2019 Jeep Cherokee Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, engine, brake and transmission issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The 2019 Jeep Cherokee has built a strong foundation on being American-made. Since this SUV’s debut in 1974, enthusiasts have created a loyal following. This particular model year is esteemed by the company as being “Redesigned for Everyday Adventure,” and we couldn’t agree more. The defective engine, faulty electrical systems, unreliable powertrain and malfunctioning service brakes give drivers more of an adventure than they bargained for.

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Problems with the Engine

One of the most important parts of a vehicle is the engine. It must have enough power to move the car and be reliable enough that you can depend on it. Sadly, that’s not what many Cherokee owners are running into with their new SUVs.

Take, for example, what this owner wrote on Edmunds. “Bought a 2019 Jeep Cherokee a few weeks ago. Within 78 hours of owning the car, I went to start it up and then the car made a stalling noise. I tried to jump it and was unsuccessful. The next morning I made another attempt to start the car and it started up fine… two days later same thing happens…. I go to start the car to leave for work and the car stalls. After 15 minutes of yelling and cursing, the car finally starts up. I went to the dealership to tell them about the stalling problems and they hooked it up to a computer. They told me the “computer” showed no issues.”

The amount of complaints regarding stalling issues is overwhelming. Maybe it’s what forced the recall labeled NHTSA Campaign Number 18V344000. In this recall, SUVs with the 2.0L engines were found with missing valve stem keepers. This allowed the valve to drop into the cylinder and cause engine damage. In addition, these engines often had reversed camshaft caps. While these problems led to severe engine trouble, FCA didn’t replace the engines. Instead, the recall allows technicians to replace the missing or defective components. Surely, this didn’t go over well with many owners who faced ongoing engine problems as a result of the damage. Unfortunately, many owners were simply told by the dealership to change the oil more often, even as soon as every 1,000 miles. Clearly, the techs treat customers as if they don’t know anything; no new vehicle should need an oil change every 1,000 miles. Even vintage cars go longer than that.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Engine Problems:

TL- The contact owns a 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle approximately 5 minutes later smoke was present coming from under the hood. No flames were present but several parts under the hood had melted. No further information was available. The fire department was not called to the scene. The vehicle was the towed to the local dealer. The cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 4,000 .

Engine stalls intermittently while in motion turning left and intermittent delay between pushing the gas pedal and having acceleration start when traveling at moderate speed. Engine already replaced under warranty with the same symptoms occurring. Engine replaced at 5k miles, symptoms repeating at 8k miles.

Vehicle with 23 k miles with oil consumption and coolant problems, with no indicator warning of low oil or coolant level. This vehicle could shut off with no warning, which could cause an accident. This is a brand new vehicle that now will have to go through oil consumption program. According to numerous online complaints, this issue has been ongoing. This could be a potentially huge safety issue that needs to be addressed and/or recalled immediately.

Slowed down before an intersection and when I accelerated, the engine quit and I lost power steering in the middle of the intersection. Have had the car for only one month, 1200 miles on it. This is a dangerous situation.

Problems with the Electrical System

Many people don’t realize how many components rely on the electrical system. All of the features in the cabin, as well as major powertrain elements, require a functioning electrical system to operate correctly. Many owners find that the parts in their Cherokee malfunction often and cause larger problems.

One reviewer wrote on Edmunds, “This vehicle was purchased new with 12 miles as has been a constant problem. The Navigation system will not track the vehicle’s location, an anti theft code comes up and renders all functions inoperable, touch screen goes crazy, and Bluetooth doesn’t work.  Have taken to dealership numerous times but since they can’t duplicate the problem there is nothing they can (WILL) do.”

