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Car Talk Car Complaints

Car Talk Car Complaints | Mar 14, 2016

Merriam-Webster defines a renegade as “Someone or something that causes trouble and cannot be controlled.” All righty, then. That may make the Jeep Renegade the most appropriately named vehicle in history, or at least eligible for some kind of truth in marketing award.

Unhappy Renegade owners have been lighting up the virtual switchboard over at lately, with a regular all-you-can-eat buffet of gripes about their new Jeeps. Even though the all-new Renegade was just introduced last year, it’s already climbing toward the top of’s list of trending problem vehicles.

The Renegade has also earned a place of honor over at, where it has been the recipient of at least 14 Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) during its short life.

No lighting is flattering enough to conceal 14 technical service bulletins. (Jeep Photo)

And the complaints are not limited to one area or component, they run the gamut from squeaking brakes, to malfunctioning door locks, to failed transmissions.

Some owners, like Sagardner7 of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, tell they’ve been sampling several different items at the complaint buffet, all within days of picking up their car.

“My car is scheduled to be seen for its 4th time this Wednesday,” said Sagardner7. “When you buy a new car, you shouldn't be servicing it two days later and going on your 4th shop trip 2 1/2 weeks into owning it, either.”

Some owners feel this is too short a window to be on their fourth service visit since taking delivery.

That’s a fair point, especially when one of Sagardner7’s gripes is a warning message saying the 4WD system needed service.

“Never even used 4WD yet,” says Sagardner7.

A Jeep Renegade using that famous 4WD. (Jeep Photo)

Other owners have complained of transmission problems, something we’ve seen in other recent Fiat Chrysler vehicles such as the Chrysler 200.

“I noticed that the vehicle started shifting weird at 100 miles,” wrote Jvan J., of Albuquerque, NM. “I brought the car back because it wasn't downshifting…the service people they told me that the transmission was defective.”

Jvan J got a new Jeep out of the deal, but that didn’t ease the pain for long.

Owners are seeing a lot of light-up activity in this area of their Renegades. (Jeep Photo)

“They replaced my vehicle with another one, and after 500 miles it started doing the rough shifting. I brought it back and they told me that the car was working as designed. I've called Jeep corporation and they were pretty rude and useless.”

At least Jvan J didn’t mention having to put up with squeaky brakes on either of his new Jeeps, something that’s been another common problem. And we’re not just talking a little squeak. We’re talking brakes that one owner compares to the sound of an approaching school bus, and another says are straining the local peace.

“My neighbors complain when I leave in the morning, as the braking noise wakes them up,” said Middendorfb of Stillwater, USA.

Still, some of the most irate owners are those who have had problems with failing door locks and malfunctioning key fobs — and have been told by dealers the fix is to disconnect and re-hook up the battery every time this happens.

“After 4600 miles, the electric door locks failed,” wrote Jimmydamonkey, of Middletown, NJ. Jimmy, who is apparently aware of the disconnect fix, says he’ll report back after he takes his Jeep in for repair.

“It had better not be — 'disconnect the battery’ every time this occurs. I mean I didn't buy a Hyundai or Kia - they'd better fix this,” he says.

Well, Mr, da monkey, perhaps you should have. You might have been better off.

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