Chrysler recalls 67,248 Jeep Cherokees over risk of stalling and rollaway

Pleasanton, CA – June 12, 2020 –Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) recalled 67,248 Jeep Cherokees over a defective part that can cause the SUV to stall or lose its park function without a warning. Sudden stalls can lead to a collision, and losing park function means that a car parked on a slope could roll away, posing a risk to surrounding people and vehicles.

The recall includes 2014-2017 Jeep Cherokees with two specific four-wheel-drive systems called Jeep Active Drive II and Active Drive Lock.

Recall summary

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) started looking into the issue back in February based on the reports that Jeep Cherokees were stalling and losing their “park” function. The culprit turned out to be the Power Transfer Unit (PTU), which is a part of a car that transfers power from the engine and transmission to the wheels.  As a result of a design flaw,  a part of the PTU that has “teeth” may wear off, which may result “in a loss of engagement” with another part of the PTU.  Because of that, Drive and Park may no longer function. The former leads to stalls, while the latter means that a parked vehicle will not stay put on a slope (unless its parking brake is engaged) posing a rollaway risk.

Newer Cherokees, which have stronger “teeth” on their PTU gears, are not part of the recall.

The risks

Anton Yelchin attends the 'Cymbeline' Photocall during the 71st Venice Film Festival on September 3, 2014 in Venice, Italy.
Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in “freak accident” on June 18th, 2016 when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled back and pinned him against a brick wall.

So far, there has been only one accident related to this recall.  But, stalling while driving can be dangerous and cause collisions, as faster-moving vehicles may hit the car from behind. And rollaways are extremely hazardous.  In 2016, Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, for example, was killed when his 2015 Grand Cherokee rolled backward down his driveway and crushed him.  

The fix

The repair offered by FCA is a software update that will prevent stalls and rollaways, and it should be available by September, according to an FCA’s recall center customer service representative. The company will reimburse owners who have already paid for a repair.

Is your vehicle affected by this recall?

Over 67,000 cars are part of this Chrysler recall. Check to see if your car is one of them at MotorSafety.org, where you can search for open recalls on your vehicle.

Joe GlaserChrysler recalls 67,248 Jeep Cherokees over risk of stalling and rollaway