While Jeep vehicles are among the most popular in the United States, they are not immune to vehicle recalls or safety complaints. Despite their long-held image as tough, rugged utility vehicles, there are a number of serious safety issues that Jeep owners have dealt with in recent years. Below, we review the history of the brand, the safety ratings of its most popular models, and the major recalls and malfunctions that have been attributed to Jeep vehicles.
While Jeeps are generally considered reliable vehicles, the unfortunate truth is that many of these vehicles are susceptible to safety defects and faulty workmanship. California's Lemon Law was designed to protect consumers from these types of defects. If you believe your vehicle is faulty, contact the Lemon Lawyer right away to discuss your situation.
The History of Jeep
An American institution, Jeep first launched their civilian line of automobiles in 1945. Before that, the term “jeep” had been commonly used to refer to any light military four-wheel-drive vehicle used in World War II. After the war, Jeep began offering civilian versions of the vehicle that many consider the precursor to the modern SUV.
Jeep was sold in 1987 to the Chrysler Group, LLC, and today it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group. While Jeep has produced a variety of vehicle types in the past including pickup trucks and roadsters, the brand currently focuses exclusively on sport utility vehicles and off-road vehicles.
There have been many popular Jeep models over the years, but the models listed below are the best known.
One of Jeep's most popular models, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a mid-size SUV that has been in production since 1992. It was developed in secret for years prior to its release, and it is the first Jeep product rolled out after the sale of the company to Chrysler. Designed as a direct competitor to the Ford Explorer, the Grand Cherokee is known for its unibody chassis. The 2018 Grand Cherokee was awarded a safety rating of 8.6 by U.S. News and World Report.
While the Jeep Wrangler can't trace its roots directly from the World War II Jeep, there is no denying that it is the most recent step in an indirect progression from the military vehicle from the 1940s. First manufactured in 1986, the Wrangler is a four-wheel off-road vehicle that is still in production today. The Wrangler has had its issues with safety ratings in recent years, receiving a 5.6 from U.S. News and World Report for the 2017 model as well as an abysmal one-star rating from Euro NCAP for the 2018 model.
Originally sold as a variation of the Jeep Wagoneer, the Cherokee has slimmed down over the years from full-size sport utility vehicle to its current status as a crossover SUV. The Cherokee has been manufactured continuously since 1974, and while it has undergone a number of major changes it remains one of Jeep's most popular models. The 2018 Jeep Cherokee was given an 8.8 safety rating by U.S. News and World Report.
The Jeep Compass is one of the newer releases from the Jeep line. First built in 2007, the Compass is a four-door compact crossover SUV that has taken on a similar look to that of the Jeep Cherokee in recent years. While the Compass was originally designed as a two-door concept, the current model is a four-door variant on that design. In 2018, the U.S. News and World Report gave the Compass an excellent 9.3 safety rating.
The smallest sport utility vehicle offering from Jeep is known as the Jeep Renegade. Production of the Renegade began in 2014 and continues to this day. The vehicle is a subcompact crossover SUV, which is known in Europe as a mini SUV. While billed as an off-road vehicle, the Renegade comes standard with front-wheel drive. The Renegade was given a safety rating of 8.8 by U.S. News and World Report.
Recalls, Defects, and Safety Issues
Like most manufacturers, Jeeps are no stranger to recalls and malfunctions. While the Jeep Grand Cherokee has had the most recalls of any Jeep over the years, every model has encountered issues.
Risk of Stalling
According to a recent recall announcement, more than 86,000 2019 Jeep Cherokees are at risk of stalling out without warning when decelerating. The stalling requires some drivers to restart their vehicle while still moving. While Jeep claims these issues only occur on rare occasions, the safety risks involved with a stalled vehicle traveling at high speeds are obvious. The stalling issue is the result of a software problem that can be updated without any physical repairs needing to be made.
A number of reports regarding the 2017 model year Jeep Renegade have highlighted unusual sounds and vibrations caused by a faulty fuel pump. Drivers reporting the issue noted that driving at high altitude or in hot temperatures could lead to the Renegade periodically shaking and vibrating. In some instances, the vehicle would stall out completely. These issues were tied to a faulty fuel pump that led to low fuel pressure under certain conditions.
Jeep vehicles, as well as models built by other subsidiaries of Jeep's parent company, have been embroiled in an emissions scandal that recently led the company to agree to a $300 million fine. The scandal stems from Jeep's parent company using complicated software to trick regulators into believing the vehicle's emissions were much lower than they actually are. The scandal has led to the potential recall of more than 850,000 vehicles; many of which were Jeep Compasses or Jeep Patriots manufactured between 2011 and 2016. These falsified emissions results can cause consumers to fail California state emissions testings which only complicates the vehicle licensing process.
Discuss your Jeep Issues with the Lemon Lawyer
If you believe your Jeep is a lemon or that it has a safety issue that should be addressed by the manufacturer, contact the Lemon Lawyer right away. The experienced attorneys with our firm can answer any questions you have regarding your rights and guide you through all applicable California Lemon Laws and recall procedures. For a free consultation, contact The Lemon Lawyer today by visiting our website or calling (844) 227-7762.