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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new to this forum, but I'm posting this as a cry for help and to see if anyone else has had a similar problem.

Before going into the details, I'll summarize my issue first:

My leased 2019 jeep cherokee will go into neutral while driving at high rates of speed (when car is still in "drive"). The steering wheel also locks up while driving. I have almost been killed multiple times since Jan/Feb 2021. I've taken the vehicle in for service 5 times now with no resolution despite boatloads of videos where I've captured the issues. Today, Chrysler denied my case to get out of the lease and is forcing me back onto the road without offering any solutions to protect my life. They claim it's not a lemon and that I'm the bag holder here, also that the only way to resolve the issue is to lease a new vehicle for 3 more years at a higher cost (I was budgeting to buy this one at end of lease next year). This might be one of my last communications about the issue before severe injury/death, so needless to say any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

The problems begin with a "service shifter" warning on my dash. This will mostly happen after 30 minutes of driving (aka less than my commute to work). Specifically, it occurs when the car downshifts while going uphill (I drive auto). After the service shifter warnings, weird things begin to happen:

  • Dash electronics shut off temporarily
  • Traction control warnings
  • AWD warnings
  • emergency brake warnings
  • battery warning
  • start/stop assist warning (with the "!")
  • transmission failure warning
  • electronic system failure warning
  • engine light
  • STEERING WHEEL LOCKS UP WHEN CAR COMES TO A STOP (aka at intersections, where I almost got killed because of this)
  • CAR GOES INTO NEUTRAL WHILE IN DRIVE ANYWHERE BETWEEN 15 MPH AND 65 MPH (almost got killed again)

I've taken this car into a large dealership 5 times with no resolution. The Chrysler field engineer came out and could not replicate the issue. Everyone is telling me that there were boatloads of codes for my last issue on the highway, but also there have been times when they couldn't retrieve any codes at all. The dealership has been fighting Chrysler hard to get me out of this lease and just told me today that the vehicle is not safe to drive. Chrysler, on the other hand, is refusing to take my personal safety seriously, and shut down my case. They claim that it's definitely NOT a lemon, despite the car going into neutral on the highway at 65 mph while in total electronic failure and also after 5 service appointments with no resolution. When I asked for reasons why my case was shut down, I was denied. The shifter bezel was replaced in March 2021 after the first time the car threw itself into neutral (happened when my pregnant wife and I were driving back from our first ultrasound appt), but the problems kept occuring.

I would love to attach a video, but unfortunately this post doesn't support that. Has anyone else has this problem?

Edit 1:
Dealer is just as concerned as I am and let me keep the rental while they work on a better solution. They were shocked that Chrysler shut this case down despite the large amount of evidence against it. Main issue with my case was that the dealer and field engineer could not replicate issue (needs to be driven a bit before the issues occur, which don’t happen everyday), so Chrysler swept it under the carpet. Also, I’m adding some screen shots of my vid of the dash during an event where car went into neutral(?) on highway at 65 mph. Side Note... it was not safe to use my phone, but my frustrations with this car since Feb prompted me to act as quickly as possible to help me escape this nightmare saga, and I felt it required video evidence for people to believe me. I won’t be driving this car anymore in the future, it’s (hopefully) going away soon thanks to my dealer working hard to keep me safe. Also, I’m blurring out mileage to remain anonymous.

Edit 2: I’m considering this issue resolved for now. Sounds like dealer will handle this internally and make sure vehicle is repaired safely. Hopefully the nightmare is over. Thanks for the advice in the meantime!

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Contact a lawyer that specializes in lemon law cases in your state. Each state has their own specific lemon laws, most tied to 18 months of ownership SINCE THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF THE PROBLEM. Hopefully you've kept good records of your dealer visits, what they've done to try to fix your vehicle, as well as records of when you encounter these issues (videos are good). You should not have to pay a lawyer to look at your evidence / case, and shouldn't have to pay them anything unless your case is settled in your favor.

Whatever you do, please come back and report on your progress. Please don't be a "one and done" member that comes on only to complain about a problem, then we never hear from again. When that happens, makes one wonder whether the story is true....unfortunately a lot of "trolls" out there (not saying you're one of them) that come up with issues like this, post once to drive negative opinions, then we never hear from them again.

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Contact a lawyer that specializes in lemon law cases in your state. Each state has their own specific lemon laws, most tied to 18 months of ownership SINCE THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF THE PROBLEM. Hopefully you've kept good records of your dealer visits, what they've done to try to fix your vehicle, as well as records of when you encounter these issues (videos are good). You should not have to pay a lawyer to look at your evidence / case, and shouldn't have to pay them anything unless your case is settled in your favor.

