really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,642 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 #23

Aug 192017


  • 144,000 miles
The lower ball joint sheared off causing the wheel to fall causing the bottom of the ball joint to land on the rim. Thus cutting the rim all the way around it off and puncturing the tire. Thus causing the vehicle to slide to a stop at 50 miles an hour with a skid mark. Thus having to call for a tow truck to pick it up. Luckily no one was hurt. The vehicle was on a off ramp of a freeway to a on ramp over pass of another freeway.

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #22

Apr 212017


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. While making a right turn at 5 mph, the contact heard an abnormal noise. It was discovered that the lower ball joint fractured and the wheel was bent at a 45 degree angle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of failure. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Canon City, CO, USA

problem #21

Sep 252015


  • 135,096 miles
Lug nuts broke on the driver side front tire while driving. While driving on I95 the Jeep started making a terrible noise. I pulled off the highway and the wheel was angled. I got a tow to my mechanic and he replaced 5 wheel studs and lug nuts. Seems to be a common problem with the Liberty.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #20

Feb 112015

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 161,990 miles
I was driving down the highway and I don't really remember the moment before the accident but I lost control of my car and hit the median barricade head on and from there my car kept going across the highway off to the grass area. I was the only one injured and taken to the hospital. My car is ruined and I faced a broken nose, back, knee, knock, head, and shoulder brushing and pain, and now I keep having a short term memory on some occasions. I also get nauseated when K get in a vehicle and get terrified when I'm with someone driving down the street. I have no vehicle at the time, it's been almost two and a half months and I haven't had any help with anything. I am a full time college student working a part time job, my sister or boyfriend have to take me to work and school, it's getting pretty tiring for them to take me everywhere. I work about 15 minutes away from my home and it's difficult for them to take me when they have school and work on those days. The air bags in my Jeep did not deploy, it went in for the recall and you can literally see the sensors, the clearly should have deployed. My Jeep had no engine or air bag codes of any kind.. so why didn't they go off?! I'm terrier that im going to loose my job and not afford to pay rent or bills.

- Corpus Christi , TX, USA

problem #19

Jul 232013


  • 139,567 miles
In a parking lot, started to move forward, grinding sound. Discovered that the rf wheel was off. Chrysler dealer (begnal, kingston NY) discovered rf lower ball joint broke -- damaged rf wheel, brake hose, axle shaft and seal, lower control arm, rf sway bar end link, and rf fender flare. Inspected lf ball joint - discovered it was loose. Removed rf lower control arm and installed new control arm -- installed new rf and lf ball joints, installed new rf sway bar end link and rf axle shaft assembly and seal. Mounted and balanced one tire onto new rf wheel and installed and replaced rf fender. Performed 4 wheel alignment. Jeep customer service states that this is not a recall repair. Just wear and tear to recall repair completed in 2006.

- Kerhonkson, NY, USA

problem #18

Jan 012005


  • miles
2002 Jeep Liberty wheels: Lux aluminum wheels - delamination of coating on aluminum and corrosion of aluminum wheels.

- Addison, IL, USA

problem #17

Nov 072014

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Got a flat tire and noticed that my two front tires were wearing extremely unevenly (both tires looked fine on outside, really worn on inside). Been noticing some slipping in the steering wheel for about a month, getting worse throughout the month. Aaa came to fix the tire and said the ball joint looked bad and that they "see this all the time on these vehicles." I had already had F23 done on this car which was supposed to fix the lower ball joints but probably didn't and noticed there was a recall called J17 which covers the upper ball joints which for some reason didn't apply to my vehicle because it was built in May 2001 and the affected vehicles were built may-Sept 2002. I suspect my vehicle should have been part of that recall, especially after what aaa said and what they said at the repair shop, that they see faulty ball joints on these all the time. Why was my defective car not included" did Jeep really make the cars worse after May 2002 or is it more likely mine had the same problem" this omission has led to an extremely hazardous condition and unreliable steering. I have had nothing but problems with this car since we bought it a year ago. A/C evaporator went bad out of nowhere, hit a bump which caused one of my brakes to snap, something that's inexcusable with an SUV, it's just repair after repair.

- Palos Verdes Estates, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 232014

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 166,000 miles
I was attempting to slowly reverse out of a parking space when I heard a really loud noise and my vehicle jolt. I stopped and placed the vehicle on park, I got out of my vehicle and check the outside and under the vehicle and did not see anything out of the norm. However, when I again put the car on drive, the noise became louder and my vehicle jolted. I proceeded to very slowly park the car again and turn off. When the tow trucker driver arrived and looked at the vehicle, he said that the ball joint had somehow had separated or broken off from its connection. He said that in order to tow it, he would have to slowly move it onto his truck and in doing so the tire will come off all together which would cause damage to the front end of the vehicle. As he said, the Jeep titled forward and cracked and broke the front end plastic tire cover. I proceeded to get the vehicle towed to my house, then researched recalls on Jeep and found out that my car had a recalls on it. I then got my vehicle towed to a Chrysler/Jeep dealer in downey ca, where we where told that they would fix the recalls but would not fix the damage on the outside of the vehicle. [xxx] the service employee, said that we should have taken the car to a dealership sooner to get fix, I let him know that yes I would have if I had known it had a recall. The damaged that happen to the front end of the vehicle was a direct result of the ball joint recall and it should be covered and fix by the Chrysler/Jeep dealership without charge. If the ball joint issue would of happened while in the street or the freeway, myself and others could have been seriously hurt or killed, so I don't understand why the dealership is not willing to cover the full damage of my vehicle when in reality it could have been far worse and they would have been held accountable. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #15

Dec 272013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 116,078 miles
We were traveling southbound on I75 at a speed of only approximately 15mph due to a car accident ahead of us. All of sudden my car dropped and I heard a scrap of metal against asphalt. I slowly pulled car over to center median and got my children to the center of the guardrails to keep them safe. Upon expecting vehicle, I noticed that the wheel on the passenger front side of the vehicle was turned away from the car, the molding was detached and the metal that holds the wheel in place was sitting on the roadway. We had to wait for over 3 hours for a tow truck due to needing a tow truck that had a lift, not a flatbed. By the time the tow truck arrived, the dealership was closed and we had to be towed to a repair shop that could have the repairs completed for us by Saturday afternoon. It turned out to be the ball joint nut fell off of the bolt that holds it in place. The entire ball joint needed to be replaced as well as lubricated. The repair person checked the other side and suggested we take to have inspected, as it did not have a cotter pin to hold the nut onto the ball joint assembly. The total cost for the replacement was $240. Because of our speed, no one was hurt. Due to the facts known about the Jeep Liberty, I was thankful we were not traveling at the posted speed limit of 70mph or we would have had a vehicle turn over and possible injuries or death. I have photos as well as receipts showing this issue.

- Trenton, FL, USA

problem #14

Apr 032013

Liberty 6-cyl

  • miles
I just got off of the highway and was heading to the gas station. Made the right turn and the vehicle on the right side jerked to the ground and hit hard. Put it in park and got out of the vehicle and checked the tires to see if one was blown. Noticed fender above front passenger side tire was off and my ball joint arm was on the ground. The lower ball joint came completely off. It was not rusted and was well lubricated. Had to pay for a tow to haul it to my parents house. I need to know if Chrysler is going to repair my vehicle.

