Seattle law firm Keller Rohrback is bringing together Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee 4xe owners for a possible class action lawsuit. A call-to-action post on the business’s website alleges that the Jeep misled buyers of plug-in hybrid off-road vehicles by claiming it could operate in an electric-only mode. This is because the internal combustion engine is constantly exposed to winter temperatures due to the oil refresh mode (FORM).
drive I reached out to Jeep for comment, but have yet to hear back. The law firm cites claims from owners that the Jeep cannot achieve the 21 to 25 miles of battery-only range claimed by the manufacturer. As such, they said the premium they paid for these models was unnecessary and pointed to Jeep for its false publicity.
The FORM cycle is used in hybrid models to keep gaskets and seals warm and expand to prevent gasoline from mixing with oil. This is done by briefly bursting the internal combustion engine while reaching operating temperature. It is normal for gas and oil to mix in internal combustion engines, but the heat from normal operation evaporates very little of the gas. This is not necessarily the case with plug-in hybrids, which can run for long periods of time without running the internal combustion engine. Some Jeep 4xe owners claim they have the opposite problem with their rigs.
A 4xe forum thread from February 2022 details the alleged impending problem and some promising solutions. Some owners block the front grill completely to retain heat during winter driving. In fact, Mopar sells a cover specifically for his Wrangler. User 4xeveryday says it’s important to keep the oil temperature at least 192 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or longer.
The Wrangler 4xe will be the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in the US in 2022, accounting for nearly a quarter of all Wrangler sales. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, aided by a small battery pack and electric motor, produces a combination of 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Hitting 20 mpg according to the EPA, it’s far from his most efficient PHEV, but people love the Jeep.
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