Jeep is advising owners of the 2014-2016 Cherokee to park outside due to a fire risk associated with the powered liftgate. The automaker is recalling 132,099 vehicles in the US to fix the issue.
The affected vehicles were built with a powered liftgate module in a spot vulnerable to water intrusion. This could lead to a possible electrical short that could cause a vehicle fire, which can happen whether the vehicle’s ignition is on or off. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this recall affects vehicles previously fixed during a 2015 recall that attempted to repair the issue.
The automaker began investigating the problem in January 2022 after seeing increased cargo compartment fires in 2014-2015 Cherokee crossovers. It analyzed fire patterns, witness statements, and vehicle histories while meeting with engineers to learn about the powered liftgate module and changes made to its design during production.
By April 27, 2023, it had identified 50 reports potentially related to the issue. A few weeks later, on May 4, Stellantis decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall. It’s not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. Stellantis believes the affected vehicles were built between February 27, 2013, and September 9, 2015, when an update to the module made it more robust to water intrusion.
Jeep is developing the remedy now and will begin notifying owners with instructions on how to fix it around the end of June. The company has already told dealers of the recall and is advising owners “to not park these vehicles inside of buildings or structures, or near other vehicles, until the vehicles has the final repair completed.” Vehicle fires can quickly spread to other cars and structures.
Jeep recalled nearly 60,000 Wrangler SUVs built from October 2019 to May 2022 earlier this year. The company had to issue the recall of the popular off-roader because of the potential for an unused frame stud to cause a fuel leak in the event of a crash. Jeep remedied the issue by removing the unnecessary stud and applying fresh paint.
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