Stellantis, the automotive group that owns Jeep, among other car brands, is recalling over 44,000 plug-in hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4xe SUVs worldwide because their high-voltage battery pack may catch fire.
The company issued a statement yesterday, saying that a routine review of customer data led to an internal investigation that discovered eight vehicle fires. All were parked and turned off, while six were connected to chargers.
The recall affects certain 2021-2024 model-year Jeep Wrangler 4xe units: 32,125 in the United States, an estimated 3,856 in Canada, and 9,249 outside North America.
Stellantis says the affected cars may be driven, but advises owners to “refrain from recharging these hybrid vehicles, and to park them away from structures and other vehicles until they are remedied.”
The fix involves a software flash, but if a certain error code is observed (it was undisclosed by Stellantis), the whole battery pack will be replaced. The American automaker estimates one percent of the affected vehicles may have the defect. Customers will be contacted and informed about when they can schedule the service procedure.
Revealed at the end of 2020, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that works in conjunction with a motor generator unit integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid system has a combined output of 375 horsepower, while the high-voltage battery feeding the electric motor inside the gearbox has a capacity of 17 kilowatt-hours, enough for an all-electric range of 21 miles on a full charge.
In the third quarter of this year, the Wrangler 4xe was the best-selling plug-in hybrid passenger car in the United States with 17,662 units sold. By comparison, Toyota and Lexus combined managed to sell just 12,678 PHEVs in the U.S. in Q3.