Jeep - All Models

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Auto Defects > Jeep

July 2000

Dear Jeep Owner:

Thank you for contacting the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) about your Jeep. CAS has received many complaints from consumers concerning brake failure, engine fires, peeling paint, stalling, and sudden acceleration. Since Chrysler's purchase of AMC-Jeep-Renault in 1987, Chrysler has essentially turned Jeep into a manufacturer of upscale sport utility vehicles (SUVs) that are far more likely to see only the county club than the back woods and ranch like the older CJ's, Wranglers and Wagoneers. Chrysler has kept the Wrangler but dispatched the beloved woody Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer for the expensive Grand Cherokee which racks up over $5,000 per vehicle profit.

While the roll-over prone CJ-series has been replaced by the more stable Wrangler, Jeep models still have higher than average rollover rates. CAS discovered a lethal Jeep defect, rear power windows that strangled at least 5 small children, and got a major safety recall of 1970-88 Wagoneers and 1974-83 Cherokees. A particularly expensive Jeep defect is peeling paint on 1985-93 models caused by exposure to sunlight. Chrysler covers up paint problems by buying off aggressive consumers under a secret warranty and ignoring consumers who don't complain loudly.

Despite a recall of 1989-90 Cherokees for defective throttle position sensors, 1984-95 Cherokees continue to have the highest number of sudden acceleration incidents among sport utility vehicles. Chrysler now blames faulty pedal placement for Jeep sudden acceleration. In order to accommodate the 4x4 shiftbox, the accelerator and brake pedals on these vehicles had to be moved over to the left which places the accelerator almost directly underneath the steering wheel, near where the brake pedal would normally be. Not until ABC's "Prime Time Live" aired a segment on Jeep sudden acceleration in May 1997, did Chrysler propose to offer as a safety measure, a shiftlock on all pre-1996 Cherokees that prevents shifts out of Park unless the brake is depressed.

You'll find more information on these and other Jeep problems below and what you can do about them plus a complaint box. Your information will help us build a strong case against Chrysler on the defects we know about and help us spot new ones.

We need you to support the Center for Auto Safety in our fight for consumer rights and against poorly designed and unsafe cars. Your contribution is tax-deductible and entitles your to our quarterly newsletter, Lemon Times. Please submit the membership form along with your contribution and complaint. If you contribute $35 or more, we will send you the current edition of The Ultimate Car Book, by Jack Gillis. Every home should have this invaluable consumer guide.


Clarence M. Ditlow
Executive Director

Chrysler Technical Service Bulletin Numbers are in parentheses
Wrangler Wagoneer Grand Wagoneer Cherokee Grand Cherokee Comanche

Brakes: Drifts left in hard braking 1992-95 Cherokee & 1993-95 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer (05-01-95); Front disc pad rattle 1992-94 Grand Cherokee, Wagoneer & 1993-94 Cherokee, Wrangler (05-04-95A); "Grind" or scrape in hard braking 1993-97 Cherokee (02-07-96); Click 1997-98 Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee (05-02-98); Pulsation 1997-99 Wrangler, Cherokee 1997-98 Grand Cherokee (05-03-98A).

Driveability/Engine: Stalling 1987-90 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche(18-54-89); Long crank &/or engine die-out 1991-92 Comanche, Cherokee, Wrangler with 4.0L (18-12-92); Intermittent poor 4.0L performance below 32EF 1993-95 Grand Cherokee (18-08-95); Oil consumption 1987-88 all 4.2L with aluminum valve covers (09-52-88) & 2.5 & 4.0L 1988 (09-56-88); Fuel pump noise 1987-90 Cherokee, Wagoneer (14-51-90); Oil in air cleaner 1987-90 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche(14-51-91); Head gasket leaks, 4.0L 1987-92 Comanche, Cherokee, Wrangler & 1993 Grand Cherokee (09-11-92); Outer exhaust manifold studs break 2.5L 1991-92 Comanche, 1991-99 Wrangler, Cherokee (11-07-98A); 4.0L MIL misfire, vibration 1996-98 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, 1997-98 Wrangler (18-22-98); Light spark knock 1996-97 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee (18-24-98); Spark knock, misfire, surge @ 45mph in 4th with 3.9, 5.2, 5.9L 1994-98 Grand Cherokee (18-48-98).

Electrical/Instruments: Incorrect fuel reading 1986-89 Cherokee, Wagoneer (14-52-89); Excess gauge movement 1986-89 Grand Wagoneer (14-54-89); Defroster turns on when accelerating 1993-97 Grand Cherokee with manual A/C (24-01-96A); A/C evaporator drain blockage, water leaks from heater housing & odor 1993-96 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer (24-06-96); Growl from A/C compressor 1995-96 Cherokee & 1995/1997 Wrangler (24-08-96); Defroster inoperative 1993-96 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer (24-21-96).

Paint: For detailed package on peeling paint on 1985-93 models, go to CAS-Chrysler Paint.

Steering/Suspension: Wheel vibrates at idle, 2.5L 1987-90 Comanche(19-53-89); Moan & hiss, 4.0L 1988-91 Cherokee, Wag; Suspension, shock noise 1992 Cherokee & 1993 Grand Cherokee (02-02-92) & 1993 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer (03-01-92 & 03-02-92); Snapping/popping in rear suspension 1993-95 Grand Cherokee, Wagoneer (03-02-95); Stabilizer bar bushing squeaks 1993-95 Grand Cherokee, Wagoneer (02-16-94); Front coil spring squeaks 1993-95 Grand Cherokee (02-18-94); Low ride height at rear 1993-96 Cherokee (03-06-96); Steering column squawk or scrape 1997-98 Wrangler (19-04-98).

