In May 2023, manufacturer Fiat Chrysler issued not one but two massive recalls of recent Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee L vehicles.
The first recall was issued in early May when Chrysler issued a notice that certain vehicles were missing their airbag warning labels. The second was significantly more dangerous. Nearly 90,000 2021-2023 year model Jeep Grand Cherokees are being recalled for serious defects within the steering column that could cause drivers to lose control over their vehicles.
It is concerning for so many nearly new vehicles to be subject to two recalls in the same month. Here’s what you should know about the risks you face if your Cherokee is affected and what you can do if it has other underlying problems.
Steering Problems in 2021-2023 Jeep Grand Cherokees
The steering column is one of the most crucial elements in any operational vehicle. Without a functional steering system, cars are nothing but a rolling hazard.
That’s why the defect in affected Grand Cherokees is such a problem. According to Chrysler, the affected vehicles may have incorrectly manufactured steering columns. The intermediate shafts within the column could disconnect from the U-joints that transfer motion to the wheels. If this occurs, the wheel will no longer control the vehicle’s direction.
Obviously, this is an incredibly dangerous problem. The improperly installed shafts could disconnect at any time, including when operating at highway speeds. Losing control of an SUV on a crowded highway is a recipe for deadly crashes.
According to Chrysler’s announcement, it first identified the potential for a problem in February 2023. It received one report of a vehicle where steering failed, and upon investigation, found 15 total instances of the same failure. The carmaker claims it found no reported crashes or injuries were caused by the defect.
The affected vehicles include almost 90,000 2022-2023 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2021-2023 Grand Cherokee Ls. Owners of potentially defective vehicles should receive notice from the manufacturer after July 7th. Until then, owners should drive carefully and pay close attention to strange to prepare for potential loss of steering.
How to Tell If Your Jeep Has Steering Problems
At the time of this article’s publication, owners have nearly a month before they will receive a letter regarding their vehicle’s inclusion in the recalls. That’s a long time to drive an SUV that could lose the ability to steer at any time.
With approximately half a million 2021 and newer Grand Cherokees on the road, the recall will affect about one in six vehicles. It’s better to be prepared for the worst than risk a fatal crash. But how can you tell if your car might be affected before receiving notice in the mail?
You can contact Fiat Chrysler directly to find out if your specific vehicle is affected by the recall. You can call the company and ask about recall number 58A and provide your vehicle’s VIN to confirm whether you are involved. You may also check your VIN against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall database to find out if it has been reported to the government yet.
In the meantime, you should know what you’ll experience if the steering shaft disconnects. Some drivers report hearing a strange noise from inside the steering compartment or the front of the car. Others mention feeling more “play” or a slower reaction time between turning the wheel and the car responding. If you notice these issues suddenly occurring while driving, slow down and find a safe place to pull over as soon as possible to reduce the risk of an accident if the steering column disengages entirely.
What to Do If Your Jeep Has Multiple Factory Defects
Chrysler, which manufactures Jeep vehicles, has had a rough track record with the entire line in recent years. The Grand Cherokee is not alone in experiencing multiple recalls within a year or so of release.
If your Jeep has been recalled multiple times, you may have grounds for a lemon law claim. In California, carmakers are accountable for the quality of their products. If they cannot fix a specific defect in a reasonable number of attempts, the owner has the right to request a refund for the vehicle.
But what if your vehicle has multiple defects? You may still have options. Specifically, if a car is out of service for repair of manufacturer defects for 30 or more days, it could be eligible for a refund. Those days out of service must occur within the lesser of 18 months or 18,000 miles of purchase or lease, but they do not need to be consecutive. That much time out of commission violates your right as an owner to a vehicle that functions as intended.
Cars that have experienced multiple recalls are more likely to meet these criteria. They have objective proof that the time out of service was related to manufacturer defects. However, even defects that don’t lead to recalls can be grounds for lemon claims.
Professional Legal Counsel for Jeep Grand Cherokee Lemon Claims
Defective Jeeps are all too common. The Grand Cherokee recalls are just another example of the potentially dangerous problems that Fiat Chrysler vehicles can experience. If you have a defective Jeep SUV that’s still under warranty, you may be able to get it refunded under California state law.The first step toward getting your refund is to talk to an experienced lemon law attorney. Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys are your first choice for California lemon claims. We have years of experience helping consumers hold carmakers accountable for dangerous and flawed vehicles. Get in touch to learn whether you have a claim and begin the process of receiving fair compensation for your faulty car.