And now there's a stop-sale order.
The Jeep Gladiator has been a massive sales success for Fiat Chrysler, along with the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. All three off-roaders make up a significant chunk of the brand's sales, so any disruption is not good. Unfortunately, there's a problem that involves the automaker issuing a stop-sale order for certain 2020 Gladiators. FCA filed documents last week with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that will see the recall of 3,427 Gladiators due to defective rear driveshafts.
Apparently, there's a possibility those driveshafts can fracture because they were somehow manufactured without the necessary grease to keep them lubricated. The NHTSA states that the affected Gladiators "may have a rear driveshaft that was assembled without grease in the monoblock joint portion of the driveshaft."
Without the grease, the driveshaft could overheat 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 claims. "Either condition can cause a vehicle crash without prior warning." The affected Gladiators were manufactured between December 15, 2018 and June 25, 2019 and owners will be notified beginning on October 18. Affected Gladiators still sitting on dealership lots have been issued a stop-sale order for now. The repair will involve swapping out the driveshaft and its CV joint for a new one that's been built with the necessary amount of grease.
FCA discovered the problem last June when it took in four driveshafts from warranty repairs and then sent them to the supplier for further analysis. The good news is that the automaker is not aware of any related crashes or injuries despite having six warranty claims. Gladiator owners should also check their Jeep's VIN on the NHTSA recall site. Any unusual vibrations may indicate their Gladiator is on this list.