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

Electrical, transmission and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2020 Jeep Renegade is an SUV that’s meant for adventures. The automaker claims that the newest models offer “fun on four wheels.” On the other hand, customers seem to spend all their time at the dealership dealing with a failing electrical system, a malfunctioning engine, a defective powertrain and bad service brakes.

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Problems with the Electrical System

As one of the top automakers, everyone expects this Renegade to have a reliable electrical system, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

One Edmunds review states:

“This 2020 Jeep Renegade that I purchased with 11 miles. I was never told that this vehicle needed a software upgrade when I purchased it. This vehicle would not turn off during the first 30 days of me having the vehicle. The start button was like jelly. The windows on the vehicle there’s air in the windows the car uses a lot of gas. The vehicle also drives very roughly. I was told when I took the vehicle in that in order for me to be comfortable I would have to undo the battery wait 5 minutes and then I could probably start the car at that point in time.

And we must remember this was a brand new car a 2020 with 11 miles on it when I purchased it I am not a happy customer. So when my attorneys try to get Chrysler to do the buyback they refuse to do that. So they did do the software upgrade and they told me that if and when it happens again bring it back. …I am driving a vehicle that I am not comfortable with and making large payments this is unacceptable. I will never own another Chrysler Jeep Dodge or Fiat vehicle in my life and I will tell everybody else that I know not to own one.”

According to NHTSA Campaign Number 20V191000, over 300,000 vehicles have a rearview camera image that continues displaying even though the vehicle isn’t in Reverse. This distraction only leads to a possible accident, putting Renegade owners and others at risk. That doesn’t sound like a lot of “fun” unless dealing with insurance companies is on the top of peoples’ bucket lists.

Problems with the Engine

The engine appears to be just as defective, which is a shame because Jeep was once a leader in performance.

Another Edmunds review points out, “What a POS. I couldn’t wait to ditch it for so many reasons. Engine is weak, engine starts and stops at lights providing little confidence that it will restart. Sport mode shifters backwards from most other mfgrs. Android Auto that constantly froze. Just a poor 3 day experience.”

There has been a proposed class action lawsuit against FCA USA LLC because this Renegade model, along with others, seems to use an excessive amount of oil. Plus, these motors tend to shut down unexpectedly during operation. The affected vehicles include the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir II engine. In this case, the only “fun” that can be expected is running to the auto parts store yet again for more motor oil. It could be an adventure, maybe.

Problems with the Transmission

The powertrain works in conjunction with the engine, but with both systems defective, it’s amazing the Renegade can drive anywhere.

One NHTSA complaint states, “So I have a 2020 Jeep Renegade Sport. Had no issues with it up to today but I was climbing the gravel hill to my house in about 4 inches of snow. I was in 4WD snow mode and lost everything. Error messages popped and got kicked into FWD. Jeep went sliding, luckily I slid into the upward side of the hill and not over the edge. Got these errors. Dynamic Steering Torque service required Service Electronic Power Steering Service Hill Start Assist system Traction Assist Turned Off/Light On Could not get 4WD to reset that day but the next morning all codes and errors were gone. I’m lucky there were no other vehicles and that I didn’t slide over the edge. Dealer is checking vehicle for cause of issue.”

Jeep hasn’t been hiding issues. Service Bulletin #18-046-21 discusses how some drivers are dealing with trouble restarting the SUV after the engine was running for five to ten minutes. The problem can be resolved with a PCM reprogramming, but who wants to deal with that? Instead, it’s time for customers to find more “fun” on another set of four wheels.

Problems with the Brakes

Finally, it’s become clear that the service brakes on the 2020 Jeep Renegade are causing major problems.

Another NHTSA complaint points out, “The accident happens within 7 days of purchasing the car, driving in a parking lot at 15 miles per hour. When I hit the brakes to stop this triggered the accelerator, and the car speed went out of control. The more I tried to brake the machine, the more speed it took, crashing head on against a tree. With such a force that the car now is totaled. This model was recalled in Brazil due to the same mechanical problem. I could have died or killed people if I was going on a highway or driving at a normal speed. This [SUV] is a death trap and needs to be recalled. Its main duty is to prevent possible death and human misery of innocent people. The most important component of a vehicle: breaks did not work, instead triggered the acceleration of the vehicle.”

Again, there’s an important recall to look at. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V909000 shows that the right rear brake caliper could have fractured during the casting process and still put on the vehicles. With this defect, the caliper could fail, which lessens the braking performance and increases the chance that an accident could occur. At this point, it’s time to be a Renegade and choose a new brand that cares more about safety and well-being of its customers.

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.

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Brian Jones

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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