JL Wrangler Front Windshield Defrost: Please file NHTSA Vehicle Safety Complaint

Mabar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
118
Reaction score
121
Location
Northeast Ohio
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, 2-Door
Although there are many other threads and posts about the front windshield defrost problem on the JL Wrangler, I decided to start a new thread to suggest filing a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

I have a brand new, 2021 JL Wrangler Rubicon, with a December, 2020 factory production date. After three years of JL production, it still has a terrible and dangerous, front windshield defroster.

The windshield defroster has vents across almost the entire width of the windshield, but defrost air only comes out of the center vents. Very little or no air comes out of the right third and left third of the defroster vents.

While driving on the Interstate, with traffic moving at about 35 mph, in a Northeast Ohio snow storm recently, I experienced severe snow and ice buildup on the sides of the windshield. Even with the front defrost on high heat, high blower, and full defrost mode, the right side and left side of the windshield (about 12” each side) had huge ice and snow buildup.

This caused the wiper blades to build up with ice and snow, making visibility almost impossible. Every 3 or 4 minutes, both my wife and I had to lower the side windows, then reach out while driving and “slap” the wiper blades against the windshield to help remove the ice/snow buildup. It was so hot inside the Jeep, we had to open the side windows a few inches so we could breathe, while leaving the defrost on full blast, all to no avail.

I know about putting gloves over the center vents to re-direct more air to the sides. We tried that and it did help somewhat. I know about plugging many of the center vents with 5/8” plastic plugs. I know some people have made 3-D printed vent plugs, diverters, etc.

I have owned two TJ Wranglers, two JK Wranglers, and now this 2021 JL, plus many other vehicles over many years. This is by far the absolute worst windshield defroster of any vehicle I have ever owned, plus, this is one of the smallest windshields of any new vehicle on the market today. It is unbelievable that the defroster does such a poor job of defrosting, even with such a small windshield.

I tested other 2021 Wranglers on the dealer lot, and they also had almost no air coming out of the right and left side defrost vents, the same as my Jeep. This poorly designed windshield defroster has been a known issue for about three years now, and still Jeep has not fixed this dangerous design.

I urge anybody who has had direct experience with this poor and dangerous windshield defroster design to file a NHTSA Vehicle Safety Complaint here:

File a Vehicle Safety Complaint | Safercar | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (dot.gov)
Advertisement

 

BenDiem

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ben
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
98
Reaction score
154
Location
SW Ohio
Vehicle(s)
‘17 G63; ‘19 M240ix; ‘19 991.2TT
Occupation
Gym Rat
Great thread.
Frankly, it’s the only reason I’ve not ordered a new JL yet.
Waiting for FCA to remedy this colossal safety concern/issue. As a matter of fact, I’m ordering a new SUV in the new year. It would have been the JL, but after seeing your thread, it has reminded me to wait another year until/if FCA finally ameliorates this safety flaw...
I had this exact problem with my TJ & JKs!
It’s simply ridiculous!

Cheers all/B
 
OP
OP
Mabar

Mabar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
118
Reaction score
121
Location
Northeast Ohio
Vehicle(s)
2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, 2-Door
Great thread.
Frankly, it’s the only reason I’ve not ordered a new JL yet.
Waiting for FCA to remedy this colossal safety concern/issue. As a matter of fact, I’m ordering a new SUV in the new year. It would have been the JL, but after seeing your thread, it has reminded me to wait another year until/if FCA finally ameliorates this safety flaw...
I had this exact problem with my TJ & JKs!
It’s simply ridiculous!

Cheers all/B
Other than the defrost issue and the poor AM radio reception/sound quality (I am a talk radio junkie), I love this new JL.

Although the TJ's and JK's had this issue "slightly", the JL is much, much worse. I really never felt the TJ's and JK's were a serious safety issue like this new JL is.
 

RedundanT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
748
Reaction score
1,076
Location
So. Il
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUR
My JK had the same problem, it's the flat windshield.
 

Stuckinthesand

Well-Known Member
First Name
CJ
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
446
Reaction score
349
Location
NJ
Vehicle(s)
2019 Wrangler sport s 2017 GMC Acadia
I hear about this issue but I’ve never had the problem. This is about a week ago and my defrost was only set on 50% speed although it was on full heat.
 

OnlyOne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
1,587
Reaction score
2,890
Location
Northwestern New Mexico
Vehicle(s)
2021 Gladiator Overland Diesel
I’ve never had the problem in my JL. My 07 JK was horrible. I probably drive in more snow up here than most of you combined.

On the highway, I want the windshield frozen when it’s really cold, so I don’t have to use my wipers when it’s actively snowing. I turn the defrost off in those conditions. That’s harder to do when the temperature is right under freezing and you’re getting road spray. Your best bet is to purchase some good de-icer WW fluid.

I don’t care what vehicle you own, this will happen in certain circumstances. Jeep’s tend to be worse in this area even going back to my old CJs.
 

Chupacabra

Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
460
Reaction score
548
Location
Littleton, CO
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU
My JK had the same problem, it's the flat windshield.
It's the total lack of airflow from anywhere but the center of the dash. The JL has a tiny windshield, there's no excuse for not providing enough airflow to properly defrost it.
 

gm920

Well-Known Member
First Name
Gary
Joined
Mar 13, 2020
Messages
181
Reaction score
162
Location
San Diego County
Vehicle(s)
2019 Jeep Wrangler JLUR, 2012 Chevy Silverado "work truck", 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Rocky Mtn Edition (for sale), 2004 National Tropical Cat C7 350 HP Turbo
Occupation
Aircraft Maintenance Technician (Retired)
Living in Southern Kalifornia, I have not experienced this yet . But If I wanted a vehicle with really poor forward visibility during bad weather, I would have kept my CJ 5.
 

