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Jeep recalls Cherokees for dangerous fault in power transfer unit

| Jun 24, 2020 | Products Liability

There are now two recalls involving the Jeep Cherokee, and they involve the same problem. The power transfer unit (PTU), an important element of the optional all-wheel-drive system in affected vehicles may not be able to maintain a connection between the transmission and the front wheels.

If the PTU fails to engage with the transmission, the Cherokee could lose all power while being driven. Also, a failure to engage could keep the vehicle from being put into park when stationary, allowing it to roll away. Either situation could result in a crash or injuries.

According to a Jeep spokesperson, there has been at least one crash related to this problem, although there were no injuries in that crash.

This recall involves some Cherokees that had already been recalled for the issue.

According to Consumer Reports, some Jeep Cherokees have already had their PTUs replaced but are still subject to the problem. This is because the replacement parts were faulty and need to be replaced again.

In some cases, owners have paid for the previous repair out-of-pocket because the warranty had run out. If this has happened to you, contact Jeep customer service to find out if you are eligible for a refund on the faulty replacement part.

Vehicles covered by this recall

  • Approximately 67,248 Jeep Cherokees, model years 2014-2017
  • 2,669 Jeep Cherokees that had previously had PTUs replaced

Dealerships will notify owners, replace any defective PTUs, and perform a software update on the affected vehicles. This software update is intended to prevent a loss of power in the event the PTU should malfunction on another occasion. It will also engage the electronic parking brake should a vehicle with a faulty PTU be parked. These repairs will be performed free of charge.

Contact Jeep, a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, at 800-853-1403. Recall notifications will begin approximately July 31.

For 2014-2017 Jeep Cherokees where the PTU has not been previously replaced, the auto maker’s recall number is W47 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s recall campaign number is 20V343. For those where the PTU was replaced with a faulty replacement part, the auto maker’s recall number is W48, while NHTSA’s recall campaign number is 20E037.

Unsure if your vehicle is included in the recall? You can find out by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into NHTSA’s recall website. You can obtain the VIN in several places on your vehicle, including inside the driver’s side door and at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side. It is also available on your car’s title and, in many cases, on your insurance card. NHTSA recommends checking back regularly because recalls are relatively common.

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