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Jeep Cherokees Recalled Over Slipping Transmissions, Software Issues

Jeep Cherokees continue to have issues with transmissions. In the case of the 2014 and 2015 Cherokees, the voluntary recall issued today makes it the third recall over transmission woes. The first 2014-2015 issue was a software glitch that caused the transmission to arbitrarily go into Neutral in 2014 models. With the second 2014-2015 issue drivers exited the vehicle thinking it was in Park when it wasn’t. The recall today covers over 90,000 Cherokee SUVs built between 2014 and 2017. Those Cherokees have been recalled because of slipping transmissions and software issues.

Only four-wheel-drive Cherokees with two-speed power transfer cases have slipping transmissions

“A review of customer data prompted a Fiat Chrysler investigation that discovered a driveline connection may, in certain circumstances, slip. Should this occur, it may lead to loss of propulsion and prevent the transmission from engaging PARK when the vehicle is stationary,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. Only four-wheel-drive Cherokees with the two-speed power transfer case are affected. Those with the single-speed power transfer case called “Active Drive I” are not involved in this recall.

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep

The two-speed power transfer unit simulates two-speed transfer cases like those found in part-time four-wheel-drive vehicles. Jeep labels them “Active Duty II” and “Active Drive Lock” like those as standard equipment on Trailhawk Cherokees. The company says it has one report of a crash with no injuries. It also has 829 warranty claims and three field reports from the problem.

The gears in the unit that allows it to go from all-wheel-drive to front-wheel-drive can wear off

The gears in the unit that allows it to go from all-wheel-drive to front-wheel-drive can wear off. This can cut off power to the front wheels. It can also defeat shifting into Park potentially causing a roll-away situation.

RELATED: Jeep Owners Are Filing a Class-Action Lawsuit for an Expensive Problem

2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk
2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk | Jeep

A software update is needed, but you can’t receive it over the air. You have to take your Cherokee to a Jeep Service Department to have the software updated. Once updated, if the Cherokee is moving the driver will be alerted that the malfunction has occurred. The software will automatically shunt power to the rear end maintaining propulsion. If the issue happens while shifting into Park the computer will engage the parking brake automatically to avoid a roll-away situation.

This doesn’t fix the primary issue of gear teeth wearing off

While this doesn’t fix the primary issue of gear teeth wearing off it keeps loss of propulsion and the inability to be in Park from occurring. Fiat Chrysler’s response is that only 1% of Cherokees are affected. Most of those are covered by five-year warranties for drivelines. The 2014-2015 Cherokees have 100,000-mile coverage of transmissions. For 2016-2017 models the coverage is for 60,000 miles.  

If you have a 2014-2017 Jeep Cherokee that you think is affected Fiat Chrysler recommends using your parking brake before leaving the vehicle. The recall will begin in July and there is no charge to owners for the fix. For further info, you can visit the Fiat Chrysler recall website.