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


2020 Jeep Compass

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.

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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.

Problems with the Electrical System

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.

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.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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