warranty claims, and 65 field reports that are potentially related to this software issue found in the Wrangler 4xe’s hybrid powertrain.
The powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to two electric motors and a 17.3 kWh battery pack. The system provides 20 miles of all-electric driving range, as well as a stout 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. NHTSA notes that these 4xe engine shutdowns can quickly result in a crash, as drivers receive no warnings or signs ahead of the loss of power. These shutdowns can happen while the vehicle is at speed, which naturally presents an injury risk to others on the roadway as well.
Jeep is aware of two accidents and one injury potentially to the fault at this time. Despite the continued possibility of injury, Jeep itself has not issued a stop-driving notice related to the Wrangler 4xe at this time. The automaker states that 62,909 SUVs are impacted by the issue. Vehicles built after August 17, 2022 are not affected, as those 2023 MY products have already received updated vehicle control software.
The solution to this issue involves an updated calibration for the aforementioned Transmission Control Module, Hybrid Control Processor and Auxiliary Hybrid Control Processor. According to documents listed with the recall, this software solution has not yet been completed. Jeep will begin reaching out to dealers and customers alike on January 12, 2023 with more information related to the necessary service appointment. Following company tradition, customers who have already brought their vehicles in for a service appointment related to this fault will be issued a refund with validation of that prior appointment.
If you happen to own one of these 4x4s, be sure to be careful out there while you wait for more information.