2021 Jeep Gladiator Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering & engine issues are among the top complaints

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Jeeps have been around for decades since the original Willys were tailored to military specifications way back in 1940. Jeep Gladiator goes back to 1962 and was produced until 1988 after Chrysler bought American Motors Corporation (AMC).

It was only in 2020 that the Jeep Gladiator was reborn in the form of a 4WD pickup. But it didn’t take long for complaints to start pouring in, as we note in our article 2020 Jeep Gladiator Problems and Top Complaints.

To date, 187 complaints are registered with the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the 2020 model. Of these, 126 relate to steering. There are also 5 recalls that relate to the powertrain, back-over prevention, and seat belts.

So far, there are 74 complaints about the 2021 Jeep Gladiator and 1 recall. Persistent defects that substantially impair the safety, use, and value of a vehicle are telltale signs that it may be a lemon. So, we’d like to share more information about common problems 2021 Jeep Gladiator owners have.

Click on other model year to view more problems:   2020   2022

Most Common Problems

Whilst not the other source of complaints, the data shared by the NHTSA shows that the most common problem with the 2021 Jeep Gladiator is steering. With a total of 27 complaints, this is in keeping with the major problem with the newly relaunched 2020 model. There are 21 engine-related complaints, 18 that relate to the powertrain, and 13 that hinge on the electrical system.

A total of 10 complaints about suspension as well as 9 and 8 complaints respectively, for service brakes and the fuel/propulsion system, all indicate problems worth noting. Another 5 complaints about vehicle speed control, 3 related to visibility/wiper issues, and another 3 about wheels also feature.

Additionally, there are 2 complaints about airbags, and 1 each about exterior lighting, forward-collision avoidance, lane departure issues, seat belts, seats, and visibility. One complaint filed under Unknown or Other relates to an acceleration issue that almost caused an accident.

We’re going to look at the three most common problems.

2021 Jeep Gladiator Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Steering
57
Engine
45
Power Train
41
Suspension
30
Electrical System
20
Unknown Or Other
16
Fuel/propulsion System
13
Vehicle Speed Control
13
Service Brakes
12
Fuel System, Gasoline
10

Steering Problems

Losing control of any car’s steering mechanism can be a very scary experience. While there are no accidents reported to the NHTSA because of steering problems with the 2021 Jeep Gladiator, there are major warnings from drivers. For example, one describes it as a “death wobble” while another warns of “multiple incidents of violent death wobble at higher rates of speed between 60 and 70 mph.”

Most complaints say the problem occurs at high speeds and not when driving slowly. Typically, if they are driving down a highway, the Jeep Gladiator tends to wander left and right at random.

A recent complaint describes how that driver had to wrap arms around the steering wheel to try and stop a front-end wobble. This car ended up in a Texas ditch!

A resident of Maine says the Jeep is “extremely dangerous” at highway speeds. But, “Jeep has failed to fix this and won’t even acknowledge that it is an issue.”

Another Texas resident reports that the slightest bump results in violent shuddering and vibrations that last for minutes. “This is a dangerous condition that needs immediate correction.”

A Michigan Jeep owner was told after a steering malfunction that the steering pump must be replaced. This was when the clock registered 2,900 miles. But nothing was done by the dealer.

All the other complaints follow the same desperate theme.

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Problems with the Engine

Engine issues include stalling when idling, the throttle spiking and surging sporadically, and other varied malfunctions, all explained in detail in NHTSA complaints.

Several complaints state that the vehicle auto stops when the driver’s seat isn’t occupied. Others say that the vehicle stops when the steering wheel is turned or when the defrost is turned off. Another says that the vehicle auto starts when opening the driver’s door.

We spotted one complaint that says the engine of their Jeep Gladiator was replaced after 11 months of ownership. Additionally, the complaint maintains that the vehicle came from the factory with cracked spark plugs that were replaced after just 1 week of ownership. “This is an ongoing issue with no resolution.”

Powertrain Problems

Some powertrain issues seem to be related to steering, but certainly not all of them. Rather, most relate to the rear axle leaking and affecting the brakes.

One complaint states that this issue is mentioned many times on social media and in Jeep Gladiator forums.

What to do if your 2021 Jeep Gladiator is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If you think you have a lemon, don’t rely on social media sites to help you. Lemberg Law is a specialist consumer law firm and we specialize in handling lemon law cases. In case you don’t already know, the law says that Jeep must pay, not you!

Call us so that we can assess your issues. We have successfully negotiated many buybacks, trade-ins, cash settlements, and replacement vehicles. Don’t get stuck with a lemon. Let us help you. Call our Helpline today.

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
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