Jeep has long held the attitude of ‘go big or go home.’ Unfortunately, this seems to apply to expensive repairs as well as tough vehicles that can go anywhere. This was the case with the 2014 and 2015 Jeep Cherokee. According to CarComplaints.com, these two model years are riddled with transmission problems that have resulted in multiple recalls and even a few notable lawsuits.
Here are the details about what went wrong and why you shouldn’t buy one of these model years.
2014 Jeep Cherokee
Jeeps aren’t exactly known for having a smooth ride, thanks largely in part to the fact that they’re geared more towards off-roading than cruising the city streets. Still, one expects at least somewhat of a smooth ride. Unfortunately, Jeep really missed the mark with the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
This model year has the most reported complaints out of any model year on Car Complaints. The consumer reporting resource went so far as to say,
“There’s no way around it, the Cherokee’s transmission is junk. There’s no other explanation for why a vehicle, usually with under 40,000 miles, would have so many complaints.”
That might be an understatement. If you take a look at the complaint page, you’ll see that 402 people have reported issues, all revolving around the transmission. This doesn’t include other complaints which range from engine problems to the body and paint.
Some of the issues reported about the transmission include: shifting roughly, the transmission died, there were vibrations while accelerating, the transmission kept stalling at first gear, and the transmission shifts to neutral while driving. These are just a few examples of the problems, as there are 20 total separate issues that were reported.
None of these problems have been resolved, as of 2019. Car and Driver report that Jeep is still issuing recalls on the 2014 Cherokee. So far, the FCA has issued 11 recalls. While there are vehicles that have had more, that’s a lot for a single part on a vehicle.
Most of the recalls have been addressed using software updates. Jeep reportedly knew that there were transmission problems, as the release of the 2014 was delayed for weeks as the American automaker tried to clear up some problems. Clearly, the company missed a few things.
2014 class-action lawsuit
People often joke that no one misses the chance to sue, but in this case, it was no joke. Top Class Actions reports that a woman is suing FCA because she believes Jeep knew about the transmission problems and tried to hide it.
She reportedly took her 2014 Cherokee to the dealership on eight separate occasions for repairs, and the issue was never resolved. The dealership made her feel like she was simply imagining things, and there were no issues. Now she’s letting the courts decide if there really is an issue or not.
FCA is trying to reach a settlement, but many consumers aren’t pleased with the terms. According to Top Class Actions,
“The proposed Fiat Chrysler settlement will provide all eligible Class Members with an extended warranty. Class Members who made at least three qualifying transmission complaints to FCA US dealers would be entitled to a cash payment of up to $2,000 or a voucher for a trade-in for up to $4,000.”
2015 Jeep Cherokee
The 2015 Cherokee didn’t receive as many complaints as the 2014, but Car Complaints still ranks it as the worst model year due to repairs that cost more.
If you look at the complaint page, the 2015 model actually has more complaints about the transmission, however. In total, 406 people have reported issues with the transmission.
The three major issues revolve around delayed shifting during acceleration, rough shifting, and transmission failure, check engine light on. In total there are 20 problems that have been reported. According to Consumer Reports, there are currently nine recalls on the 2015 Cherokee.
If you’re curious about the 2016 model, Jeep finally learned its lesson and there are only 62 complaints about the transmission. Still, that doesn’t help the thousands of consumers who were duped into purchasing the 2014 and 2015 models.