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

Engine, visibility, and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

People that own Jeep vehicles are looking for an off-road model with plenty of style. That’s exactly what was expected with the release of the 2021 Jeep Wrangler, especially with the promise that customers can “get dirty faster.” However, getting dirty seems to come from making numerous repairs to the engine, steering and visibility.

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Problems with the Engine

Behind every good vehicle is a potent engine that provides power and acceleration that’s reliable. However, this Wrangler doesn’t seem to have the level of durability people desire.

Read this NHTSA complaint. “Vehicle is brand new and the Check Engine Light came on only after 300 miles. Dealer diagnosed the problem with O2 sensor failure and valve cover defect. The vehicle ran very rough and felt like it was about to stall. Search on JLWRANGLERFORUMS shows there are others experiencing similar problems with less than 500 miles on the odometer.”

Who wants to pay top price for a new vehicle that is going to fail in less than 500 miles? Sadly, this isn’t the only major defect occurring. There has also been a major powertrain recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V028000 states that the clutch pressure plate could overheat. When this occurs, it can lead to a fracture or car fire. There could also be damage to other components nearby, which can result in losing the ability to drive. Instead of fixing the problem, Jeep has issued all dealerships to add software that reduces the capability of engine torque. Basically, the company is reducing the power to ensure the clutch pressure plate doesn’t overheat instead of replacing it with one that can hold up under the desired conditions. However, most customers don’t know this is the fix. They take their Jeep into the shop only to get it back with a little less oomph.

Problems with the Visibility

When heading off-road, it’s essential that drivers have the visibility needed to see obstacles ahead. However, the visibility from this Wrangler is one of the biggest complaints.

Read what this user wrote on the NHTSA website. “When driving during a medium snow fall: the front windshield defroster is terrible! Even with the front defroster on high heat, and full defrost mode, the defroster only blows hot air onto the center portion of the windshield. The right and left sides of the windshield get no hot defrost air (no air whatsoever) and snow and ice builds up on the right ½ and left ½ of the windshield. This also causes heavy snow/ice buildup on the wiper blades. Terrible and dangerous windshield defroster design. Air comes out of the center defrost vents only. No air comes out of the windshield vents in front of the driver or passenger. Horrible and dangerous design which makes visibility while driving during a snowfall almost impossible.”

It turns out that this isn’t the only visibility-related problem. According to Service Bulletin #S2008000180, the rear wipes also don’t park properly after operation. Basically, this rugged Wrangler is only meant to drive in sunny, warm conditions. It simply can’t handle an adventure the way it is supposed to. This Jeep SUV acts like the big, strong guy that can’t get out of bed when he has a cold.

Problems with the Steering

If there’s been one problem that has haunted the Jeep lineup, it is the defective steering. Enthusiasts hoped that the 2021 Jeep Wrangler would be repaired, but it doesn’t appear that is the case.

Read one more NHTSA review. “The Jeep has excessive steering play and wanders in the lane. When traveling in a straight line, the vehicle requires constant and significant steering correction. This issue becomes more pronounced and dangerous at speeds above 60 mph. Two repair attempts have been made by Jeep [dealership], but the problem persists. This vehicle has the new black steering gear box and 840 miles. After the last repair attempt, the problem is worse, vehicle is now too dangerous to drive.”

This isn’t the first time that Jeep has encountered a steering or suspension issue. In fact, there have been massive lawsuits related to what’s called the “Death Wobble.” Jeep vehicles have become uncontrollable and caused many accidents. FCA continues to fight lawsuits and it seems that the 2021 Jeep Wrangler will be the next in line.

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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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  • Chandra

    We bought a brand new 2021 Jeep Wrangler in Mar this year. We drove from Sugarland to Galveston one night and the next day morning I saw a flat tire and a crack in the windshield about 1” long.
    By afternoon the crack had spread to 8 inch long. So mind it, No Off road driving was done
    So we paid $275 for an authentic brand new 2021 Jeep windshield.
    The next day on our way to the airport an other small stone hit it and now we have a 12inch crack on our windshield. Obviously this is no STURDY vehicle, Its a lemon
    The tire and windshield being repaired in under 6 months???
    I have had 7 cars in the last 30years. None of them fared so poorly.
    I’m extremely disappointed with Jeep Quality. Never again will I buy a Jeep

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