really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,933 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Jeep Liberty:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #46

Jul 082011


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that the front driver side tire felt felt abnormal and the vehicle begin jerking violently. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop who diagnosed that the front control arm and the driver side upper bolt joint assembly needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 102,000.

- Bedford, IN, USA

problem #45

Jun 142011

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Passenger upper ball joint failure.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #44

May 142011


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph the vehicle began to veer towards the left. At the same time, the passenger side of the vehicle dropped downward. The contact was unable to turn the steering wheel and crashed into a set of trees. A police report was filed. Both the driver and passenger were hospitalized as a result of their injuries. The manufacturer investigated the failure and informed the contact that the upper ball joint seperated from the vehicle. The contact was also informed the steering wheel was bent and the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 09V119000 (suspension:front:control arm). The vehicle was towed to a storage yard, but was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 170,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #43

Mar 312011

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 92,212 miles
Car was taken in for another issue with the Jeep vehicle (seems constantly happening). I was told the upper ball joint was failing and car should not be driven. The mechanic called re a possible recall and was informed my vehicle was not in the recall. The date of manufacture was in the required date range but the car was not sold in a "salt belt state". actually the car was in the date range (May 1 was start of manufacture - mine was May 2) this is not acceptable. I was driving a dangerous vehicle on an interstate constantly and in an inspection for a leak in fluids this ball joint failure was found. Jeep constantly refuses to pay for issues that are turning out to be excessive repairs for many owners. But an extreme vehicle parts failure such as this is not acceptable and should involve all vehicles - not just those in the so called "salt belt".

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #42

Feb 182011


  • 132,000 miles
I stopped to pick up my daughter's snow pants on the way from school. Backing out of the driveway I heard and felt my tire do something. I didn't know what it was, but the car was obviously unable to be driven. When I got out, my passenger side front tire was at angles to the car. The upper and lower ball joints gave out and according to the mechanic, the brake line was basically the only thing holding the tire on. I didn't know there was anything unusual going on up to this point, as any small steering issues I had were mostly when the car had just been started, so were attributed to cold and ice. The car is currently at the dealer waiting to be fixed, so the old parts should be available.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #41

Sep 082010


  • 75,806 miles
I am experiencing a rattling sound when driving uphill or downhill through driveway, traveling 5-20 miles an hour. I took my Jeep 2002 Liberty 2wd to get serviced and received recommended repairs: Prosteer control arm with ball joint upper center, remove and install propeller shaft to replace universal joints on both ends, rear wheel bearings, tail pipe is welded to muffler, muffler does not meet design specifications and should be replaced due to exhaust leak as well, remove rack and pinion, complete rack as does not meet design specifications and is leaking. I was driving about 25 mph and my rear right side tire was smoking profusely. I pulled over and noticed the gray smoke from my tire. I took the car to check the rear breaks. They were fine but was told that I had a leak from the exhaust pipe which dripped on to that area. The car has 75,806 miles. I was told that I could loose control of vehicle and entire area can collapse during traffic due to these issues. Aside from these issues, I am experiencing a whistling sound, problems with rear drivers side passenger power window regulator which produces grind-like sound. The window came off and I was told that I needed a new regulator for the window. I'm also experiencing a red stain in engine oil drippage on ground. Finally, strange odor from car -odor continues to be present whether I wash the carpets and seats (smells like mold/mildew or skunk).

- Berwyn, IL, USA

problem #40

Apr 142010

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Chrysler has taken over a month and still does not have my recall part that can cause the ball joints to separate while driving. The parts may be at the dealership by mid June. I am 6 months pregnant and am very concerned about driving this vehicle. I called customer service and they had no answer and no sympathy. I originally took my car to dealer in mid April. I think an expectant mother should be priority.

- Mcclellandtown, PA, USA

problem #39

Apr 202010

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Received safety recall notice on April 20, 2010, and dealer is unable to get parts to fix the problem until July or August.

- Parkersburg, WV, USA

problem #38

May 112010

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
While inspecting front brake pads noticed rubber boots on lower and upper ball joints were completely deteriorated (dry rotted). This is a 2002 Liberty 4X4 renegade with 37000 miles highway driving only. Lower ball joint was covered by recall at dealer. Upper control arm /ball joint (assembly) is covered in so called salt belt states, but not here in Texas. The rubber boots (seals) appear to be made with defective material that cannot withstand any environment. Apr 09,2009/recall id#65314 should cover all Jeep Liberty vehicles in all states. This is truly a dangerous life threatening defect that needs to be fixed by Jeep dealers at company cost immediately to save lives.

- Port Arthur, TX, USA

problem #37

Apr 162010

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I received a recall notice from Chrysler (safety recall J17) a few weeks ago. I called my dealer to have it repaired, and he told me that Chrysler was only permitting them to have one recall kit installed per week, and that there was a waiting list. I am still waiting. Why did Chrysler issue a recall if they are not willing to fix it in a timely manner?

