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Steering issue

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, left, and 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, right. (Image courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

In a story earlier this week about Jeep Gladiator reliability, we noted one of the biggest problems revolves around a steering issue. Well, we just found a technical service bulletin (TSB) that addresses just this problem in the 2020 Gladiator as well as 2018-2020 Wranglers.

Dated August 10, the TSB involves replacing the steering gear and updating the hydraulic power steering software.

Thus far, NHTSA.gov has logged 91 total complaints (between June 2019 and August 2020) about the all-new 2020 Gladiator, and nearly 75% of those complaints are steering related. Scrolling through the complaints, we pulled out a few excerpts.

One complaint states: “Requires constant adjustment to keep the vehicle going straight.” Another says: “I have never driven a modern day (sic) vehicle with this much steering play. This past weekend I took a mostly highway trip and it was mentally exhausting to have to work the steering wheel constantly back and forth with about 2” off (sic) play before it moved the wheels.”

Yet another one (and a personal favorite) claims: “The dead spot in the steering box makes the truck wander the road like a wet noodle, requiring constant input & dangerous over correction to stay in own lane.”

Most of the steering complaints follow along the same vein.

steering issue

2020 Jeep Gladiator – interior (Image courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

Thus, the TSB notes the symptom/condition is centering around steering wander and the fact the vehicle pulls to the left or right.

The TSB qualifies it will not fix steering shake, shimmy or vibration – which leads us to wonder if this is another complaint Jeep has seen.

The good news, however: If you have wandering problems, this fix is “reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty.”

The bottom line on the Jeep steering issue

While it’s no bueno more than 65 steering complaints have filtered in on a first model year, at least Jeep seems to be on top of it. So, hopefully this fix works and the complaints stop rolling in. Stay tuned.

Related posts:

How is 2020 Jeep Gladiator reliability so far? Early reports suggest a consistent issue

2020 Jeep Gladiator MPG Out, How Does it Compare?

2020 Jeep Gladiator Pricing Comparison – Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO, Chevy Colorado ZR2

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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6 Comments

  1. Steve October 14, 2020

    I don’t believe Jeep has fixed the issue. Today we, my spouse and I test drove a 2 door Wrangler and walked away with the same complaint. The steering either wants to go left or right but never straight. Curious as to if this is normal I came home and began a search when I came across this article. So it seems in mid October there are new Jeeps on the lot with steering issues.

    Reply
    1. Kyle December 21, 2020

      Steve, the wife and I test drove a 2020 and a 2021 Wrangler Ultimate Sport, and the steering is night and day different. We are waiting for our dealer to finish installation of the replacement steering box and software update to the new 2020 Wrangler Ultimate Sport before we took possession. We expect this to resolve the issues and I would ask the dealer to specifically address prior to your next test drive. The caveat is you need to own the vehicle as they perform the TSB under warranty conditions. Since this is the last new on the lot Bikini Pearl, we went ahead and went for it!

      Reply
  2. Phil April 8, 2021

    We also have a 2021 four-door Rubicon and we must continually chase it back on the road it is very aggravating on a long trip.
    What is the service bulletin. Or TSB required to fix this.

    Reply
  3. Steve April 27, 2021

    They are not “On top of it”. I have taken two 2021 Jeep Gladiators for test rides (on different days and dealers) and both wander back and forth on the highway, say 50 MPH and higher. One was an Overland (with all season tires), the other was a Mojave. I am not spending $60,000 on a brand new Gladiator that I have to constantly adjust the steering direction. The sales person asked one of his service techs about this and he claimed it was due to aerodynamics and wind.

    I have driven full size vans in windy conditions that hold the road better.

    Reply
    1. Jill Ciminillo May 5, 2021

      Interesting. I’m wondering if they didn’t do the fix for vehicles already on the lots? That would be a huge miss on Jeep’s part.

      Reply
  4. Barry Evans May 13, 2021

    Yep, the sales people will try to BS you into believing that it’s because it has a solid front axle. However, I was born in the morning, but not this morning.

    Reply

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