Other: Ignition key sticks 1987-89 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche with A/T (21-51-89); Door lock binds 1985-91 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche(23-54-91); Thump from transmission tunnel on acceleration or bumpy roads 1993-98 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer, 1995-99 Cherokee, 1997-99 Wrangler (21-09-98); "Chalky" residue on exterior plastic body components 1989-97 Cherokee, Wagoneer 1989-95 Wrangler 1993-97 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer & 1997Wrangler (23-03-97); Headlamps flicker 1995-96 Cherokee (08-26-96); Sheet metal cracks, creaking from front door hinge &/or door sags 1993-95 Cherokee (23-04-96); Front seatbelt retractor slow to return 1993-95 Cherokee (23-10-96); Roof rattles/vibrates at highway speeds 1993-96 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer (23-32-96); Rear axle growl 1997-98 Grand Cherokee (03-03-98); Sunroof sticks 1997-98 Grand Cherokee (23-54-98).

Copies of recalls may be obtained by calling NHTSA's Technical Reference Division at 202-366-2768.

Airbag/Seatbelt: 70,000 1995 Cherokee - Fails to deploy (95V-057); 700 1997 Wrangler - Delayed deployment (96V-060); 1,600 Wrangler - Driver airbag "clock spring" wiring harness breaks (98V-046); 12,000 1994 Cherokee & 77,000 1996 Cherokee - Weak rear belt anchorages (93V-161 & 97V-040); 1,900 1998 Cherokee, Wrangler - Front shoulder belt anchors (98V-048); 13,000 1999 Grand Cherokee - Rear belt retractor (98V-276); 50+ 2000 Grand Cherokee - Passenger airbag inflator (99V-343); '391,623 1997-99 Cherokee - Airbag control module corrodes (00V-105); 50,000+ 2000 Grand Cherokee- Shoulder belt mounting bolt (00V-034).

Brakes: 41,073 1986 Comanche- Park brake pawl (86V-147); 1,600 1985-87 Wagoneer, Comanche, Cherokee with 2.1L turbo-diesel - P/assist loss (88V-106); 160 1991 Cherokee - Rear tube leak (90V-206); 17,000 1990-91 Cherokee & 1990 Wagoneer - ABS hose leak (91V-063); 33,000 1989-90 Cherokee, Wagoneer with ABS - Hose chafing, fluid contamination & snap ring failure (91V-003); 425 1991 Cherokee with ABS - Tube leak (91V-023); 280,000 1987-92 Wrangler - Front hoses rub (92V-148); 600 1993 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Master cylinder input rod to pedal loose (92V-181); 135,000 1995 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee - Park brake inoperative (95V-172); 200,000+ 1990-91 Cherokee, Wrangler, Comanche, 1993 Grand Cherokee & 334,047 1995 Cherokee, 1994-95 Grand Cherokee - Front rotors corrode (98V-005 & 99V-340); 8,900 1998 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler - Booster diaphragm tears (98V-023)

Electrical: 180,000 '70-83 Wagoneer, '74-83 Cherokee, 1984-88 Grand Wagoneer - Tailgate p/window strangles child (87V-178); 100,000 1991-93 Wrangler with manual transmission - Corrosion shorts starter circuit & starts engine (93V-083); 70,000 1996 Grand Cherokee - P/seat short starts fire (97V-039); 2,000 1999 Wrangler - Instrument panel ground wire loose (99V-117).

Fires: 14,643 1986 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche- Fuel line fitting fire (85V-139); 635 I-6 engine 1987 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche- Fuel hose leak (86V-160); 230,000 1987-93 Wrangler - Fuel tank gasket leak (94V-106); 32,000 1996 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee - Alternator fuse short causes engine fire (95V-193).

Steering/Suspension: 10,504 1984 Grand Wagoneer - Front wheel bearings seize (84V-009); 1984 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Overloaded rear wheel bearing (84V-024); 41,119 1984 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Loose steering bolts (84V-028); 2,569 1984 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Rear axle lock-up (84V-045); 265 1985 Wagoneer, Cherokee with turbo-diesel - Loose steering shaft bolt (84V-122); 3,333 1987 Wrangler - Loose wheel nuts & steering shaft bolts (86V-058); 6,958 1986-87 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche- Steering linkage couplers (86V-190); 25,000 1993 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Suspension arm adjuster bolts fail (93V-051); 115,000 1993 Grand Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer - Sheared steering column shaft pin (93V-210); 2,500 1993-96 Cherokee - Frame cracks at steering gear attachment (97V-069); 1,259 2000 Grand Cherokee - Steering gear binds (99V-312) .

Throttle: 2,218 1985 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Accelerator pedal interference (84V-138); 4,928 1986 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche- Accelerator cable bushing disconnects, engine returns to idle (86V-146); 3,996 1987 Wagoneer, Cherokee, Comanche, Grand Wagoneer, Wrangler - Cruise control module (87V-022); 20,439 1987 Cherokee, Wagoneer, Comanche- Throttle body (87V-035); 165,000 1989-90 Cherokee, Comanche - Throttle position sensor causes high idle after start-up, (90V-177).

Other: 13,532 1982 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Manual transmission lacks lubricant (82V-125); 75,000 1987-88 Wrangler & 11,000 1989 Wrangler - W/S frame cracks at wiper mount, binds wiper linkage (88V-155 & 93V-150); 80,000 1993 Cherokee, Wagoneer - Liftgate opens inadvertently (93V-055); 360,000 1997 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee Fuel gauge inaccurate (97V-194); 65,000 1996 Grand Cherokee Temporary spare overheats axle (98V-006).

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