By Lauren C. Martin, Esq.
For years, CCA attorneys have heard complaints from concerned California consumers regarding Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee’s engine stalls and shut-downs. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), even 2019 Jeep Cherokees have been subject to numerous recalls and service bulletins regarding engine stalls and engine shut-downs. Consumers have complained extensively to Jeep, NHTSA, and to attorneys like us about the dangerous defects in these vehicles.
To illustrate a few, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (“FCA”), the manufacturer of Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee models, has 15 recalls associated with their 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Three of those recalls are related to potential engine stalling. First, in October of 2014, FCA issued a recall relating to the alternator failing. According to FCA, “if the alternator fails, the vehicle may stall without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.” This recall also applies to their 2011-2014 Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango, and Chrysler 300 vehicles, as well as all 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees. FCA’s remedy was to replace the alternator.
Again – in July 2017, FCA issued a recall addressing a very similar concern. However, FCA’s description expanded to include, “There is also the possibility that the alternator may short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire.” This recall also applies to their 2011-2014 Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango, and Chrysler 300 vehicles, as well as all 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees. FCA’s remedy at this point was to inspect the alternator and replace it, if necessary. Yet again – in November 2017, FCA issued a recall addressing the same concern. This recall also applies to their 2014 Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango, Chrysler 300, and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. Similar to their 2014 remedy, FCA’s fix in 2017 was to replace the alternator again.
Not only did the problems persist throughout the 2011-2014 model year (“MY”) Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles, they have persisted and are still concerns for the purchasers of FCA’s later models, including their 2019 MY Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles.
FCA’s 2019 MY Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee already have 9 reported recalls available via NHTSA. Four of those recalls are related to potential engine stalling or shut-downs. First, in May of 2018, FCA issued a recall relating to cylinder damage or camshaft failure which “can cause the engine to stall, increasing the risk of a crash.” FCA’s remedy is to inspect and repair/replace affected engine parts. Just two months later, in July of 2018, FCA issued a recall relating to loss of drive from an incomplete transmission weld, which “if the transmission weld fails, the vehicle will stop moving, increasing the risk of a crash.” FCA’s remedy for this would be to replace the entire transmission.
A month later, in August 2018, FCA issued a recall regarding the voltage regulator failing on the circuit board, thereby causing a stall or no-start condition. The remedy for this would be a replacement of the vehicle’s powertrain control module (“PCM”). Two months later, in October 2018, FCA issued a recall regarding an incorrect transmission calibration which may result in yet another condition of the vehicle stalling. FCA’s remedy would be to re-flash the transmission controller.
Sadly, the issues presented by these vehicles go beyond just an annoying inconvenience – they also pose a serious safety risk to drivers. For instance, the owner of a 2019 Jeep Cherokee with only 3,000 miles on it described the issues as follows: “multiple times engine has completely shutdown. Worst part is two times this happened in traffic, near miss accidents. This mostly happens in morning hours when i apply brake at traffic signals or when i take left/right turn, battery alert pops out on screen and engine shutdown, then I need to press alert/emergency button which flashes all indicators and # alert the world that my Jeep has screwed up again.”
Stalling, no-start, and shut-down conditions are ongoing concerns for Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee owners. CCA attorneys possess the knowledge and experience in handling claims arising from issues with FCA’s Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee issues, including those relating to engine stalls and shut-downs. If you’ve experienced any of these issues, or your vehicle continues to exhibit these issues, please call CCA for a free consultation: (833) LEMON-FIRM.