Jeep Dealer Voids Warranty Due To Running Through Mud?

Thanks to the different forums you can find out all kinds of weird shit going on. Take, for instance, the word that a Jeep dealer has voided an owner’s warranty because he ran his Gladiator through the mud. You don’t believe it? Read on.

They say they “plowed through the mud a bunch of times.”

2020 Jeep Gladiator Three O Five Edition
2020 Jeep Gladiator Three O Five Edition | FCA

User Gladiatrix on the JeepGladiatorForum did what anybody would do with their new 2020 Jeep Gladiator; they went mudding. They say they “plowed through the mud a bunch of times.” Hell, we do that with just about any Jeep we have the pleasure of driving. That’s what a Jeep is made for, right?

Anyway, some of the mud got into the alternator rendering it inoperable. So Gladiatrix sped over to the nearest Jeep dealer, which is Russell Westbrook Jeep in Van Nuys, California. This was only five days after first purchasing the Jeep. The repair quote was over $3,000 for replacing the alternator, and other charges involving the radiator, battery, and more. 

Instead of having the dealer do the work Gladiatrix took the Jeep to the Jeep dealer it was purchased from for a second opinion. They quoted a small deductible for the alternator but called out no further repairs or maintenance. Everything was fine after that. At least it was for three months. We should also mention that Gladiatrix purchased an extended warranty when the Gladiator was first purchased.

Three months later the Jeep started having electronic gremlins

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

RELATED: Oops, the Jeep Wagoneer Already got Stuck in Mud

Three months after the fun mud run the Jeep started having electronic gremlins. It started with the center brake light failing. Then the stop-start system started going out. The biggest problem was when the rear axle began locking, especially on freeway onramps or just cruising down the highway. 

Gladiatrix got spooked when the Gladiator would fishtail on the dry pavement after the rear axle would inadvertently lock up. “I can’t unlock them if I try,” they said. When they took the Jeep into the dealer they were told there was a restriction placed on the Gladiator. This probably came from the first dealer logging the mud incident into the Fiat Chrysler warranty system. 

As a result, it meant that the new rear axle assembly necessary to fix the lock-up problem was not covered under warranty. Two battery replacements were also deemed necessary. The owner called the first dealer to find out why they put a restriction on the Gladiator. The service writer denied they had the authority to place a warranty restriction on any car. 

The owner was told the dealer placed the restriction on his warranty

2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

Contacting Fiat Chrysler, the owner was told the dealer had placed the restriction on his warranty. This was because it was reported that the Jeep had been “submerged” in the mud. Gladiatrix claims the mud was only a foot or so in depth. So the bottom line is that neither the dealer, manufacturer, or owner, want to eat the repair costs. 

Once there are water or mud-induced electrical problems things usually continue to get worse. That’s why you should never purchase a car totaled due to a flood. Unless you’re making a race car out of it, that is. Anyway, a lawsuit is being considered, something that could go either way if the warranty is written in such a way that indemnifies Jeep from warranties due to excessive mud. 

The thing that strikes some is that if mud can penetrate areas it is not supposed to be in, what about rainwater? And rain is a typical use of any vehicle. It’s hard to imagine mud doing any more damage than water. We’ll keep track of the forums to see where this goes. Thanks to Carbuzz for the tip.