More potential problems for Fiat Chrysler Automotive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a preliminary investigation into Jeep Grand Cherokee rollaway reports. The agency says it’s received 14 complaints from 2014-2015 Jeep owners.
According to Automotive News, the NHTSA has received five reports of crashes or fires related to the alleged defect and three injuries. A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spokesman said the automaker was cooperating fully with the NHTSA investigation.
One Michigan driver filed a complaint on the NHTSA website in June, saying the vehicle started to roll backwards while still in park, with three people in it, and then hit another parked car. An update to the complaint stated that the driver had put the car into park while going into a gas station, when it started to roll away with two children and an adult inside. They jumped out of the vehicle before it hit another car, but one child was hurt while exiting the SUV.
The NHTSA investigation summary is as follows:
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 14 complaints (VOQs) alleging that after being placed in Park the subject vehicles have then rolled away from their parked position. The unintended motion has occurred with both the engine off and the engine running. ODI has also identified EWR field report data related to the alleged defect. The model year 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles are equipped with an electronic gear selector (shift-bywire system). The gear selection is made by pressing the shifter-paddle forward or backwards; the shifter does not move along a gate path as with conventional gear selectors. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to asses the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequence of the alleged defect.
Photo Credit: FCA