For the 2021 model year, Jeep launched a brand new Quadra-lift air suspension available for the Cherokee L. Because of the ongoing issue with semiconductor production, it has disappeared as an option. The chip shortage has caused countless issues for automakers. Production has slowed or completely stopped for some popular models. This roadblock resulted in outrageous prices for new and used vehicle dealerships. The Jeep Cherokee L now lost a standard feature for the Overland and Summit models because of it. How did the chip shortage cause Jeep to drop the air suspension from Cherokee L models?
Jeep’s dropped air suspension
The Quadra-life air suspension for the Cherokee L’s main purpose comes with offroading. It gives drivers five different modes from which to choose; Normal Ride Height, Off-Road 1, Off-Road 2, Park Mode, and Aero Mode. Each of the different modes lowers or raises the vehicle to a different height. Normal Ride Height provides 8.3 inches of ground clearance, Off-Road 1 lifts the vehicle 1.6 inches, and Off-Road 2 lifts 2.4 inches, which gives it a maximum ground clearance of 10.9 inches. Park mode lowers the Cherokee L by 1.8 inches, and Aero mode lowers it by 0.8 inches. The purpose of these lowering modes is to allow passengers in and out more easily. Being 10.9 inches off the ground might make it difficult to climb in for some people.
A statement issued to Mopar Insides by a Jeep spokesperson confirmed the air suspension removal was due to the chip shortage. “Chip constraints have necessitated some changes to available equipment on the 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L,” the spokesperson said. “If a vehicle was built without the equipment, the U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price was adjusted accordingly to reflect a reduction in overall cost.” Until the chip shortage is “fixed”, Jeep has eliminated this feature in its vehicles for the foreseeable future.
Other affects of the chip shortage
This chip shortage is a crisis throughout the entire automotive industry. The shortage is responsible for countless production delays or halts, the removal of features from certain models, and more. Prices for new and used vehicles are at an all-time high because no new inventory is being produced. According to CarAndDriver, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen have lost between 20,000 and 46,000 units to the shortage. It also claims 109,710 F-series pickups from Ford, 98,584 Jeep Cherokees, and 81,833 Chevrolet Equinoxes have been impacted. Ford is building F-150s completely without the missing microchips and holding onto them until the chips can be installed. Ford has a lot of trucks sitting in a parking lot waiting for chips, instead of going out to dealerships.
The prices of vehicles are skyrocketing across the country. New vehicles are marked up well over sticker price in special cases, and used vehicle prices are astronomically high. These prices are for vehicles that in some cases are missing features like the Jeep Cherokee L. For instance, GM has sold some of its pickups and SUVs without advanced gas management systems or wireless charging features. Nissan has stopped putting navigation into thousands of its vehicles entering new car inventory at its dealerships. A few months ago, Tesla began rewriting its vehicles’ code so it could use chips it already had available, without needing the newly produced ones.
The Jeep Cherokee L is just the next vehicle to fall victim to the chip shortage. Many have suffered due to the ongoing microchip problem. From two years of Ford Bronco backup to no more air suspensions, a lot of consumers are missing out on products they want. Hopefully, there won’t be too many more issues like this caused by the chip shortage before it is resolved.