The recall affects 33,200 model-year 2018, 2019, and 2020 Jeep Wrangler SUVs and model-year 2020 Gladiator pickup trucks with manual transmissions.
Jeep has also issued a stop-sale order for unsold vehicles involved in the recall. The remedy for these defects is still under development.
The problem is that the clutch pressure plate can overheat due to friction and break, which in turn could fracture the transmission case. If hot “debris” hits an ignition source, it could start a fire.
Furthermore, damage to nearby components can result in debris falling onto the road, or a loss of ability to drive the vehicle, which could cause a crash.
A driver might smell a burnt-clutch or experience “excessive or abnormal” clutch-pedal travel, which could be a sign that the clutch is about to fail, according to the NHTSA.
Jeep manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will begin notifying owners April 22.
Owners can call the automaker at 800-853-1403 or visit the recall website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to check their vehicle identification number (VIN).