- Punxsutawney, PA, USA

problem #36

Jan 032010


  • miles
The front suspension upper control arms ball joint seal has experienced damage in both sides. The loss of lubrication has lead to corrosion, and accelerated wear. No incident has occurred yet, and the situation was found during an inspection of the front suspension.

- Toa Alta, PR, USA

problem #35

Sep 172009


  • 105,000 miles
Recall #009V119000 dated Apr 09, 2009 expected to begin October 2009 covering 2002 Jeep liberties excludes the state of Louisiana - condition described in the recall exactly describes the problem with my vehicle. Since Chrysler is aware that this condition does exist, why does it exclude the state of Louisiana. "the front suspension upper control arm ball joint may experience a loss of lubrication which could lead to corrosion, accelerated wear & possible separation while driving. Consequence: Failure of the ball joint could result in a loss of steering capability, increasing the risk of a crash." Previous recall on lower ball joint has been taken care of.

- Tickfaw, LA, USA

problem #34

Sep 092009


  • 115 miles
I was pulling out of my driveway last night and the front drivers wheel fell off. The upper control arm with the ball joint snapped in half.

- Worcester , MA, USA

problem #33

Mar 122009


  • 109,759 miles
I had just backed out of a parking space in a busy parking lot, drove forward about 20 feet going no more than 7-10 mph, then made a left - still within the parking lot. When turning, I heard a grinding noise, then suddenly, the front end of my 2002 Jeep Liberty renegade collapsed onto the front tire of the driver's side. The upper ball joint of the vehicle had completely separated, knocking the wheel off in the process. This incident occurred in the late afternoon on a Sunday (when mechanics are not open). Aaa towed the Jeep to a local garage nearby; however, on Monday morning, I called Chrysler to file a complaint about what had happened. My call was picked up by an overseas customer service rep. He told me that if I could have the car towed to a Chrysler dealer, they would see what they could do about covering the repair, but to call back after they'd spoken with the dealer. Later that afternoon, I called back. Long story short, my call was escalated to a guy in detroit, who at first said that the call center rep had no business suggesting that my repair would be covered. When I told him I have photos of what happened to the car, he authorized the repair. The dealer had to replace the upper control arm and ball joint, and the brake line which was severed when the front end collapsed! I asked the dealer for the defective parts. He said Chrysler would want them because they were covering it "under warranty." This is a major defect and safety issue - one of many in the 2002 Jeep Liberty. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had pulled out onto the busy highway! while I was happy that Chrysler covered this cost, the car needed further adjustments when it was returned to me as the suspension felt loose and the vehicle was pulling to the left and shaking. The dealer said these were all unrelated (?!), and charged me for those repairs.

- Northport, NY, USA

problem #32

May 052009


  • 77,300 miles
Was turning right onto a busy road when the front upper ball joint failed. Managed to get to the side of the road. Was told by a local dealer that Chrysler would not do anything for this, regardless of the numerous complaints I've read about online. I replaced the upper control arm myself. $226 in parts.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #31

Feb 272009


  • 117,000 miles
Failure of upper ball joint let side on 2-27-09, two days after the lower ball joint on same side was replaced as per recall. The replacement of the lower ball joint was the fourth such replacement. I initiated the repair two days earlier after the vehicle began to make a grinding noise. The lower ball joint failed a couple of years ago while the vehicle was traveling in reverse at low speed while backing out of a parking space. The failure of the upper ball joint happened about five minutes after traveling at 70 mph down an interstate. After exiting the freeway, I pulled the Jeep into a parking lot of a convenience to check directions and then pulled out at low speed - less than 10 mph. It failed.

- Layton, UT, USA

problem #30

Dec 192008


  • miles
Jeep Liberty 2002- had the ball joints replaced as part of the recall, 2 years later replacement is now defective. Jeep replaced again.

- Alburtis, PA, USA

problem #29

Nov 012008


  • 205,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While driving approximately 18 mph, the contact heard loud noises and then lost control of the vehicle. She had to continue to apply her brakes in order to stop the vehicle. A certified mechanic diagnosed the vehicle as having ball joint failure. The contact found two recalls regarding the ball joints for her year, make, and model vehicle. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 205,000.

- Ashland, VA, USA

problem #28

Oct 312008


  • 58,000 miles
Took 2002 Jeep Liberty for oil change. Informed vehicle needs 2 new upper ball joints. Bottoms were recalled by Chrysler. Why not the uppers as well"??"

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #27

Oct 252008


  • 96,000 miles
2003 Jeep Liberty top passenger side ball joint separation. While turning right into our driveway the top ball joint separated causing the wheel to lean to the outside of the vehicle.

- La Crosse, WI, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »