INEOS Grenadier Recalled Over Potential Steering Rod Ball Joint Disconnection

Article is from AUTO EVOLUTION Author: Mircea Panait (A USA on-line magazine).

This is not a UK Recall and the information published therein is from the above article.

The second recall concerning the Grenadier Station Wagon in less than a month is probably going to put a few prospective customers off. But on the other hand, bear in mind that INEOS Automotive is a relatively new automaker funded by London-based multinational corporation INEOS Group Limited.

Previously recalled for a relay control wire that may short circuit, the sport utility vehicle is also prone to steering rod ball joint disconnection. 61 vehicles are recalled in total, namely 2023 to 2024 models produced at smart’s former plant in France between May 17, 2023 and December 4, 2023. As it happens, the steering rod ball joint may disconnect from the steering knuckle due to plant workers installing non-locking nuts instead of the correct oval lock nuts.

Back in December 2023, the British automaker became aware of reports involving two Grenadier vehicles with loose steering rods. Prior to said reports, the company received a report alleging a lost drag link during off-road driving. These incidents prompted INEOS to investigate vehicles still under the manufacturer’s control, identifying a single vehicle in which a non-locking nut was installed at the steering rod ball joint instead of a locking nut.

INEOS determined that the non-locking nut had been torqued to the appropriate value, but nevertheless, the design of a non-locking nut makes it possible for said nut to loosen over time. This, in turn, could result in excessive vibration, noise, and steering free play. Given these circumstances, the automaker determined that a safety-related issue does exist in a grand total of 61 vehicles imported to the US of A.

5 of them had been delivered to customers, with said customers to be informed via first-class mail on January 26 about this honest mistake. Changes were made to the assembly process on December 7 to ensure the problem would not resurface ever again.

Dealers were instructed on December 29 to inspect and – if necessary – replace the steering rod ball joint nuts. According to documents filed with the federal watchdog, the affected VIN range begins with SC6GM1CA0RF010858 and ends with vehicle identification number SC6GN3CAXPFP10148. It should be highlighted that potentially affected vehicles were not produced in sequential order.

This, in turn, means that you’re better off running the 17-character VIN on the NHTSA’s website to determine whether your Grenadier is recalled or not. The service is completely free. Alternatively, owners can contact their preferred dealers or get in touch with INEOS Automotive Americas at 1-919-296-3626.

A body-on-frame 4×4 as opposed to the Defender, which is a unibody since 2019, the Grenadier is closer to Land Rover’s lineup than some people might think. For starters, the ZF-supplied 8HP torque-converter automatic is also used by the L663-gen Defender. The Grenadier uses inline-six engines from BMW, whereas the Defender comes with either a JLR-designed I6 or a soon-to-be-discontinued V8. The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, on the other hand, use BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8.

In due course, it’s likely that the Defender’s 5.0-liter supercharged V8 will be replaced by the BMW plant. INEOS isn’t expected to elevate the Grenadier to V8 muscle, partly due to emission regulations and partly due to the automaker’s intention to launch an electric 4×4 in 2026. To be produced by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria, the yet-unnamed model is smaller than the Grenadier.