Karnak

Well-Known Member
First Name
Yan
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
557
Location
Ottawa, Canada
Vehicle(s)
2019 Wrangler JL 2 door Bikini
Occupation
government
Vehicle Showcase
1
I didn't have any issues in the big storm we had the other weeks here in Ottawa, ON, Canada. I put the heater on front defrost and then because the heat so getting bad, I cracked both windows driver and passenger to keep temps down inside while heating up the front shield full bast, I actually beleive it worked really well because I had more icing on wipers in other vehicles i drove than that time with the JL which makes me think the defrost is what really made a nice difference now that you mention it. The trick is to ensure you get the driver and passenger window side air vents for winter so that you can crack those windows down without getting Stuff in and still keep temps down inside, and this goes for all my vehicles, I have always used window vents for this reason and they work also in humidity when you need to defog.

Personnaly, I think the JL with the window defrost system is better than ever safetywise but you do have to buy the window air vents otherwise you'd be cooked inside.
 

RedundanT

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
748
Reaction score
1,076
Location
So. Il
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUR
I'm old enough to have driven MANY different vehicles in some pretty crappy weather. The JL is decent compared to some I've had to put up with. If it is such a issue I would advise you to get a different vehicle. Problem solved.
 

631_Islander

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
447
Reaction score
602
Location
Area Code 631, NY
Vehicle(s)
2020 Unlimited Rubicon with 8 speed and 3.6L Pentastar without eTorque
Although there are many other threads and posts about the front windshield defrost problem on the JL Wrangler, I decided to start a new thread to suggest filing a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

I have a brand new, 2021 JL Wrangler Rubicon, with a December, 2020 factory production date. After three years of JL production, it still has a terrible and dangerous, front windshield defroster.

The windshield defroster has vents across almost the entire width of the windshield, but defrost air only comes out of the center vents. Very little or no air comes out of the right third and left third of the defroster vents.

While driving on the Interstate, with traffic moving at about 35 mph, in a Northeast Ohio snow storm recently, I experienced severe snow and ice buildup on the sides of the windshield. Even with the front defrost on high heat, high blower, and full defrost mode, the right side and left side of the windshield (about 12” each side) had huge ice and snow buildup.

This caused the wiper blades to build up with ice and snow, making visibility almost impossible. Every 3 or 4 minutes, both my wife and I had to lower the side windows, then reach out while driving and “slap” the wiper blades against the windshield to help remove the ice/snow buildup. It was so hot inside the Jeep, we had to open the side windows a few inches so we could breathe, while leaving the defrost on full blast, all to no avail.

I know about putting gloves over the center vents to re-direct more air to the sides. We tried that and it did help somewhat. I know about plugging many of the center vents with 5/8” plastic plugs. I know some people have made 3-D printed vent plugs, diverters, etc.

I have owned two TJ Wranglers, two JK Wranglers, and now this 2021 JL, plus many other vehicles over many years. This is by far the absolute worst windshield defroster of any vehicle I have ever owned, plus, this is one of the smallest windshields of any new vehicle on the market today. It is unbelievable that the defroster does such a poor job of defrosting, even with such a small windshield.

I tested other 2021 Wranglers on the dealer lot, and they also had almost no air coming out of the right and left side defrost vents, the same as my Jeep. This poorly designed windshield defroster has been a known issue for about three years now, and still Jeep has not fixed this dangerous design.

I urge anybody who has had direct experience with this poor and dangerous windshield defroster design to file a NHTSA Vehicle Safety Complaint here:

File a Vehicle Safety Complaint | Safercar | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (dot.gov)
Is this problem limited to only 2021 models?? I have a 2020 and have not noticed this issue yet and I was driving in heavy snow just last week.
 

JeepinJason33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
Messages
581
Reaction score
545
Location
Denver
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU Rubicon V6 with Etorque - just starting build. 2019 Grand Cherokee SRT, 2001 XJ mild build, 97 TJ supercharged, Atlas, cage, 1 tons, OBA etc. 83 Cherokee Chief Restored
I have gone over several mountain passes and started my JL cold many times and the defroster seemed to do fine on my 2021. I can't imagine making a buying decision around the defroster... My TJ had a difficult time keeping up so I just kept a rag in the car and de-icing windshield fluid under the hood. Problem solved. You sit close enough to the windshield to wipe it off if needed. I am more pissed about the windshield being so fragile!
 

johnnyj

Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Aug 18, 2020
Messages
212
Reaction score
416
Location
Washington
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLU Rubicon, 2003 TJ Rubicon. Gone but not forgotten: 1998 Sport, 2002 Sport, 2006 LJ Rubicon
It is a bad system. That said, if I was gonna complain about the JL (I love my JL but just being fair and honest here), I'd complain about:
  1. A 4wd system that disables the front axle disconnect when dtcs are detected for something as simple as a wheel speed sensor, rendering 4x4 useless.
  2. Lockers that have terrible indicator switches, with reports of them self-actuating, and requiring throwing axles at them to kick the can down the road.
  3. A 2 battery system that, well, requires more maintenance than a codependent girlfriend.
  4. Self destructing rear glass.
  5. No dead pedal.
  6. No front folding seats on the JLU.
Probably only #2 would rise to the level of a safety administration complaint. Lockers turning on on the interstate would be no bueno.
 
Advertisement

Quake LED
 
Advertisement
Top