331,000+ Jeep Grand Cherokees Recalled for Steering Faults

331,000+ Jeep Grand Cherokees Recalled for Steering Faults

In summer 2023, Chrysler announced a significant recall affecting over 331,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles, including specific models such as the 2022-2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2021-2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L SUVs. 

This major recall affects almost all owners of new Cherokees nationwide. Here’s what you need to know about the risks it poses and how you can get your car fixed. 

Understanding Jeep’s Cherokee Steering Recall

This recall was initiated due to potential issues with incorrectly installed rear coil springs, which posed a substantial safety risk as they could lead to the springs detaching while driving. Stellantis, the parent company of Chrysler and Jeep, estimated that approximately 13% of the recalled vehicles might experience problems involving the Jeep Grand Cherokee steering shaft. Owners of the affected models were urged to contact their local Jeep dealer for an inspection.

The recall specifically affected 114,302 units of the Jeep Grand Cherokee manufactured between October 19, 2021, and April 4, 2023, and 217,099 units of the Grand Cherokee L manufactured between January 27, 2021, and April 4, 2023.

The primary cause of the steering issue in the Grand Cherokee was identified as an assembly error during the manufacturing process. The intermediate shaft, an essential component of the steering column responsible for connecting the steering wheel to the steering system, may not have been installed correctly. If this shaft was not properly installed, it could potentially detach from the steering system, resulting in a loss of steering control. This posed a significant safety risk to both the driver and other road users. 

Warning signs of this issue included unusual noise when turning the steering wheel, which could be due to the loose intermediate shaft moving within the steering column, and slight play in the steering, where the steering wheel could move slightly without causing any change in the direction of the front wheels.

The Risks of Faulty Steering Systems

A faulty steering system in a car can pose several risks and hazards, both to the driver of the vehicle and to others on the road. Here are some of the primary risks associated with a malfunctioning steering system:

  • Loss of Control: The most significant risk is the loss of vehicle control. If the steering system fails, the driver may not be able to steer the car effectively, leading to an inability to navigate turns, avoid obstacles, or maintain proper lane position.
  • Increased Accident Risk: Faulty steering can significantly increase the risk of accidents. This includes collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or roadside objects. The risk is especially high in high-speed scenarios or those requiring quick or precise steering adjustments.
  • Difficulty in Maneuvering: Even if total failure doesn’t occur, a compromised steering system can make it difficult to maneuver the car. This can be particularly dangerous in emergencies where swift and precise steering is required to avoid an accident.

If you notice any abnormalities in steering, like unusual noises, harder steering wheel movement, or the car pulling to one side, take your Jeep to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

Is Your Jeep Cherokee Affected by the Recall? 

To check if your Jeep is affected by a recall, you can use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website. Here’s a brief guide on how to do it:

  • Locate Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): Your car’s VIN is a unique 17-character identifier. You can find it on the lower left of your car’s windshield or the label inside your driver-side doorjamb. It’s also typically listed on your vehicle’s registration or insurance documents.
  • Visit the NHTSA Website: Go to the NHTSA’s recall page at NHTSA.gov/Recalls​
  • Enter the VIN: Use the Recalls Lookup Tool on the NHTSA website. Enter your VIN to check for any open recalls.
  • Review the Results: The search will tell you if your vehicle is currently subject to any open safety recalls. This tool covers safety recalls that are incomplete on a car and recalls conducted over the past 15 calendar years.
  • Follow Up If Necessary: If your vehicle does have a recall, contact your automaker’s local dealer to schedule a free repair.

Additionally, the NHTSA offers a SaferCar app, where you can enter your VIN and let the app automatically check for you. This is a convenient option if you prefer to have recall information readily accessible on your mobile device.

How to Get Help With Recurring Jeep Cherokee Manufacturing Defects

If you’re experiencing manufacturing defects with your Jeep Cherokee that haven’t been resolved through standard warranty repairs, filing a lemon law claim may be a viable option. Lemon laws vary by state in the U.S., but they generally provide legal recourse for consumers who purchase vehicles that fail to meet quality and performance standards. Here’s a general process for pursuing a lemon law claim:

  • Document the Issues: Keep detailed records of all the problems you’ve experienced with your Jeep Cherokee, including dates, descriptions of the issues, and safety concerns. Document all repair attempts, including dates of service, what repairs were done, and how long the car was in the shop.
  • Warranty Repairs: Make sure the issues have been addressed under the manufacturer’s warranty. Lemon laws usually require that the manufacturer or dealer has had a reasonable number of attempts to fix the problem.
  • File a Lemon Law Claim: If the problem persists despite repeated repair attempts, you can file a lemon law claim. This might involve submitting a complaint to a state consumer protection agency or initiating legal action. 
  • Consult a Lemon Law Attorney: Lemon law proceedings can be complex, and the laws vary significantly by state. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in lemon law cases. Many states’ lemon laws allow consumers to recover attorney’s fees, making legal representation more accessible.

Remember, the process and your eligibility can vary depending on your vehicle and the specific circumstances of your case. It’s important to seek legal advice to understand your rights and the appropriate course of action. You can talk to Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys about your Cherokee to learn more about how we can help you file a claim for your defective Jeep.

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