Should I pursue lemon law?

jerrygcoffey

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This is a somewhat long read.

Here's some background info for starters:

2018 JLUS ~17K miles, purchased March 2019. I live in Texas, and I do all my repairs at certified dealerships. The Jeep has seen mild offroad use, like it was designed for. I have trail rash underneath and on the paint, and some cosmetic damage on the passenger door and rocker panel. The jeep is lifted and on 35's with some other minor modifications. (Bumper, winch, lights) I bought my Jeep with a trade-in that was upside down, ~$5,000 negative equity from the trade on my Jeep loan.

Let me just start out by saying that I absolutely love my Jeep. It has changed my life, honestly. However, this new found love has not come without the price of frustration. I am up to three major issues with my JL (and some more relatively minor ones as well).

The first issue is with my front axle. This one started occurring first, I am not sure of the mileage right now, but I could estimate it if I had the records in front of me. It's a ratcheting sound, that only happens in 4wd when under a slight load.(impossible to replicate on a test drive) It's not coming from the differential, I have had that checked (local shop), it's not the ball joints, or any steering components. My theory is that it has something to do with the FAD, but of course I have not had my theory confirmed, because I was never able to make a follow up appointment for it at the dealership (more on that later).

Issue number 2 started shortly after issue 1, and has gotten slightly worse over time. It is somewhat tricky to replicate on a test drive, however I did get an appointment to have both axles "looked at," and on the test drive, after a while, the tech was able to hear the noise. It is a rotational knock from the rear axle, which only appears when rolling from 5-20 mph. It is more apparent on road or terrain that is not perfectly flat. I have the D44 rear with LSD, and this is a known and common issue with these axles. There are several threads in this forum on this topic. I have seen reports of FCA replacing entire axle assemblies due to this issue, only to have the owner say that the issue returned after several thousand miles. Anyways, after the test drive I left the Jeep at the dealership hoping for the best. A couple days later I receive a call saying that they did a "visual check" which i'm assuming is basically what I had already done myself, and said I needed to come pick up the Jeep(30 mins each way) and my name would be added to the list of people waiting for a loaner. Basically rescheduling me for the service I thought I was going to be receiving at the time, except not, because they didn't actually schedule me or give me any kind of time frame. Okay, at least it's in the works..

Fast forward to the first hot day of the year here in Texas, ~90 degrees, which also happened to be right about the time the Texas economy shut down. I'm driving around enjoying my Jeep, issues and all, and I notice the jeep starting to feel funny in terms of power and acceleration. I clicked through my gauges to be surprised by the coolant temp reading 251.. yikes. I call up my service advisor, and with a sense of urgency, he immediately gets me a slot on that day. This struck me as odd because when I dropped off the Jeep, and picked up my loaner :facepalm:... apparently the rental truck I was being given was misfiring due to it "sitting for so long." (Remember, I have been on a list for a loner for at least 2 months.) Whatever, maybe they did me a solid due to the situation, who knows. I just found it odd that a loaner was suddenly available. I guess my axle issues aren't serious enough. ANYWAYS, they made a quick repair while the family and I had lunch, and we were off in our rental truck.

Forgive me for my vagueness in terms of dates and such, the documentation is currently at the dealership in my glove box.

A couple weeks-ish go by, and I hear word that there was something wrong with a leaky hose or something like that with the water pump, and they would be replacing it. Funny, I never noticed any leaks or missing fluid. They call me a couple days later to say it's been test driven, fixed, and ready to pick up. I drive the 30 mins to the dealership, all smiles, and pick up the Jeep. Almost skipping out of the door. The family loads up as I remove the soft top panels, and we're off. Halfway home, my coolant is reading 249... I turn around, all smiles gone, and get on the phone with the service department. They put me in a different rental, (wasn't happy about that, major downgrade, and where are all these extra rentals coming from? :)) and I made the trip home.

Since then, over the course of a month and a half, they replaced the thermostat and radiator, by order of Chrysler. After the radiator didn't fix the issue, I was informed last Friday that FCA would be sending a tech out on Tuesday and we will go from there.

