The Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is a very advanced SUV — as far as Jeeps go, anyway. Despite this, some examples on the road appear to have an issue counting, because they’ve been recalled for odometers that freeze at exactly 13,342 miles and then stop displaying entirely.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration campaign #21V949000 warns that as many as 2,903 plug-in hybrid Wranglers — all model year 2021 and all manufactured between September 8, 2020 and September 13, 2021 — could fall victim to the issue. It stems from instrument panel cluster software that may have been preinstalled on newer examples, or updated at a dealer for those built earlier in the run.
Supposedly the digital odometer reaches 13,342 miles (21,473 kilometers) and then the value disappears. “A missing odometer reading could lead to an unintended delay in critical safety-related maintenance, potentially impairing the safe operation of the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash,” an NHTSA document dated December 14 reads.
It could also lead to an unscrupulous seller trying to rip off a prospective buyer, though the report makes no mention of that. You’d have to be a pretty careless shopper to be unable to verify mileage and blow past that red flag, but anything can happen. I suppose it’s better than if the clock froze at 13,342 miles but kept displaying, at least.
To fix this, Wrangler 4xe owners who have traveled less than 13,342 miles in their vehicles will be contacted for a free instrument panel update in late January. Those Wranglers that have more than 13,342 miles — at which point the odometer likely won’t show at all — will automatically get full cluster replacements. And anyone who has already paid for such service will be reimbursed, as the report notes. The more new software in cars, the more we’re going to keep seeing weird things happen when that software goes awry.