Stellantis (formerly FCA US, LLC) has issued a recall for 25,980 units of 2016-2017 Jeep® Cherokee (KL) vehicles due to a potential safety issue. The problem involves the power transfer unit (PTU), which may become damaged and disengage the transmission and differential, resulting in the loss of drive power or park function.
The loss of drive power can pose an increased risk of a crash, while the loss of park function can lead to unintended vehicle rollaways, increasing the risk of accidents or injuries.
The issue arises from relative movement in the PTU between the differential input splines and the transmission output shaft. Over time, this movement can cause the teeth of the input splines to wear off, leading to a loss of engagement between the transmission and the differential inside the PTU. As a result, torque cannot be transferred between the front wheels and the transmission, causing a loss of motive power in two-wheel drive mode while the vehicle is in motion, as well as a loss of the PARK function while stationary.
A sudden loss of motive power can potentially cause a vehicle crash without prior warning. Similarly, a loss of the PARK function can lead to a vehicle crash without prior warning and may also pose a risk of injury to individuals outside the vehicle.
The affected period for this recall spans from September 3rd, 2015, when PTUs with a revised design were first used in vehicle production, to September 23rd, 2016, when PTUs with more robust differential input splines began to be used in vehicle production. The vehicle population subject to the recall was determined based on supplier and vehicle assembly traceability records.
It’s important to note that similar vehicles not included in this recall either do not have a PTU, were equipped with a PTU of a different design, or were built with more robust differential input splines.
- On March 7th, 2023, the FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“TSRC”) organization opened an investigation into 2016-2017 MY Jeep Cherokee vehicles for potential PTU failures that experience a loss of motive power (“LOMP”) and/or park function.
- During March 2023, FCA US TSRC conducted an analysis of LOMP and/or loss of park function patterns associated with two-speed PTU replacements.
- As of April 20th, 2023, FCA US is aware of two customer assistance records, 17 warranty claims, zero field reports, and six other service records potentially related to this issue for all markets with dates of receipt ranging from January 13th, 2017, through August 7th, 2022.
- As of April 20th, 2023, FCA US is not aware of any accidents or injuries potentially related to this issue for all markets.
- On April 20th, 2023, FCA US determined, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.
Owners of the affected Jeep Cherokee vehicles will be notified by FCA US LLC, and authorized dealers will perform a software update to rectify the issue at no cost to the owners. For further information and assistance, owners can contact FCA USA LLC customer service at 1-800-853-1403. The specific recall number for this action is 45A, and it expands upon the previous recall numbered 20V-343.
For additional support, owners can also reach out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or visit the official NHTSA website at www.nhtsa.gov.
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