Jeep Wrangler hybrid vehicles allegedly cannot be used as intended due to battery fires.

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Jeep Wrangler 4xe Recall, Then a Class Action Lawsuit
Jeep Wrangler hybrid vehicles allegedly cannot be used as intended due to battery fires.

— A Jeep Wrangler 4xe recall preceded this class action lawsuit which alleges 2021-2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are prone to catching fire and exploding.

According to the lawsuit, the "dangerous and defective" Jeep Wrangler hybrids have defects in the hybrid propulsion systems that can cause fires even when the vehicles are parked with the ignitions in the “off” positions.

The nine owners who sued contend Fiat Chrysler did nothing to warn owners until a November 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe recall was announced.

The Jeep class action lawsuit includes:

"All persons or entities who purchased or leased one or more model year 2021-2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe vehicles (the 'Class Vehicles')."

The November 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe recall included about 32,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Chrysler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration an estimated 1% of the Jeeps could be affected by the problem.

According to the November 2023 recall:

"Some 2021-2023 MY Jeep Wrangler Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles ('PHEVs') may have a high voltage ('HV') battery which may fail internally. The defect has not been identified and the root cause is still being investigated. An internally failed HV battery could lead to a vehicle fire with the ignition on or off."

And according to the March 2024 class action lawsuit, "FCA is not yet offering any remedy for the defect."

However, the November 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe recall documents said:

"Remedy will be a software flash on the HV [high voltage] battery pack and if a DTC [diagnostic trouble code] sets, the [battery] pack will be replaced."

FCA said in 2023 it knew of eight Jeep Wrangler 4xe fires, all while the vehicles were parked and turned off, with six of the fires occurring while the Jeep hybrids were connected to chargers.

The plaintiffs assert the Samsung 400v high-voltage lithium-ion battery packs have caused problems for other automakers and Fiat Chrysler knew or should have known the batteries were defective. However, owners were allegedly not warned about defective high-voltage batteries when the Jeep Wrangler hybrids were first sold.

None of the nine Jeep Wrangler 4xe owners who sued claim their vehicles caught fire, but they contend they have been banned from charging their Jeeps. The plaintiffs also complain they are forced to park outside and away from other vehicles and structures.

The plaintiffs argue:

"A plug-in electric hybrid that cannot be parked at its home or operated in electric mode is not fit for its ordinary purpose."

The class action says FCA doesn't tell owners what a "safe" distance is regarding parking their vehicles, and the automaker has failed to "explain what owners should do with their vehicles if they have no such place to park their vehicles."

Jeep Wrangler 4xe owners and lessees pay a premium for their vehicles, but the battery fire risk prevents customers from using the electric propulsion features of their vehicles. This means owners are stuck paying for gasoline when owners should have been driving using the electric batteries.

"And while owners and lessees cannot use the Class Vehicles, they must continue to make loan, lease, and insurance payments that can add up to thousands of dollars each month." — Jeep Wrangler 4xe lawsuit

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe class action lawsuit was filed by these plaintiffs:

  • Gary B. Frisch / Arizona / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Tammy Otto / Arizona / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Robert Stueve / Texas / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Brian Kreb / California / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Harry Vasquez / Florida / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Jade and Christopher Wadleigh / New Jersey / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • David Perrera / North Carolina / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Dennis Berns / Pennsylvania / 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
  • Jonathan Liscano / Texas / 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe

The Jeep Wrangler 4xe battery fire lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Southern Division): Gary Frisch, et al., v. FCA US LLC.

The plaintiffs are represented by The Miller Law Firm PC, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Slack Davis Sanger, LLP, and Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.


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