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

Engine, electrical system and forward collision avoidance issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2020 Jeep Compass is meant to be as popular as the iconic lineup from the automaker. This SUV claims that “first impressions matter,” but any initial reports are negative. It turns out that this model suffers from a defective engine, a malfunctioning electrical system and trouble with the forward collision avoidance.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Engine

The engine is by far the most important component of any functional SUV. Without a properly running motor, the ride is anything but smooth.

That’s what is seen with this NHTSA review. “My 2020 Compass stalls while driving on the street and freeway and while turning. I have had this happen 6 or 7 times and one time a guy slammed on his brakes and swerved around me so he didn’t hit me. I took it to the dealer 2 times and it’s been in the shop for 25 days and I provided video proof of the issue and the dealer said if they don’t see it they won’t do anything.  The car keeps getting different Check Engine codes and they just clear them. There is obviously an issue the dealer won’t verify driving the car two miles. There is clearly an electrical issue.”

Jeep isn’t doing anything to hide engine concerns. Even Service Bulletin #09-004-19 talks about an engine vibration noise and feeling while shifting into gear. To correct this problem, the technician must replace an engine mount. So far, customers’ first impressions are noises coming from the engine and a trip to the dealership for repair. The Compass takes a step in the wrong direction.

2020 Jeep Compass Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Service Brakes
Vehicle Speed Control
Fuel/propulsion System
Engine And Engine Cooling

Electrical System Problems

The electrical aspect of any modern vehicle is also vital to its proper function. Yet, the Compass is struggling to get this area right either.

Here’s another NHTSA complaint worth reading. “Vehicle has shut off while driving on two occasions. Both times I had slowed to a stop and when I hit the gas to reaccelerate at a green light the car shut off. The infotainment screens remained on and the lights on the shift knob started to blink. I had to put the car into Park, turn it off and restart it all while sitting at an intersection. It was not a quick process. The car has an idle feature to save on gas, however this was not the feature in action the car was off completely.”

Jeep can’t seem to manufacture a solid SUV that works the way it’s intended. While not an electrical system issue, there is a recall that proves the company can’t get the basics down. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V208000 states that the windshield wipers might not operate correctly in more than 425,000 vehicles. The situation comes down to a windshield wiper arm defect that can allow the wipers to loosen. If owners can’t use their wipers during inclement weather, there is a serious safety concern to worry about. Guess customers won’t have to worry about the impression made since they can’t see anything anyway.

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Problems with the Forward Collision Avoidance

Advanced systems in modern vehicles require a lot of precision, but there is also a lot that can go wrong. That’s what we see with the forward collision avoidance in the Compass.

One more NHTSA review states, “The contact owns a 2020 Jeep Compass. The contact stated while driving 40 mph, the Forward Collision Avoidance system failed function as designed. The contact stated that the speed was not reduced neither was there a warning of stopped vehicles ahead. The contact depressed the brake pedal and stopped the vehicle. The Forward Collision Avoidance system was reset and the vehicle operated as designed. The contact stated that the failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to [dealership] where the contact was informed that the vehicle operated as intended. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was contacted and informed of the failure. The contact was informed that the Forward Collision Avoidance system front sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 600.”

Of all the concerns listed with the Compass, this one features no response from the automaker. Instead, drivers are left making their own first impressions on the other people on the road. Hopefully, that first impression doesn’t come by rear-ending the car in front.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Jeep pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • james

    I have a 2020 Jeep Compass and the sway bar went out on it. It only has 21,000 plus miles.

  • David G

    Battery died after one week of ownership of a new vehicle Jeep compass 2022
    Disable the auto shut off feature to save on battery power steering wheel locked up almost caused a major catastrophe scared to drive this vehicle.

  • Netta V

    I have taken my Jeep Compass Trailblazer to the dealership i pur gased it from. But was told to take it to Jeep. I’ve been to Jeep twice and called my advisor once, explaining this issue im having. The vehicle acts like it is going to stall. It jerks when I’m driving at a low dpeed or taken off from a light. The 1st rime I was told it was my tires. I didn’t understand that, but purchased the tires. I drove it for a week, called the advisor and left a voice mail that the vehicle was still doing the same thing. was told Carfax is only showing tires purchased for the vehicle. There’s nothing showing on my car history regarding issues reported. My plan is to sell the vehicle back to dealership.

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