- Fiat Chrysler is temporarily stopping sales of the popular Jeep Gladiator pickup truck because of a manufacturing defect.
- Certain models built between December and June may have a driveshaft joint that was built without the proper grease, NHTSA reported.
- If the joint fails due to friction, it could cause a fracture that could lead to a crash.
Jeep's hot-selling and long-awaited Gladiator pickup truck has been on sale for just a handful of months, but it's already being recalled for a serious flaw. The recall, which was first reported by Jalopnik, is for driveshafts that were somehow manufactured without the requisite grease to keep them lubricated and has resulted in a temporary stop-sale of affected Gladiator models.
According to the recall report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the affected vehicles "may have a rear driveshaft that was assembled without grease in the monoblock joint portion of the driveshaft."
The safety concern here is due to the driveshaft's constant velocity joint, which, without the proper grease, might overheat, seize, and fracture.
"A fractured rear driveshaft could separate, which may result in loss of motive power, if the vehicle is in rear-wheel-drive mode, or potential road debris, if the driveshaft completely separates from the vehicle," NHTSA's report said. "Either condition can cause a vehicle crash without prior warning."
Luckily, only 3427 vehicles are impacted by the recall; owners of Gladiator models built between December 15 and June 25 should enter their Jeep's VIN into NHTSA's recall website to see if it is one of them. NHTSA's report indicates that Fiat Chrysler will be notifying owners on October 18 and inviting them into their local dealership for the repair, which will involve swapping the driveshaft and its CV joint for one that has been verified to be assembled with the correct amount of grease.
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