- Breese, IL, USA

problem #13

Oct 282010

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
De regreso a casa demi trabajo la llanta del lado derecho de enfrente SE poncho Y choque con un arbol. Mi veiculo fue perdida total. Tengo problemas fisicos que desafortunadamente la aseguranza no quiso cubrir. Me golpee la cabesa mi mandibula la tengo danada Y otras partes demi cuerpo. Yo creo que ES causa deque la bolsa de aire no esploto por eso me golpee muy fuerte. Quiero saber conquien dirigirme para poder obtener algun apoyo. Grasias.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #12

Aug 012012


  • 145,000 miles
Where to begin" my airbag light has been coming on for months while driving. I took it to a Chrysler dealership 6 months ago & was charged $100 for them to tell me they didn't know what was wrong. About a month ago, while driving on the highway, my headlights went out, came back on, went out again, and finally I hit my high beams and they stayed on. My engine uses about 2 quarts of oil per week. I have parked on clean surfaces & there is no oil leaking, but it is going somewhere. I can hear a ticking noise coming from the engine area. I called Chrysler's toll-free number today after the headlights went out again, and was informed that my Jeep is under recall for the air bag module, and maybe that is what is causing the lights to go out. This makes no sense to me that one would have anything to do with the other. I told them that I have seen other complaints about the headlights, but they stated that they've had no complaints. I have also replaced front tires three times in the past year for wear on the outside edge. I've had the Jeep aligned, tires rotated as they should be, and they just keep balding on the outer edge. The service tech said that Jeep eat through tires because of the wheel base" this car has all but eaten up most of my income. It is constantly having issues, and I get nowhere with Chrysler.

- St Joseph, MO, USA

problem #11

Oct 102012


  • 160,000 miles
I began having problems with the electrical system in August. Headlights flicker on and off at will, as well as interior lights. Passenger side headlamp won't come on at all now and interior lights continue to flicker. While pulling into my driveway, passenger side front tire completely separated from the vehicle, leaving me speechless. We have been the only owners of this vehicle and weren't notified of any recalls. Hoping we can get this repaired soon......

- Phenix City, AL, USA

problem #10

Dec 232011

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 113,330 miles
Left front tire fell to the side. Ball joint was broken. Steering was impossible. Vehicle contained male and female parents and two young children. They were on a busy freeway in northern ca. When auto repair people looked at it they found no grease in the joint and the ball had rust all over the top. This is a sealed joint that could not be greased. It looked as though is was not properly greased during original installation.

- Jerome, ID, USA

problem #9

Nov 282011

Liberty 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
The wheel lug bolts, all five, on the front right wheel have sheared off at the wheel hub. I have three of the lug bolts (for metallugical analysis) and pictures of the vehicle position at the time of failure. Apparently two of the other lug bolts had failed earlier and dropped from the vehicle. Had this final failure occurred at a higher rate of speed than 1 mph, the results would have been disastrous. I do not feel that a failure such as this is normal for ~114,000 miles on a 10 year old vehicle and suspect that it may be the result of substandard material. I have electronic pictures that I can submit.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 182010


  • 82,000 miles
Lug nuts split in half when removed. If tire goes flat will not be able to change tire & drive to safety. 2002 jeepo Liberty.

- South Euclid, OH, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Jan 022010


  • miles
Front lug nuts loosen on 2002 Jeep Liberty. Third time on this car.

- Af, UT, USA

problem #5

Jun 202005

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,700 miles
Alloy wheels corroded by valve stem, actual holes in them. Bought one new wheel from chrylser after complaining of problem. In the process of getting new tires, my mechanic noticed another wheel had a hole. I have to purchase 4 new wheels, and new 4 tires for my Liberty at 37000. Tires were constantly needing air, at least once a week. Caused the vehicle to pull, and caused excessive tire wear. Yes I still have the second wheel with the hole in it. I guess I'll find out if the other two wheels have holes when my new wheels come in. Very discouraged!

- Streetsboro, OH, USA

problem #4

Nov 232003

Liberty 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The center cap of Jeep Liberty alloy wheels allows water to enter the space between the wheel and hub. The wheel does not allow the water to escape. This results in corrosion of the axles, axle retaining nuts, wheels mounting studs and lug nuts.

- Saline, MI, USA

Read the next 3 complaints »