Broken 2020 Jeep Gladiator Gets Warranty Voided After Driving Through Mud

The Jeep Gladiator is advertised as a go-anywhere off-roading pickup truck. However, one Gladiator owner recently decided to put this to the test. Unfortunately, their truck received some significant damage during a muddy expedition. According to CarBuzz via Jeep Gladiator Forum, a local dealership took a look at the truck and voided its warranty in the process.

How did mud damage this 2020 Jeep Gladiator?

The Jeep Gladiator is a pickup truck version of the Wrangler.
Jeep Gladiator | FCA

This broken Jeep Gladiator story begins back in July of 2020 when CarBuzz reports that a member of the Jeep Gladiator forum named Gladiatrix bought their truck. The truck in question is a Rubicon trim level with upgraded mudding tires, says CarBuzz. Given the options selected on the truck, its owner felt confident taking it through mud various times. As you’d expect, mud splashed everywhere inside of the engine bay. According to CarBuzz, this caused damaged to the alternator, and the truck was towed to the nearest dealership.

Upon giving this 2020 Jeep Gladiator a look, the dealership determined that the alternator, radiator, and both batteries needed replacing. The bill came out to a total of $3,000. According to CarBuzz, the owner expected Jeep to cover the repairs under warranty. To their surprise, the dealership claimed these repairs did not fall under the factory warranty.

In response, this Jeep Gladiator owner decided to take their truck to the dealership from which they bought it. Upon giving it a second look, the only item that needed replacing was the alternator. The second dealership charged a small deductible for the repair. Additionally, the dealership reportedly confirmed the valid status of the truck’s warranty.

More problems arose shortly after

Grey-brown 2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave truck crossing a dune at sunset
2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave | Jeep

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After the initial ordeal, CarBuzz reports that the Jeep Gladiator owner carried on, believing the problem was over. However, just a few months later, the truck began experiencing issues with its rear center brake light. Shortly after, the Auto Stop/Start feature ceased working, says CarBuzz. The suspected culprit is the pair of batteries.

On a more serious note, the Jeep Gladiator’s rear axle reportedly locked up while exiting the highway, says CarBuzz. As a result, the owner reported that their truck lost traction in the rear twice, almost causing an accident. In response, the owner went back to the original dealership to have the truck inspected. According to CarBuzz, the dealership found that both the axle and batteries needed replacing.

Unfortunately, the dealership reportedly told the owner that their truck had a restriction on it. This restriction did not allow the dealership to perform any repairs under warranty. In response, the owner contacted Fiat Chrysler Automotive and found that the dealership that denied warranty repairs initially had reported the truck.

Why did the dealership void the warranty?

2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport is on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The 2020 Jeep Gladiator | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

CarBuzz reports that FCA told the Jeep Gladiator owner that the dealership placed the restriction because they “submerged” the truck in the mud. To add insult to injury, the restriction reportedly cannot be lifted. Additionally, the owner had purchased an extended warranty when they bought the truck. This means that FCA voided the warranty five days after the truck was purchased.

In response, the owner claims the mud was only one foot deep, making it impossible to submerge the truck. According to Jeep, this truck should be able to drive through up to 30 inches of water safely. To this end, CarBuzz reports that the owner plans to take legal action.

However, there are two sides to every story, and there is a decent chance the owner may have caused the damage. As a result, we can’t fully shift the blame on to FCA just yet. Only time will tell how this ongoing story plays out.