Jeep Cherokee Recall Issued Over Lift Gate Fire Risk

More than 32,000 Jeep Cherokee vehicles are being recalled, after the manufacturer received consumer reports indicating the power lift gate module may become inoperable due to water leaks, posing a potential risk of short circuits and a fire hazard. 

The Jeep Cherokee recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on December 17, after recognizing the potential for water to enter the rear compartment electronic lift gate module.

The lift gate problems may result in a short circuit, or cause a fire. However, no injuries or fires have been reported to date.

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The Jeep Cherokee vehicles included in the recall are certain models that include JRC sales codes containing the power lift gate option. The power lift gate system is an electrical system that allows the trunk hatchback to be lifted automatically. The systems powered by a Control Module that may be susceptible to water leaks, causing the module and connectors to corrode which could pose a high resistance short circuit and fire hazard.

The recall includes 32,784 model years 2015 through 2016 Jeep Cherokee vehicles, which were manufactured from February 18, 2015 to September 10, 2015. Only vehicles manufactured between this time frame that are equipped with the Power Lift Gate Control Module option are included in the recall. The vehicles were manufactured by FCA US LLC, or Chrysler, of Auburn Hills, Michigan where they were distributed to licensed dealers across the nation.

FCA US announced that it will begin notifying owners and dealers of the defect but has not yet provided a notification schedule or recall repair start date. Customers will be instructed to contact a local dealer to schedule an appointment for the module and connectors to be inspected for corrosion and replaced if necessary. Customers will receive all repairs and a water shield to cover the module free of charge. Customers with questions may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-424-9153.

Jeep Cherokees were involved in a number of recalls in 2015, such as one of the company’s most recent recalls in June 2015 that asked the owners of almost 8,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Cherokees to stop driving the vehicles immediately due to suspension component failures that could result in rear-end instability and reduced braking ability. Chrysler immediately issued the stop-driving order after a quality review revealed the rear control arm was not properly heated and could break posing an imminent crash hazard.

Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee’s were also involved in another recall in early March of this year when the automaker recalled nearly 500,000 vehicles after recognizing they were equipped with faulty fuel pump relay systems, which may unexpectedly fail and cause the vehicles to suddenly stall, posing a serious crash risk. Chrysler was able to replicate the stall hazard at one of its testing plants which was determined to be caused by a deformation of contact springs due to extreme heat caused by the combination of contact power and ambient temperature around the fuel pump relay.

Various model year Jeep Cherokee vehicles have been included in many other recalls impacting Chrysler in 2015 including the headlining ignition switch recalls, Takata airbag recalls, Jeep fuel tank fire recall, and were also part of the $175 million worth of civil penalties issued for failure to act on safety hazards and purposefully not reporting crash or accident hazards caused by known defects.

Image Credit: Photo courtesy of halidCan! (: via Flickr Creative Commons

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