If this was one review, we might not give it much clout, but the same comments come from driver after driver. There were two recalls issued by FCA related to the electronics. The first is documented with NHTSA Campaign Number 18V917000, which refers to a failed instrument cluster. This malfunction leads to warning chimes, messages and activation of the gauges. Technicians replaced the instrument panels for customers. There is also NHTSA Campaign Number 18V524000, that talks about a voltage regulator chip failing and the powertrain control module failing. This leads to a no start or stalling situation and also requires replacement. Shockingly, the dealerships didn’t just recommend more frequent oil changes as a solution to these problems as well.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Electrical Problems:

My 2019 Jeep Cherokee Latitude plus has had a electrical problem starting 2 weeks after we bought the vehicle. The radio screen changes on its own to all the different features on the screen including turning the backup camera on while driving forward, turning the seat heater and wheel heater on and not shutting off, turning the heater and max a/c on and off, calling people while on Bluetooth. This happens when the vehicle is in motion, stationary, on city streets and highway. I have taken the vehicle in 4 times so far for this issue.

System controls shut down during driving. LCD goes blank, or screen locks up, and audio shuts off. Sometimes, the entire control system shuts down and i have to stop and restart the car to get it to reboot. This happens while in motion and when at a stop.

The radio operates erratically and will bounce from one mode to another. The audio will go in and out as well as the air and heat. The screen goes back and forth between radio, controls, navigation, climate, apps, and media uncontrollably without any prompting from the driver or passenger. The vehicle was in motion each time it acted erratically causing major distraction and disruption to the driver. This happened on city streets, highways, while turning, and while parked with the car on. When brought to an authorized dealer they said that there was no problem and that nothing could be fixed.

Problems with the Transmission

The SUVs powertrain is responsible for transmitting the power into movement. It consists of the engine, transmission, differentials and driveshafts. When something in the system malfunctions, it becomes difficult to move your vehicle properly.

One person documented their concerns on Edmunds. “07/10/18 I ran into an issue with the transmission shifting hard and then displaying a message on the dash that stated “service transmission, restart in park at zero speed” forcing me to coast to a stop and place the vehicle in park and restart it in order to have the transmission work again. (Diagnosed on 07/11/18 and valve body solenoid learn and performed quick learn under warranty). On 07/20/18 the radio went into theft lock mode while driving asking for a 4 digit pin and then the transmission wouldn’t upshift or downshift properly resulting in a message again flashing on the dash stating “service transmission, restart in park with vehicle at zero speed”. On 07/25/18 the vehicle bucked me hard into an interaction upon taking off from a stop light to the point where I put the vehicle in park and got out to check for damage bc I thought the driver behind me had rear ended me.”

It shouldn’t shock you to learn that there were two recalls related to the powertrain as well. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V739000 discusses issues on Cherokee models with 2.4L engines. Improper transmission calibration leads to stalling and requires proper calibration. The other instance is NHTSA Campaign Number 18V492000, which relates to a transmission weld failing. This causes the vehicle to stop moving. Any owner experiencing this required a new transmission. FCA might have done better to simply build brand new SUVs for everyone, between the engine, transmission and electrical malfunctions. They should have started over with a clean slate and done it again.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Transmission Problems:

My 2019 Jeep Cherokee loses power and will not accelerate. The first time it happened there was only 2400 miles on it. It slowed by itself and when the gas was pressed it just kept slowing and the RPMs revved to 5000 and it would not go anywhere. Had to put in park and then back in drive and it only crept at 15 MPH until I got home. Towed it to dealer and could not duplicate. Ran fine for awhile. Now there is 3300 miles and it is doing it again. This time it stalled and a light said could not shift. It was in the automatic mode not manual shift. Lost brakes and steering and drifted into my yard. Came to a stop close to my house. Waited a few hours and it ran fine. A day later i was making a left turn and it stopped in the next lane. I hit the gas and nothing then it took off like a rabbit jumping and pulsing. I almost got hit by a dually with a cow trailer. Got home and parked it. Called dealer and they stated to have it towed and would look at it in a few days

The automatic transmission shifting at low speeds constantly hesitates and freezes when trying to accelerate. Most often after stopping. The resultant delay in shifting often occurs when pulling into traffic and is particularly bad when accelerating from a stop up a hill.