Considering the amount of work I have put into this Jeep, the financial status of my loan, and the condition and mileage of the Jeep, I am trying to weigh out my options here. Should I proceed with repairs for now, or should I consider trying to file a lemon law case? Something else to consider, when they replaced my radiator, my advisor told me it was caked(with mud i guess). I always wash my Jeep after off road use, and have never "sunk" it. What are the chances that FCA attempts to blame the malfunction on me? If not for the overheating, then even the axles... it's just something that has been bugging me as well. I would hate to end up in an even worse situation than I am in now. They've already replaced the entire radiator, so I'm assuming they are accepting it as a warranty issue. I have seen at least one thread on here where a relatively newly purchased JL had an overheating issue, and FCA replaced the entire engine. Wonder what that's all about.

Any feedback or advice is appreciated, and if you made it this far, thanks for reading! :jk:
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JeepDave

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Check your state’s lemon law, I think IL says you have 12 months to claim it’s a lemon, so you might be stuck with it. Here you would be.
 
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jerrygcoffey

jerrygcoffey

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Check your state’s lemon law, I think IL says you have 12 months to claim it’s a lemon, so you might be stuck with it. Here you would be.
Here in Texas it’s 24 months or 24,000 miles.
 

RubenZ

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Here in Texas it’s 24 months or 24,000 miles.
That sucks. I think as time goes on we're going to see a lot of 2018's with more and more issues now that they're getting use. I had to trade mine in for another vehicle. I couldn't take it anymore and the problem is that the Lemon Laws only cover for the same ISSUE over and over. My Jeep one day was transmission issue, the next was Instrument Cluster dying, followed by Steering, and so forth. Who knows maybe if I faught it I could have gotten it lemon lawed but I aint got time for that and it made me lose faith in Jeep so I got a great deal on a trade in.

I hope you get it worked out. I haven't heard of many issues with the cooling system. Its kinda weird your having that issue.
 

nerubi

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That sucks. I think as time goes on we're going to see a lot of 2018's with more and more issues now that they're getting use. I had to trade mine in for another vehicle. I couldn't take it anymore and the problem is that the Lemon Laws only cover for the same ISSUE over and over. My Jeep one day was transmission issue, the next was Instrument Cluster dying, followed by Steering, and so forth. Who knows maybe if I faught it I could have gotten it lemon lawed but I aint got time for that and it made me lose faith in Jeep so I got a great deal on a trade in.

I hope you get it worked out. I haven't heard of many issues with the cooling system. Its kinda weird your having that issue.
Thank goodness Tacomas don't have problems:
From pickuptrucktalk.com
In the recent 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Dependability Survey, the Toyota Tacoma wasn’t mentioned as a top mid-size pickup. It turns out, it hasn’t made the list since 2015. What gives? Transmission issues, now seemingly addressed, played a big role in dropping its score.

Long known for its reliability, the Toyota Tacoma has been off its game since its redesign for the 2016 model year. The problem seems to be largely due to the new 6-speed automatic transmission and 3.5L V6 2GR-(FKS) introduced for the pickup. Numerous owners have complained and Toyota has issued two technical service bulletins and two recalls to address the various problems.
 

RubenZ

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Thank goodness Tacomas don't have problems:
From pickuptrucktalk.com
In the recent 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Dependability Survey, the Toyota Tacoma wasn’t mentioned as a top mid-size pickup. It turns out, it hasn’t made the list since 2015. What gives? Transmission issues, now seemingly addressed, played a big role in dropping its score.

Long known for its reliability, the Toyota Tacoma has been off its game since its redesign for the 2016 model year. The problem seems to be largely due to the new 6-speed automatic transmission and 3.5L V6 2GR-(FKS) introduced for the pickup. Numerous owners have complained and Toyota has issued two technical service bulletins and two recalls to address the various problems.
Thats fine. I'm no fanboy. What I do know is my JEEP Sucked asshole as far as reliability. The Tacoma Transmission were not actual issues. as in they stopped working. They were just shift programming. Thats been fixed with 2020's. We shall see how good my Tacoma is. If it starts to suck I'll dump it and move on to something else.. And at least the Tacoma dealerships here in my area actually care for their customers. My local Jeep Dealers sucked. That was part of the reason I jumped shipped to. I don't have many options where I live.

And where is JEEP in the link you posted :) LOL Or any FIAT product for that matter. Obviously all car makers have issues. I just chose not to stick around with one that has more frequent ones. We'll see if my gamble was wroth it. So far it has been.
 
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Adam 4248

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Lol, Toyota is #3 in that survey; Jeep is way, way down near the bottom... but Nerubi will still defend Jeeps, no matter what. It’s as if he/she is personally invested in the Jeep brand and feels insulted if you complain about the OBVIOUS lack of quality Jeep has. I will now await a personal attack against me :)

Btw, why can’t Jeep do better? American made (mostly), American workers. Jeeps should be the best, and reliable as gravity (they charge enough for them). Instead they are an embarrassment, made with the cheapest materials, with no thought for reliability. I have a 1942 Dodge Carryall (78 years old) still runs, and is more reliable than my 2018 Jeep. How many 2018 Jeeps will be on the road in 78 years? 50 years? 20 years? Almost none I bet.
 

nerubi

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I have had 29 new cars across most manufacturers with only a problem with two of them. A limited edition muscle car that I caused the problem but it was fixed under warranty. And a Z28 that even the engineer sent out from Detroit couldn't fix so they gave me a new car of my choosing. My point is that when you make up exaggerated statements of quality or longevity and say every other brand is better you show you don't know what you are talking about. Jeep has some problems as do other brands. If you want reliabilty get a Kia. BTW, how many 1942 Dodge Carryalls are still on the road? Three maybe four? What junk.
 

RubenZ

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I have had 29 new cars across most manufacturers with only a problem with two of them. A limited edition muscle car that I caused the problem but it was fixed under warranty. And a Z28 that even the engineer sent out from Detroit couldn't fix so they gave me a new car of my choosing. My point is that when you make up exaggerated statements of quality or longevity and say every other brand is better you show you don't know what you are talking about. Jeep has some problems as do other brands. If you want reliabilty get a Kia. BTW, how many 1942 Dodge Carryalls are still on the road? Three maybe four? What junk.
We can go in circles. Peoples views change based on the experiences they had. Funny how this works. I too have had a number of new cars from all auto makers. Like I said I have no real brand loyalty. All of mine have been free of issues except for my JL. I will say that my JL was the only one I had that was a first model year of a new design. Maybe that had something to do with it. I'm glad yours is great. I really miss my jeep. maybe one day I'll be back in one as a Side Fun Vehicle. Not a daily though.
 

Adam 4248

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I have had 29 new cars across most manufacturers with only a problem with two of them. A limited edition muscle car that I caused the problem but it was fixed under warranty. And a Z28 that even the engineer sent out from Detroit couldn't fix so they gave me a new car of my choosing. My point is that when you make up exaggerated statements of quality or longevity and say every other brand is better you show you don't know what you are talking about. Jeep has some problems as do other brands. If you want reliabilty get a Kia. BTW, how many 1942 Dodge Carryalls are still on the road? Three maybe four? What junk.
I too have had many new cars, of many types. My Jeep is the worst, of the worst I have ever had, and I am not alone in this. Jeep IS near the bottom of reliability; that is Jeeps fault, not the parts suppliers, not the dealers, not mine. I am glad you like/love your Jeep. I wish mine wasn’t a steaming pile. I wish I could drive it, I wish I could trust it, I wish others didn’t have problems with virtually everything, e.g. paint, clutches, steering wander, death wobble, transmissions, sun visors, soft top frames, seat latches, u connect, ESS, fragile windshield, differentials, etc.
I wish Jeep did a better job and gave the customer what they paid for.... it’s almost like they are built by Harbor Freight.

and in 5 years my 1942 Carryall will still be running, and likely worth as much as a 2018 Jeep. Do a google image search of Dodge WC53 Carryall and you will see the other three, besides mine, still left on the road.
 
