• Feb 28th 2011 at 9:31AM
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2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4x4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 615 complaints so far about the 2007 and 2008 Jeep Wrangler over issues of fuel spillage. The complaints say that when the Wrangler is being refueled, there's nothing that stops the fuel from spilling over onto the ground, all over the car or even on the person doing the refueling once the tank is full. NHTSA received so many complaints that the agency opened up its own investigation in August, 2010 to look into the matter.

After more than seven months of testing, though, NHTSA hasn't uncovered an issue that would require a recall. That is, of course, exactly what Chrysler has said all along. The Auburn Hills-based automaker contends that the issue only presents itself when the plastic o-ring on the inlet check valve swells from being exposed to fuel with a concentration of ethanol greater than 10 percent.

In the end, the big question is how so many complaints made it to NHTSA's desk when this really isn't such a wide-spread problem. NHTSA claims that the buzz surrounding this issue came from the Internet, which could explain why the number of complaints was so high. The agency claims on its website that "ODI suspects that the NHTSA safety complaints submitted by subject vehicles owners may have been influenced by Internet-related publicity both before and during this investigation." Don't look at us. Follow the jump to read over the over NHTSA investigation results.

[Source: NHTSA, MyFoxDC via The Car Connection]
Show full PR text
NHTSA Action Number : PE10032 NHTSA Recall Campaign Number : N/A
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
JEEP / WRANGLER 2007-2008
JEEP / WRANGLER 2-DR 4X4 2007-2008
JEEP / WRANGLER 2-DR 4X4 RHD 2007-2008
JEEP / WRANGLER 4-DR 4X2 2007-2008
JEEP / WRANGLER 4-DR 4X4 2007-2008

Component(s) :
Date Investigation Opened : August 23, 2010
Date Investigation Closed : February 16, 2011

ODI found the rate of warranty claims related to fuel spit back on the subject vehicles is lower than other vehicles previously recalled to correct defects related to fuel spit back. Although the rate of complaints reported to the agency on the subject vehicles is higher than or similar to the rates experienced in previous investigations where safety recalls were conducted, ODI suspects that the NHTSA safety complaints submitted by subject vehicles owners may have been influenced by internet related publicity both before and during this investigation. A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of agency resources does not appear to be warranted. Accordingly, this investigation is closed. The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that no safety-related defect exists. The agency will monitor the issue and reserves the right to take future action if warranted by the circumstances. See attached report for additional information. In addition, Chrysler is initiating a lifetime warranty program, at no cost to the consumer, to address the fuel spit back problem in approximately 135,000 model year 2007-2008 Jeep Wrangler vehicles built from March 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008. Chrysler will notify all affected vehicle owners of this action. Consumers should refer to the warranty and service bulletins and sample owner notification letter available in the investigative file. The vehicle build date can be found on the certification label located on the driver door or door jamb.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      can we add the nitro and liberty to that claim? mine does it constantly and the forums make it sound as normal as a VW spotting oil. There is even a service bulletin for the specific problem (#14-001-09 rev. a). Some owners who have experienced this problem claim to have had their fuel tanks replaced under warantee because of this issue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Owner of a 2008 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon(like the one in the pic) since purchased New and have never had this issue once. Then again, I usually leave the little lever on the trigger down so it will automatically hold and release when full. Don't see what the big deal is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a BMW N54 and never saw a HPFP failure but many thousands have. Nothing is a big deal unless it happens to you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Many states have outlawed the little lever and there is warning signs to not plug the gap with the gas cap to takes it place. So, you have no choice but hold it until it clicks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My daughter's 2007 Dodge Nitro has the problem. Every time the tank is filled, the nozzle clicks off, then an easy 1/2 gallon spews out of the filler. Even if you don't use the automatic nozzle, you'd better be quick. This seems to be a problem in several Chrysler products, Nitro, Caravan, and the Jeeps. I've pumped gas into many cars in the 47 years I've been driving, but I've never seen anything like this. Check the NHTSB website for reports of this problem, there are many. This is a MAJOR safety issue to say nothing of pollution and wasting $3.40 @ gallon gas that Chrysler refuses to recognize.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I own an '07 Rubi. No problems here (though I live in Oregon, so I don't, or can't, refill my own vehicle). I just received a letter from Jeep stating that if I have experience this issue, they will pay for the fix. And, the letter stated that if I already paid for this fix, they would reimburse me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great, so educated consumers are punished for knowing enough about the problem that it is a defect and also knowing how to complain?

      The Internet is what allows people to learn that something is a defect and not just a fluke.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I had a 2007 Unlimited Rubicon and it also had this problem. I am on of the 615 people who complained about it. It was very irritating to have a 3 year old Jeep burp out fuel on fillup.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You can add the 2005 Liberty to this issue. It happens everytime I fill up. It started about 6 months ago.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The problem is on Jeep Wranglers built in 2007 through the end of March 2008. They claim that more than 10% ethanol is the cause which is B.S. because I bought my 08 jeep new in February of 08 and I have never put gas containing more than 10% ethanol into it. When I started having trouble, I thought I was the only one. Thanks to the internet, I read about everyone else having the same problem and I was able to submit a complaint. The trouble is caused by a faulty tank vent. Pressure builds up inside the tank while filling and when gas stops going in, the pressure pushes gas and air back out of the tank. I have tried shutting off the pump before the tank is full and it still soaks me with gasoline.

      Now I have "lifetime warranty" on my fuel system. Yippee! Does this mean that if I explode while fueling my jeep, the warranty is expired? I guess until then I will have my local Jeep dealer keep a place open in the shop for my weekly apointment to "fix" this problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I own a 2008 Unlimited Sahara with an automatic trans and 35k miles and mine started doing this about 6 months ago. It happens every other time I refuel regardless of what station I use. I depress the trigger and use the small lever to keep the fuel pumping while I check the tire pressure or clean the windows, and the pump consistantly does the automatic shut off a few seconds too late. It shuts off after fuel has started to spill out onto the car and the ground.

      Is this a huge problem, no. Is it annoying, absolutely.

      (I discovered this problem on my own. I only noticed articles on this site after it had happened to me many times.)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2007 Chrysler Aspen with the exact same problem. I simply listen to the noise the inflowing gas makes when entering my vehicle. When the pitch changes, I ease up and stop. People, stop being so damn lazy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Tell that to someone who is deaf or hearing impared when there is a reasonable expectation that this shouldn't happen.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Arguably if you're that deaf they shouldn't be driving.
        Same with the half blind, half dumb, epileptics, diabetic/seizure prone.
        Geez...when are ever going to learn.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All they need to do is put a Toyota logo on them and that will get NHTSA to change their mind.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mine started after they dropped the tank to do the brake line recall b/c the lines were rubbing on the wheel liners. Seems they need to recall the problem since, for me at least, they directly caused it. Had it for 2 years prior to the brake line recall and never a problem.

      They claim it was just the way we filled it up.... BS!
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