Started out when going over a bump slow you heard a grinding noise, now when it shifts into first at a stop the transmission has a clicking noise and also surges and shifts hard.

When coming to a stop or already stopped (like at a traffic light) while in drive, when vehicle will randomly “lurch”. The engine will very quickly rev and attempt to overpower the brakes. This appears to happen more often if auto start/stop is disabled. There is also clunking that has been progressively getting worse coming from transmission area. The mileage of the vehicle is only at 1,052 miles and is currently at the dealership.

Problems with the Brakes

Even though the Cherokee doesn’t want to move often, you still want to have working brakes. In those rare moments when the SUV operates correctly, you want peace of mind knowing you will be able to stop it.

One owner wrote this on the NHTSA website, “I was driving to work and was approaching this intersection, the light changed to yellow. When I put my foot on the brakes so that I could stop for the light, the brake pedal went to the floor. I was unable to stop for the light which turned red for me by now and I was driving at approximately 25 to 30 miles an hour. I tried pumping the brakes, but the brake pedal was positioned on the floor. As I had no other choice but to go through the red light, I kept my hand on the horn to try and avoid an accident. There were cars starting to go through the intersection, the closest car almost hit my passenger side of the car. Between that car stopping short, and me steering around them, serious injury and/or death was avoided, after I past the intersection I put the car into neutral and eased on the parking brake. “

As you might have expected, there is also a recall for the brakes. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V523000 talks about the insufficient coating on rear brake caliper pistons. This causes gas pockets and stops the brakes from operating properly. Technicians are instructed to bleed the brakes for customers. Of course, drivers that can’t get their car to move in the first place, don’t need to worry about the brakes.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Cherokee Brake Problems:

I have a 2019 Cherokee with approx 18500 miles on it. I have had the EBS (Emergency Brake System) come on while idling at a stoplight 5 times. The dealership has no idea what is going on. The handle to release it does not respond. It appears to happen when you are releasing your boot from the brake. I believe the car thinks it is rolling and reacts.

My wife was exiting a parking lot driving forward in our 2019 Jeep Cherokee. She turned right into the driveway and then steered right toward the center lane. There were no cars around her. Suddenly the dash lit up in red brake, and the parking brake engaged. She stopped momentarily, trying to figure out what had just happened. At this point the light went out and the parking brake released. She drove home without incident. The doors were not ajar. She was not backing up. Our Jeep does not have the forward sensors, just the rear sensors. We do have the parking brake set (u-connect) to auto engage when shifted into park. We are concerned this could happen on the highway at 65 mph. I’m bringing it to the dealer in the morning

I was driving to work and was approaching this intersection, the light changed to yellow. When I put my foot on the brakes so that I could stop for the light, the brake pedal went to the floor. I was unable to stop for the light which turned red for me by now and I was driving at approximately 25 to 30 mile an hour. I tried pumping the brakes, but the brake pedal was positioned on the floor. As i had no other choice but to go through the red light, I kept my hand on the horn to try and avoid an accident. There were cars starting to go through the intersection, the closest car almost hit my passenger side of the car. Between that car stopping short, and me steering around them, serious injury and or death was avoided, after I past the intersection i put the car into neutral and eased on the parking brake to stop my brand-new 2019 Jeep, and then put it in park and turned the car off. By this point i was a complete and total nervous wreck. How could my brand new 2019 Jeep Cherokee latitude plus that i had been driving for thirteen days have brake failure? I have driving for 45 years and never had anything like this happen

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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5 COMMENTS
  • John