Whatever you do, please come back and report on your progress. Please don't be a "one and done" member that comes on only to complain about a problem, then we never hear from again. When that happens, makes one wonder whether the story is true....unfortunately a lot of "trolls" out there (not saying you're one of them) that come up with issues like this, post once to drive negative opinions, then we never hear from them again.

Keith

Thanks Keith,

Certainly will do and I'm exploring that avenue right now actually. It's been a wild experience. Good to know regarding the trolling thing in this forum, will send follow-ups. The dealership and case manager have been great, but it's just Chrysler who is forcing me back into a death car at this point.
 

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Campfamily has some good advice.

This is definitely a life and death situation the least of which would be an injury or a total due to an accident.

Videos are great but could be even more dangerous to attempt while this is happening unless its safe to do or all those lights stay on afterwards.

The PCM had to have stored any related CEL codes which the dealership must of confirmed as they did change the shifter bezel.
After 5 dealership visits with the same CEL codes and with no resolution to date, what more does FCA need to confirm it a lemon.
Keep good records of everything including those videos, the lawyer if it comes to that will need them.

How often does this occur?
How much time has passed since the first dealership visit?
Have you gone through the official arbitration process or just been dealing with some FCA bureaucrat?
Can you make this happen at will or is it more of a random thing?
 

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2014 Summit 5.7 4wd 20" tires swapped to 18", added all skid plates
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WHen I had a much simpler but unsafe in my opinion situation some years ago I contacted an attorney. After hearing my story he asked me how I would reply in court to the question from the Car makers attorney of "If what you say is true and you believed the car might kill you why did you continue to drive it?" I'm not doubting your story or concerns but if you do want to go forward continuing to drive it would greatly weaken your case from what my attorney back then said. And yes, I kept driving my unsafe car; the attorney didn't think we could win the case; I adjusted my driving to avoid the situations that created the problem which was much simpler than your situation.
 

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Parts should be getting replaced under warranty. That needs to happen before you even think about lemon law. I believe federal lemon law says 3 actual repair attempts need to be made before lemon law takes effect.
 

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Parts should be getting replaced under warranty. That needs to happen before you even think about lemon law. I believe federal lemon law says 3 actual repair attempts need to be made before lemon law takes effect.
As someone mentioned earlier, each State has their own version of lemon laws.
But you're right in the sense that every possible dealership's attempt to fix the problem, the elapsed time without the use of the vehicle and all other things like arbitration must be gone through before a lawyer will even take the case.
In other words all the T's must be crossed and all the I's must be dotted.
 

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As someone mentioned earlier, each State has their own version of lemon laws.
But you're right in the sense that every possible dealership's attempt to fix the problem, the elapsed time without the use of the vehicle and all other things like arbitration must be gone through before a lawyer will even take the case.
In other words all the T's must be crossed and all the I's must be dotted.
Very true. Have you looked up the Federal lemon laws though? There's of course state lemon laws but there are also federal lemon laws. I just can't remember the exact wording of them at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WHen I had a much simpler but unsafe in my opinion situation some years ago I contacted an attorney. After hearing my story he asked me how I would reply in court to the question from the Car makers attorney of "If what you say is true and you believed the car might kill you why did you continue to drive it?" I'm not doubting your story or concerns but if you do want to go forward continuing to drive it would greatly weaken your case from what my attorney back then said. And yes, I kept driving my unsafe car; the attorney didn't think we could win the case; I adjusted my driving to avoid the situations that created the problem which was much simpler than your situation.
Yeah that’s what I was thinking, too, but more from a safety standpoint than a weaker case. You’re def right though, because that’s the direction they’d go. I ended up refusing to take the car back yesterday and the dealer agreed with me- it’s in the works right now to find a better solution, but they were really cool to let me keep the rental in the meantime. Chrysler closed my case because the techs and field engineer couldn’t locate or replicate the problem, which has been the main source of frustration with all of this... and also why I went a little on the angry side with my choice of username and title of post, lulz
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Campfamily has some good advice.

This is definitely a life and death situation the least of which would be an injury or a total due to an accident.

Videos are great but could be even more dangerous to attempt while this is happening unless its safe to do or all those lights stay on afterwards.

The PCM had to have stored any related CEL codes which the dealership must of confirmed as they did change the shifter bezel.
After 5 dealership visits with the same CEL codes and with no resolution to date, what more does FCA need to confirm it a lemon.
Keep good records of everything including those videos, the lawyer if it comes to that will need them.

