Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling an estimated 91,563 of its 2014 to 2017 Jeep® Cherokee models to update certain transmission software for vehicles equipped with a two-speed Power Transfer Unit (PTU). A review of customer data prompted an FCA investigation that discovered a driveline connection may, in certain circumstances, slip.
Relative movement in the PTU between the differential input splines and the transmission output shaft may cause some input spline teeth to wear off, which may eventually cause a loss of engagement between the transmission and the differential inside the PTU. If this occurs, power cannot be transferred between the front wheels and the transmission which results in a loss of drive while the vehicle is in motion and a loss of the PARK function while stationary.
The suspect period began on April 14th, 2014, when PTUs with a revised design started to be used in vehicle production, through October 10th, 2016, when PTUs with more robust differential input splines started to be used in vehicle production. The vehicle population was determined by supplier and vehicle assembly traceability records.
FCA is aware of a single related accident, but no injuries.
- On February 25th, 2020, FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“VSRC”)
the organization opened an investigation based on information from the FCA US Proactive Sensing group that some
- Jeep Cherokee reports were alleging a loss of motive power and/or loss of PARK function. The most common
repair associated with these reports was a replacement of the PTU.
- In March and April 2020, FCA US VSRC met with FCA US Powertrain Quality and FCA US Powertrain
Engineering to review claim information associated with PTU replacements where a loss of motive power or
PARK function was alleged in order to investigate common root causes and failure modes.
- In May 2020, FCA US VSRC and Powertrain Engineering identified differential input spline failure inside the
PTU as a common root cause in claims that alleged a loss of motive power and/or loss of PARK function.
- As of May 28th, 2020, FCA US has identified 15 CAIRs, 829 warranty claims, and 3 field reports potentially relating to this issue.
- As of May 28th, 2020, FCA US is aware of 1 accident and 0 injuries potentially relating to this issue.
- On June 4th, 2020, FCA US determined, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles.
FCA will conduct a Voluntary Safety Recall to flash the affected vehicles with software that will maintain vehicle propulsion by the engaging rear-wheel-drive and prevent rolling in PARK by activating the parking brake if
a failed input spline occurs. The remedy component will be a software flash that, if failure of the input splines occurs, causes a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) to illuminate, rear axle engagement to prevent a loss of motive power, and electronic parking brake activation when the vehicle is in PARK to prevent a loss of PARK function.
FCA has a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem that subsequently becomes the subject of field action. To ensure consistency, FCA, as part of the owner letter, will request that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.
This recall is expected to begin on July 31st, 2020. Owners may contact FCA USA LLC customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA’s number for this recall is W47. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
According to FCA, 67,248 of the units are located in the U.S., 13,659 are in Canada, 716 are in Mexico, and 9,940 are located outside of North America. FCA is also recalling an estimated 2,669 two-speed PTUs sold as replacement parts. The two-speed PTU was found on the models using the Jeep Active Drive II four-wheel-drive system.