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Sales of Jeep Gladiator Halted Over Driveshaft Problem

It’s not all that surprising when a wholly new model is launched for it to suffer from some early glitches, and Jeep’s highly touted new pickup has not been spared the growing pains, it appears.

Temporarily, there will be no further sales of the new Jeep Gladiator. Jeep has issued a stop-sale order it, meaning that no new Gladiator pickups will leave dealerships in the possession of new owners until a potential issue with its driveshaft has been rectified.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is also issuing a recall of 3,427 Gladiators already out on the road. According to recall documents posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the company believes that 5% of the pickups produced to date may have left the assembly plant without grease in the monoblock joint section of the driveshaft.

The absence of grease could result in the driveshaft’s constant velocity joint overheating and possibly seizing up. That could end with structural failure and an unplanned switch to FWD mode. The Gladiator models affected were assembled between 15 December 2018 and 25 June 2019.

Photo: D.Heyman

The problem first came to light in June of this year, when four Gladiators were brought back to their dealerships for repairs. FCA says it is not aware of any accidents or injuries arising from the issue. It did provide this warning to owners:

“Some customers may experience a noise or vibration prior to the driveshaft fracturing.”

- FCA statement

Jeep dealerships have in hand a list of VINs of vehicles suspected of having the driveshaft problem and will be able to fix models still in their inventories prior to selling them. A recall notice will address the Gladiators already in the possession of buyers.

In the United States, Jeep has sold a little over 7,200 units of the all-new Gladiator since the beginning of the year. At this point, it is not known if any models in Canada are part of the recall campaign.

Our review of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator