really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,277 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Jeep Liberty suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Jeep Liberty Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #54

Dec 222012

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that while the driver was parking, the front passenger tire separated. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home and was inspected by a private mechanic. The technician stated that the front passenger upper ball joint fractured due to corrosion and caused the tire to separate. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 180,000. Updated 04/02/2013

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #53

Oct 102011

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Chrysler has issued a recall for the 2002 Jeep Liberty regarding the upper control arm failure. This failure is due to failure of the ball joint seal allowing contaminants to eventually cause the ball joint to fail. The recall notice #J17 recall id# 09V119000 only includes vehicles subject to corrosion from road salts in the northeast. I own a 2002 Jeep Liberty and have noticed that both the joints on the upper ball joint of the control arm have failed (split) and as result have allowed contaminants to enter the ball joint resulting in its replacement. I feel these vehicles need to be covered under the recall notice #J17 for the same reason. It is a "safety issue" and has nothing to do with being worn. There is a defect in the manufacturing process for if there wasn't the rubber seal around the ball joint would not have split. For the split on the rubber ball joint seal to be noticed, a person has to look really close at it. I noticed mine because I was changing out my front brake pads and did a close up inspection. This is of concern to not only me, but I am sure a lot of the other Jeep Liberty owners who have had their vehicles front end drop out from under them when they were driving. I live in Georgia and do travel to the northeast from time to time and also travel South to Florida from time to time. My concern is this: Both seals failed on the ball joints. Both ball joints are subjected to elements similar to those of the vehicles in the northeast even more so while along the coast of Florida. There have been numerous ball joint failures on Jeep liberties in Georgia and fla for the same reason there have been ball joint failures on Jeep liberties in the northeast. A response regarding this matter would be greatly appreciated.

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #52

May 272010

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I have a safety recall on my 2002 Jeep Liberty (safety recall J17 front suspension upper ball joints). When I called jeff wyler Dodge/Jeep in ft. Thomas ky, I was told that they were receiving only one recall repair kit per week and that I would be # 30 on the list. That means that my son has to drive the car for over four months on a recalled part.

- Fort Wright, KY, USA

problem #51

Jan 032009


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While driving 5 mph in reverse out of a parking space he attempted to move forward and the front of the vehicle collapsed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The failure was located at the front upper ball joint. The estimated cost for repair was $1,000. The vehicle was not repaired. He will contact the manufacturer. The current and the failure mileage were 90,000.

- Seattle , WA, USA

problem #50

Nov 132009


  • 88,000 miles
2002 Jeep Liberty upper control arm ball joint broke while backing out of driveway. Vehicle was not drivable. Vehicle is currently at the dealership awaiting repairs. This vehicle has been recalled per chrylser recall F23, but not for the latest Chrysler recall J17 and the local dealership claimed they knew nothing about recall J17. Need help as J17 seems applicable in this situation.

- Pine Bush, NY, USA

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problem #49

Sep 172009


  • 105,000 miles
Recall #009V119000 dated Apr 09, 2009 expected to begin October 2009 covering 2002 Jeep liberties excludes the state of Louisiana - condition described in the recall exactly describes the problem with my vehicle. Since Chrysler is aware that this condition does exist, why does it exclude the state of Louisiana. "the front suspension upper control arm ball joint may experience a loss of lubrication which could lead to corrosion, accelerated wear & possible separation while driving. Consequence: Failure of the ball joint could result in a loss of steering capability, increasing the risk of a crash." Previous recall on lower ball joint has been taken care of.

- Tickfaw, LA, USA

problem #48

Jul 012009


  • 76,134 miles


2002 Jeep Liberty-driving 30mph in residential neighborhood front driver's side dropped to street and car immediately went right up on the curb and missing a tree by inches. The front upper ball joint had separated and the tire was on its side under the front end. The joint was bone dry. Husband bought parts and fixed the vehicle.

- Baldwinsville, NY, USA

problem #47

Oct 312008


  • 58,000 miles
Took 2002 Jeep Liberty for oil change. Informed vehicle needs 2 new upper ball joints. Bottoms were recalled by Chrysler. Why not the uppers as well"??"

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #46

Sep 152008


  • 107,000 miles
My daughter was driving and turning into a parking lot, as she was turning left to park the car, she said something happened. She got out of the car to find the drivers side wheel had collapsed. The upper ball joint broke or separated causing the tire to collapse. This caused the Jeep to be totally disabled and I'm sure will be a very expensive repair. What is even scarier is that this could have happened on the highway and something much worse could have occurred. How unsafe is this vehicle!!! please look into this vehicle. The SUV has not been repaired yet. It is still being looked at. I noticed that this is not the only complaint about this problem. Please take care of this so that our families are not in danger!

- Manahawkin, NJ, USA

problem #45

Jul 162008


  • 90,000 miles
My 2002 Jeep Liberty with 90,000 miles, the front right upper ball-joint failure occurred when I was attempting to make a left turn across the flow of oncoming traffic. As I turned South on mound rd from hall rd in sterling heights Michigan I, heard a loud noise from the front right and then the wheel separated and I lost control of the vehicle. My Jeep was towed that night to utica van dyke service for repairs 586-739-2680.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #44

Apr 202008


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The vehicle was included in two previous recalls regarding the lower ball joints. While driving between 30-35 mph, the contact suddenly lost control of the vehicle. It jerked to the left into oncoming traffic and crashed. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic and it appeared that the upper ball joints snapped out of place, causing the loss of control. The vehicle was destroyed and a police report was filed. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #43

Apr 132005

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles
I was taking my daughter to school and was turning left out of our driveway onto a busy state route and my front right side wheel broke completely off of the Jeep. We were going about 15-20 mph. This ruined the rim on my Jeep, now I don't have a spare rim/tire anymore. They did put a recall on the upper ball joints and that is what was wrong with my Jeep, I did get reimbursed for that....but not the rim that was ruined from the incident......now I am out a spare rim/tire. I did tell them that I no longer had a spare rim/tire and they indicated that there was nothing they could do about that? I have a hard time believing that. I cannot be the only person that this has happened to. 4-23-08 by E-mail failure was to upper ball joints * smch

- Risingsun, OH, USA

problem #42

Mar 042008

Liberty 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 91,000 miles
I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty. My car was giving me problems. So I took it to the shop. They told me that my upper ball joints needed to be changed at a cost of $963. I told them that it had been recalled. They told me that it was only the lower ball joints. I did research online and it seems like I'm not the only person who had to change the upper ball joints too. I really think it should be recalled too, before more people out there get hurt.

- Kapolei, HI, USA

problem #41

Oct 242007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While driving 15 mph, the vehicle became very unsteady. The failure was also noticed while driving at all speeds. The contact stated that the vehicle made a severe clunking noise prior to the upper ball joints failing. The vehicle is currently at the state inspection station. The upper control arm was replaced. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 41,000.

- Dillsburg, PA, USA

problem #40

Oct 172007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was on my way to work driving my 2002 Jeep Liberty when I heard a strange noise. I pulled over to check for any visible problem. I found nothing. I began to driver a short distance when I heard a loud noise coming from the right front end. When I to pullover the vehicle lost control. Fortunately I was able to stop the car. Again I stepped out of the car to check for a problem. Once again I saw nothing visibly wrong. I slowly moved the car out of traffic when my Jeep lunged forward and came to a full stop. When I checked for the problem my right front wheel had fallen off. What a scare. This could of ended up being a very tragic accident.

- Kinnelon, NJ, USA

problem #39

Sep 062007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the upper ball joint failed and the wheel fell underneath the vehicle while driving. The vehicle is currently at the repair shop. The speed was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 72,000.

- Midway, KY, USA

problem #38

Aug 292007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,300 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The lower ball joints were replaced due to NHTSA campaign number 06V288000 (suspension:front:control arm:lower ball joint). While performing the replacement, the dealer noticed that the upper ball joints also needed to be replaced, however, they were not under a recall. The dealer repaired the upper ball joints. The current and failure mileages were 39,300.

- Silsbee, TX, USA

problem #37

Aug 202007

Liberty 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Saturday August 18th 2007 I received a recall notice from daimler Chrysler regarding the lower ball joints on 2002-2006 Jeep liberties. The recall said water could get into the front suspention causing the ball joint to corrode and separate which could lead to loss of steering and a possible accident. While driving home from work on Monday the 20th (2 days later) my front left wheel fell off without warning, causing loss of control and nearly causing an accident (coincidence?). the dealer said that my upper ball joint had corroded and separated and the recent recall would not cover my repair. Daimler Chrysler said there's nothing they can do and I would be responsible for repairs. I went online and was shocked to find (in only about 20 minutes- so there must be many more) that hundreds of people has the exact same failure with their 02' -06' Liberty. Although I would like daimler Chrysler to take responsibility for the repair, the more important issue is that there seems to be a serious problem with these cars (specifically the ball joints). The recall should definitely include upper ball joints as well. Luckily I was only going about 15-20mph (my car was still completely fish-tailed) if I had been doing anything over 40mph I'm certain I would have rolled it. I'm sure there has to be people out there who had family or friends killed in accidents caused by this exact issue...they probably don't even know how widespread the problem is.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #36

Aug 132007

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact received recall notice number 03V460000 (suspension:front:control arm:lower ball joint). She took the vehicle to the shop for repair and they informed her that the vehicle also has a defective upper ball joint. The contact would be responsible for the repair costs. She feels that the repair and the costs should be included in the recall repair. The current and failure mileages were 40,000.

- Port Saint Lucy, FL, USA

problem #35

Aug 022007

Liberty 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. He stated that his daughter's vehicle was included as part of a recall (NHTSA campaign #03V460000) for the lower ball joint. The vehicle has been repaired twice. The contact felt that the upper ball joint was damaged due to a torn rubber pad. The mechanic stated that the brakes on the vehicle were inappropriate based on the weight of the vehicle. The failure mileage was 27,000 and the current mileage was 61,000.

- Miami , FL, USA

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