Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled thousands of Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles manufactured between July 16, 2012, and December 22, 2015, which are equipped with an electronic gearshift (“E-shift”) assembly and a start/stop push button engine control. The E-shift system allows the driver to make a gear selection, but the gearshift does not always remain in the selected physical position. Instead, the inadequately designed E-shift system allows the gearshift to spring back into a central position after a gear is selected and displayed on the dash for the driver to see. This new design can be confusing for drivers and creates a dangerous risk of vehicle rollaway when the driver incorrectly concludes that the vehicle’s gear position is in “park”.
According to testing conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the E-shift assembly is not intuitive, and it provides poor tactile and visual feedback to drivers, resulting in unintended gear selection. Moreover, the push button start incorporated in the Jeep Grand Cherokee does not allow for the engine to shut off if the vehicle is not in park; this coupled with the E-shift assembly creates a potentially dangerous scenario. NHTSA’s Preliminary Evaluation No. PE15-030 identified 306 vehicle rollaway incidents involving 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees where the drivers intended to shift their vehicles into park. More than 100 rollaway incidents resulted in crashes, and 28 of the crashes resulted in physical injuries.
You can check to see if your Jeep Grand Cherokee is included in this recall by visiting the NHTSA website and performing a search on recalls associated with your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number.
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Written by: Scott Marshall