2020 Jeep Gladiator Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, electrical, brake, transmission and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Enthusiasts anxiously awaited the arrival of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. After all, this first Jeep truck was supposed to be a pioneer in the industry. Even the automaker claims it is “Erasing Boundaries.” Still, it didn’t take long for those same enthusiasts to turn on the brand. Once this truck started exhibiting signs of having malfunctioning steering, a faulty powertrain and defective engine design, it became evident that the company was erasing the wrong boundaries.

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Problems with the Steering

No one drives a Jeep and expects to have the same steering as a car. In fact, the automaker is known for its unique ride qualities, so it’s safe to assume that the Gladiator might have the same feel. Yet, owners found the 2020 Jeep Gladiator extremely difficult to steer, more so than the previous Jeep models.

One NHTSA complaint states, “The Jeep wanders at highway speeds without moving the steering wheel. I have to constantly make corrections just to stay in my lane and out of other lanes of traffic. Seems super squirrely when there are higher winds. Also, there seems to be a lot of play in the steering wheel meaning that I can turn the wheel an inch/inch and a half and the truck will not respond while driving at say 45 mph. Not a very fun driving experience especially on longer trips. Wife refuses to drive it. I’ve heard of other people having the same problems and complaining to dealerships, but dealerships say, ‘It’s a Jeep and it’s supposed to drive this way.’ Very unsafe and it’ll be a shame when people start dying from this issue because FCA didn’t want to fix this.”

Because this model is relatively new, there isn’t a lot of service bulletins issued yet. At this time, the company has little to say about the steering issues. Still, other Jeep models have suffered greatly from steering and control issues. The coined term has been known as the Jeep death wobble. It will be interesting to see if the Gladiator has any complaints that relate to the same problem as time goes on. The company needed to issue a recall because of the death wobble and we might likely see recalls for the steering issues of the Gladiator as well. Unless, the company is looking to counteract the overactive steering of other models, but having this truck drive like a brick, which is just as dangerous. It seems they might be overcompensating for their previous disasters.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Steering Problems

MY 2020 JEEP GLADIATOR REQUIRES CONSTANT MICRO CORRECTIONS FROM 35 MPH AND ABOVE, EVEN MORE NOTICEABLE AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS OF 50+. APROX 1 INCH OR MORE DEAD SPOT IN STEERING BEFORE I GET A REACTION TO THE WHEELS. I SCHEDULED A SERVICE APPOINTMENT FOR 12/9 AND FROM WHAT I HAVE BEEN TOLD MY DEALER IS THAT JEEP HAS NO FIX FOR THIS PROBLEM , THEY HAVE FILED A CASE WITH FCA. I PERSONALLY WANTED IT DOCUMENTED WITH THE NHTSA, TO FORCE FCA TO FIX THIS PROBLEM, BEFORE SOME ONE IS SERIOUSLY INJURED OR KILLED . VEHICLE CURRENTLY ONLY HAS 1500 MILES. UNACCEPTABLE FOR A $45K+ VEHICLE

STEERING IS LOOSE. NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED EVERY 2-3 SECONDS AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS. WINDY CONDITIONS MUCH WORSE. NOT SAFE TO DRIVE. NOT FUN TO DRIVE. CONTINUALLY WANDERS. VEHICLE TWO WEEKS OLD. FACTORY STOCK.

LOOSE STEERING, THERE IS A DEAD SPOT IN THE STEERING WHERE YOU HAVE TO CONTINUALLY SELF CORRECT TO STAY IN A STRAIGHT LINE.

MY GLADIATOR NEEDS CONSTANT STEERING CORRECTION TO GO STRAIGHT. STEERING IS LOOSE AND THE GLADIATOR IS CONSTANTLY WANDERING RIGHT TO LEFT.

