The high cost of recalls


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US has investigated vehicles rolling away in recent years. In 2012, Honda Motor Co. recalled 870,000 SUVs and minivans because they could roll away after the safety agency opened a preliminary investigation. NHTSA also opened an investigation into 120,000 2002-07 BMW 7 Series vehicles over concerns the vehicles may roll away after being parked. In 2012, BMW recalled 45,000 2005-08 7 Series vehicles with the “Comfort Access option.”

Last year, Ford Motor Co. recalled 92,000 vehicles in North America, including 2013-14 models of the Taurus, Flex, Ford Police Interceptor, Lincoln MKS and Lincoln MKT; 2012-14 Ford Edge; and 2014 Lincoln MKX.

Jeep Grand Cherokee.

This year it is Fiat Chrysler looking down the barrel of the gun as some of the Jeep Grand Cherokee models as the NHTSA has opened a formal investigation into roll-away incidents in 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

Apparently NHTSA noticed complaints submitted by Jeep owners and identified similar reports contained in early warning documents submitted by Fiat Chrysler.

Reports say the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee can roll away even after the shifter is put into park. The incidents can happen whether the engine is running or not.

The problem is an electronic one on the 408,000 model year 2014-2015 Grand Cherokees that are equipped with an electronic gear selector similar to the fly-by-wire system.

Old style shift mechanisms were actual, with the lever moving shift levers at the gearbox, but in the models in question, it is a “virtual” system with electronic paddles moving forwards or backwards.

The investigation will determine if the Jeep Grand Cherokees should be recalled or if the investigation should be expanded or closed. Fiat Chrysler has enough problems without a compulsory recall.