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nerubi

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I too have had many new cars, of many types. My Jeep is the worst, of the worst I have ever had, and I am not alone in this. Jeep IS near the bottom of reliability; that is Jeeps fault, not the parts suppliers, not the dealers, not mine. I am glad you like/love your Jeep. I wish mine wasn’t a steaming pile. I wish I could drive it, I wish I could trust it, I wish others didn’t have problems with virtually everything, e.g. paint, clutches, steering wander, death wobble, transmissions, sun visors, soft top frames, seat latches, u connect, ESS, fragile windshield, differentials, etc.
I wish Jeep did a better job and gave the customer what they paid for.... it’s almost like they are built by Harbor Freight.

and in 5 years my 1942 Carryall will still be running, and likely worth as much as a 2018 Jeep. Do a google image search of Dodge WC53 Carryall and you will see the other three, besides mine, still left on the road.
Guess you have one choice - sell your Jeep and never buy another one. Bye bye.
 

Windshieldfarmer

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Guess you have one choice - sell your Jeep and never buy another one. Bye bye.
Absolutely- life is too short to spend it obsessing about a crappy vehicle. And I know it sucks. My 2015 JKU never had a problem in 4.5 years...hoping my new Recon is as good. If it turns out to be a turd, I‘ll figure out something else. Only had the new one for a month but I’ve been happy so far. Time will tell. To the OP...I hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction.
 

Adam 4248

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Absolutely- life is too short to spend it obsessing about a crappy vehicle. And I know it sucks. My 2015 JKU never had a problem in 4.5 years...hoping my new Recon is as good. If it turns out to be a turd, I‘ll figure out something else. Only had the new one for a month but I’ve been happy so far. Time will tell. To the OP...I hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction.
I agree. I am in the lemon law process.
 

COBill

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I wish Jeep did a better job and gave the customer what they paid for.... it’s almost like they are built by Harbor Freight.
It basically comes down to this:

Jeep has a reputation, and they have no real competitors in the market niche they play in.

They don't raise quality because their poor quality doesn't affect sales.

They take the attitude "If you don't like it, buy something else that can do this." Many of their customers do; I can't count the number of times someone has pointed out something unacceptable in quality for a $50K vehicle to be told "It's a Jeep thing, go buy a 4 Runner if you don't like it."

They've had some competition from time to time - Toyota FJ Cruiser, Ford Bronco (original), Land Rover Defender 90 and 110 - but for the most part they've had the same attitude since the CJ (and ownership by Fiat doesn't help.)

Though Jeep's market share isn't negligible, it's also not big enough for a different manufacturer to bother going through the design, engineering and manufacturing effort to target the Wrangler's market niche as Jeep still has the "reputation."

For that matter, other manufacturers do the same; name recognition is the reason why Tesla hasn't had to improve their vehicle assembly to meet the basic parameters of quality most people would otherwise demand when paying $100K for a vehicle; there's no way a buyer would accept the unaligned body panels found on every Model S on a Hyundai.

Many people buy a Tesla because it's a Tesla, just as many people buy Jeeps because they're… Jeeps.
 
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jerrygcoffey

jerrygcoffey

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It basically comes down to this:

Jeep has a reputation, and they have no real competitors in the market niche they play in.

They don't raise quality because their poor quality doesn't affect sales.

They take the attitude "If you don't like it, buy something else that can do this." Many of their customers do; I can't count the number of times someone has pointed out something unacceptable in quality for a $50K vehicle to be told "It's a Jeep thing, go buy a 4 Runner if you don't like it."

They've had some competition from time to time - Toyota FJ Cruiser, Ford Bronco (original), Land Rover Defender 90 and 110 - but for the most part they've had the same attitude since the CJ (and ownership by Fiat doesn't help.)

Though Jeep's market share isn't negligible, it's also not big enough for a different manufacturer to bother going through the design, engineering and manufacturing effort to target the Wrangler's market niche as Jeep still has the "reputation."

For that matter, other manufacturers do the same; name recognition is the reason why Tesla hasn't had to improve their vehicle assembly to meet the basic parameters of quality most people would otherwise demand when paying $100K for a vehicle; there's no way a buyer would accept the unaligned body panels found on every Model S on a Hyundai.

Many people buy a Tesla because it's a Tesla, just as many people buy Jeeps because they're… Jeeps.
Honestly, in hindsight I should have just saved my money and built a TJ
 
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