How often does this occur?
-It’s been about once every week to two weeks where I get the “service shifter” alarm. Then if I keep driving, things will get worse until I restart the car, so I’ll pull over whenever I get the “service shifter” to basically buy time and prevent further issues. Dealer wanted me to keep logs of all the times it happened

How much time has passed since the first dealership visit?
It was Feb/March this year (towed to dealer for bezel replacement)

Have you gone through the official arbitration process or just been dealing with some FCA bureaucrat?
-Just avoided arbitration yesterday bc dealer is working hard on new solutions. FCA bureaucrats shut down my case because the dealer techs and also field engineer couldn’t replicate the issue on site (but dealer was understandably hesitant to send people on road). Apparently it’s not a lemon in FCA eyes due to this. FCA didn’t even have an interest in watching the videos, just swept it under the carpet quickly

Can you make this happen at will or is it more of a random thing?
-I can make it happen at will after 30 min of driving if I accelerate too much while going uphill and the car downshifts... and by “too much” I mean a normal amount to maintain speed, so now I have to stay in the right hand lane while going uphill and gradually drop speed, allow transmission to downshift slowly, then gain speed again. If it drops too many gears then electronics get all effed up, always starting with “service shifter” warning and gradually adding more problems with time. If I continue to drive, a battery light and “start/stop assist unavailable” light comes on (an A with a circle and !), at which point my steering wheel locks up completely when coming to a stop (100% of the time)... aka like when I’m at a red light at an intersection. almost got T-boned the first time this happened (before bezel replacement). When I restart car at the intersection or wherever I stop that I can safely find, everything is fine again. These events have been the source of most service appointments, but I kept getting sent back bc they couldn’t replicate the issue nor could they retrieve many codes from it. Engine light will also come on sometimes and then go away after a few days of no issues. The car threw itself into neutral back in feb/March, which needed to be towed and the bezel replaced. The next time it went into neutral was on the highway at 65 mph and led to this craziness and now my post.

Part of me feels like engine torque is causing the engine to move just enough to trigger a frayed wire or something? It happened once while I was gently accelerating through a curve and drove over the rumble strip to avoid a car entering my lane who couldn’t handle the turn for whatever reason (service shifter that is)
I’ve been keeping meticulous logs and records for sure. Most recent update is that I just flat out refused to take the vehicle back and the dealership was cool to let me keep rental and work out an alternate solution. They didn’t want to release it back to me anyways but he no choice at the time bc Chrysler shut me down. Dealer was shocked with Chrysler’s decision, but also disappointed they themselves couldn’t replicate the issue to help my case. You think I’d have be enough information to resolve the situation without needing to replicate the problem, especially because the most recent issue occurred to me on the highway, and like, don’t send a customer back out there for it to randomly happen to me again. - Also, replying to your questions within your original post above (if you hadn’t already noticed)^

Thanks again for this
 

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It's hard to say third hand... But it sounds like the dealer's going out on a limb a bit. "Handling it internally" doesn't happen in that situation. Somebody's gambling with the dealership's money. (For the record, Chrysler, not the dealership is where the "warranty cost" portion of the purchase price landed, and then in turn pays the dealer for warranty repairs. They'll probably solve it before the forum can.

That said... third hand is tough, BUT, on one or any of the visits where the vehicle presented with codes stored, did you by any remote chance get "the list", or one of those no cost warranty reciepts that might have a whole or partial list of the codes that were present? Freeze frame would be awesome too, but that not typically retained past the diagnosis.
 

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Contact a lawyer that specializes in lemon law cases in your state. Each state has their own specific lemon laws, most tied to 18 months of ownership SINCE THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF THE PROBLEM. Hopefully you've kept good records of your dealer visits, what they've done to try to fix your vehicle, as well as records of when you encounter these issues (videos are good). You should not have to pay a lawyer to look at your evidence / case, and shouldn't have to pay them anything unless your case is settled in your favor.

Whatever you do, please come back and report on your progress. Please don't be a "one and done" member that comes on only to complain about a problem, then we never hear from again. When that happens, makes one wonder whether the story is true....unfortunately a lot of "trolls" out there (not saying you're one of them) that come up with issues like this, post once to drive negative opinions, then we never hear from them again.

Keith
[/QUOTE
I too am new to this forum.]
You are VERY LUCKY that yours is just a LEASED Jeep. I've had 2 prior jeeps. A 2008 GC & 2013 GC Limited. I bought a brand new GC Trailhawk. At 1,013 miles my engine light started coming on. Before I was able to get to the dealership, the car got stuck in first gear and refused to shift to second for several minutes. The issue is still pending a resolution. I'm pretty confident, after reading many, many complaints that these issues will never get resolved. I don't drive this Jeep often, as it sits at my Florida home and I have two other cars and a Harley at my California home therefore I'm past the 18-month deadline for the Lemon Law. I'm really pissed with Jeep/Chrystler AND WILL NEVER BY ANOTHER!!
 
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