STEERING DRIFTS, REQUIRING CONSTANT CORRECTIONS. THE VEHICLE DRIFTS RIGHT AND LEFT AT ROAD SPEEDS (HIGHWAY AND CITY ROADS) I HAVE ALREADY HAD ONE ?NEAR MISS?. THIS IS A PUBLIC DANGER.

Problems with the Transmission

Looking at the powertrain on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, we see just as many issues, if not more.

Just look at the incident that occurred, which is documented on the NHTSA website. It states, “Driving on Interstate 70 with approximate speed of 65 mph. Caught on fire. Flames and lots of smoke coming from under Jeep. Smoke entered cab. What I think is transmission fluid left train on Interstate. I have photo.”

Here it is apparent that a transmission problem led to a leak and a fire. This is a scary situation, but not the only powertrain problem plaguing the Gladiator. In fact, besides being a new model, this truck already has a powertrain-related recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V636000 illustrates how the rear driveshaft might not have been assembled correctly and doesn’t contain grease in the monoblock joint. If this escalates and leads to problems, owners might not be able to move the vehicle. Jeep has to replace the driveshafts in their new vehicles simply because they forgot to include grease. How does a company fail to put grease in such a valuable component? Maybe the automaker was too focused on all of the recent lawsuits around other models that it failed to pay attention to the construction of this truck. That means there are probably issues leading to further lawsuits with the Gladiator. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes evident that other vital parts or systems are flawed.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Transmission Problems

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2020 JEEP GLADIATOR. WHEN THE CONTACT ATTEMPTED TO ENGAGE THE SELECT SPEED CONTROL, THE VEHICLE MADE A METAL TO METAL GRINDING NOISE COMING FROM THE FRONT DRIVER’S SIDE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE FAILURE OCCURRED TWICE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT TAKEN TO THE DEALER FOR DIAGNOSTIC TESTING. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,500.

Problems with the Engine

The motor is arguably the most important part of any vehicle. It must have enough power and be durable enough to last. Yet, the Gladiator is already revealing engine troubles.

Just read this enlightening complaint on the NHTSA website. “While driving for about an hour, doesn’t matter what speed it is, all of the sudden there is hot air coming in from the front feet space by the pedals, you can feel it in passenger side also. (AC is on and blowing cold air and the recirculate button is on) upper vent blows cold air while this happens. I had taken it to dealership to take a look at it but the computer doesn’t show anything so it has not been fixed. In all the years I have owned other vehicles I had never experienced anything like this so this is not normal and very uncomfortable when you are wearing open toe shoes. I asked dealership to drive is so they can experience so they will take a look at it again when the other recall part comes in.”

In this instance, it appears Jeep was right when they labeled the Gladiator as Erasing Boundaries. Instead of creating an effective barrier between the engine heat and the interior cabin, the company decided to erase some of that boundary. Meanwhile, drivers are left with scalding hot feet. In other engine news, Service Bulletin #04-001-19 tells technicians to double-check the oil fill level after performing an oil change. These are the same technicians working on the Jeep vehicles. Let that sink in for a minute to help you understand the caliber of people working at Jeep dealerships.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Engine Problems

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2020 JEEP GLADIATOR. WHILE DRIVING APPROXIMATELY 65 MPH, THE FLOOR PANEL ON THE FRONT DRIVER’S SIDE BECAME SO HOT THAT IT BURNED THE BOTTOM OF THE DRIVER’S FOOT. THE CARPET ON THE FLOOR PANEL WAS REMOVED AND THERE WAS A WARNING NOT TO REMOVE THE CARPET BECAUSE THE EXHAUST SYSTEM RUNS UNDER THAT SIDE OF THE VEHICLE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE WARNING LABEL WAS NOT VISIBLE UNLESS THE CARPET WAS REMOVED. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO LITHIA JEEP DODGE WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE VEHICLE WAS PERFORMING ACCORDING TO STANDARDS. THE MANUFACTURER WAS CONTACTED VIA EMAIL. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 3,000.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

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