    I want to bring to your attention my frustration with your service dept. I brought in my 2019 Cherokee Limited in because the computer/raido shuts off and resets while driving the car. This has happen to my wife and I several times and have brought the car in now on 2 different occasions and I’m told the car is fine becuase the problem did not occure when your service department had the car. The last incident happened while it was storming and caused the windshield wipers to stop working while we were driving. I informed service that they could keep the car as long as needed to fix the problem but would need a courtesy car untill they figured out the issue. I was denied a loaner and was told that I would ether have to leave the car indefinitely or keep bringing it back when we could. Leaving it is not an option we need the car to get back and forth to work and for me to keep bringing it back is absurd. Now that I know the windshield wipers malfunction when the computer shuts it self off and resets has now become a saftey concern and your staff did not seem to care. I will be filing a complaint with Chrysler and posting my experience on every social media platform I can. I just hope I can find a soluation and the problem gets fixed before it causes an accident .

  • Tammie W

    Purchased a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Lattitude last fall. Literally drove it off the lot, one block away and all dash lights illuminated, lost power steering and power brakes while driving 25MPH. Less than 30 minutes of purchase. Turned car off called dealership, tried to drive car back to dealership with no power steering. Gave us a temp car to get home. Next day they report after doing diagnostics, they can’t find a thing wrong or recreate the event. Expressed our disgust, not the first time this dealership had ripped us off. Now we take photos each and every time the lights display and the car puts our family in very dangerous situations. Highway or parking lot, makes no difference in speed. Infuriating to be taken advantage of, two veterans, one disabled with one leg and have to worry about getting from point A to B without being hit or killed.

  • Dylan

    My 2019 Jeep Cherokee is absolutely terrible first day I had the car smells like burning tell the guy I bought it from says it is normal until first oil change. Also on the first day the radio shuts off by itself and apple car play won’t work at all. Go about 1500 miles try again at another dealership car still burning oil and breaks are making noise. Go get my first oil change around 6500 miles drive the car still burning oil and now emergency break coming on by itself and more radio issues. Dealer fixes a couple parts in engine says nothing about anything else. I get a 3rd oil change around 10000 miles car burns through 20% of oil in one week. Take it into the dealer and they wanna do another oil change and do a oil consumption test. That’s where I am now…. I am so done with trying to buy new cars right now just want a refund on my vehicle so I can buy out right used vehicle my car is one year old now

  • William F

    I have a 2019 jeep latitude the Instrument Cluster lights up and stops you have to turn the car off and on to get it come back on the radio works sometimes it doesnt and low speeds going through the parking lot like at Walmart it was shake and night shift right

  • Katherine G

    Hello I have had a problem with my Jeep since I 1st bought it this year please exit 45. I have a 2019 Jeep Cherokee latitude. I purchased February 28, 2019 and in May my starter caught fire and my car stalled in the middle of The road after leaving a store with my daughter. The car kept telling me to start the engine and It would not start again. My daughter and I were almost hit by another vehicle because we were stuck in the middle of the lane in traffic on a busy road. Luckily another motorist stop and several other people to help push my vehicle out of the road to help my daughter and I. My vehicle had to be towed to the dealership and left to be fixed in a quarter mile turn. I was told that the starter caught fire and was replaced. Before this Happened my U connect screen kept going out and giving me error messages. Ever since this I have non stop problems with the you connect screen and the buttons not working properly on my steering wheel and going out all the time period after this incident back in May I started a lemon law case with the Jeep Chrysler Dodge team and it has been very unsuccessful. I have taken my vehicle and multiple times 5 off the top of my head that I can remember regarding this issue and other issues. I have complained about the transmission feeling rough and like the vehicle was going to stall out. It doesn’t feel like the vehicle is working properly at all. They are giving me the run around and asking me to continue to bring it in. This issue has caused me to miss a lot of work which causes me to lose money out for my family and I am a single mother of 3 young children ages 5,3 and almost 2. I bought this vehicle and hopes that I would have a reliable vehicle for my family and it has been 100% the opposit. Any help would be greatly appreciated on how to get my money back from this dealership.

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