If you own a Jeep Cherokee SUV from 2014 to 2016, you may want to park it outside and away from any structures until you get it fixed. That’s because Chrysler-parent Stellantis has issued a recall for more than 219,000 of these vehicles worldwide due to a fire risk.
What is the problem?
The problem is related to the power liftgate module, which is a motorized hatch that opens and closes electronically at the press of a button.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some Jeep Cherokee models made between 2014 and 2016 may have an electrical short in their power liftgate module that could cause the vehicles to catch fire whether the engine is running or not.
The electrical short is caused by water leaking into the module, which is located in a spot vulnerable to water intrusion. The water can corrode the wiring and create a fire hazard.
How serious is the fire risk?
The risk is serious enough that Stellantis has advised owners of recalled models to park their vehicle outside and away from structures, as the cars might unexpectedly go up in flames, potentially causing injury to people outside the vehicle as well as property damage.
Stellantis said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries potentially related to the recall issue, but it has recorded 50 customer assistance records, 23 warranty claims, and 21 field reports about problems with Jeep Cherokees.
What is the solution?
Stellantis said it is still working on a solution for the power liftgate module but did not give a timeline on when the fix would be available.
Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed on June 30, 2023.
Owners of recalled models should contact their local Jeep dealership to schedule a free repair once it is available. Any Jeep Cherokee owner who paid out of pocket to have the issue fixed can submit a receipt for the work done and get reimbursed by Stellantis.
Owners can also check if their vehicle is affected by entering their VIN number on NHTSA.gov/recalls or calling Fiat Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 and mentioning the recall number 49A.
What else should I know?
This is not the first time that Jeep Cherokee SUVs have been recalled for fire risks. In fact, this is the third recall since 2015 to address the same safety defect. Vehicles repaired under prior recalls will still need to have the new fix performed once it is available.
Other recalls for Jeep Cherokee include issues with the Power Transfer Unit, the rear brake caliper pistons, and the electrical system wiring.
The most recent recall before this one was for 2021 models with faulty hoses that could leak transmission fluid and cause fires. The recall affected 18,800 vehicles manufactured between Jan. 19, 2021 and March 8, 2021.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Jeep Cherokee SUV, you should contact your dealer or Fiat Chrysler as soon as possible.
If your Jeep SUV has caught fire, you have important legal rights. For more information, get a free case review by an experienced lemon law attorney by filling out the form below.