2021 Jeep Cherokee Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

While the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is smaller than its “Grand” sibling, customers still enjoy riding around in this 4×4. In fact, the automaker claims, “Every Journey Starts Here.” However, drivers have trouble starting any journey at all because of the glitchy electrical system, malfunctioning engine, failing powertrain and defective service brakes. .

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Problems with the Electrical System?

No one expects a brand new SUV to have electrical problems, but the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is full of unwanted surprises.

Here’s one Edmunds review to consider. “Bought brand new 2021 Cherokee 80th anniversary. It’s now in the garage for the third time because it won’t start after being turned off. Also the camera in the front is faulty. All this on a brand new vehicle.”

The manufacturer communications are also riddled with more electrical system problems. One example is Service Bulletin #S2008000172 that talks about how the radio screen flickers when Android Auto or Apple CarPlay is being used. Maybe the company thought the entertainment system required a strobe light for more effects.

Problems with the Engine?

A potent engine is what all thrill seekers are looking for, but it’s more important that the motor is reliable, which it doesn’t seem to be with Cherokee models.

One NHTSA complaint reads, “The contact owns a 2021 Jeep Cherokee. The contact stated while driving approximately 55-60 mph, the vehicle lost motive power without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that there was plastic left from the manufacturing process inside the engine. The mechanic flushed the engine however, the failure recurred with the check engine and battery warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was towed to another [dealer], however, the mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure. There was no fault code retrieved. The vehicle was not repaired and remained at the dealer for a second diagnostic test at the request of the contact. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and a case was filed. The failure mileage was 836.”

It turns out that there are investigations happening right now into defective engines among Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles. This is one of the models that is currently being investigated because of loss of power, rough running conditions, as well as a knocking or ticking noise. For so many people to be rallying against the automaker because of this defect, it’s clear there is something major happening. For every customer that has been duped, the journey will actually start here.

Problems with the Transmission?

The powertrain doesn’t appear to be any more reliable than the engine, leaving customers with SUVs that don’t provide their transportation needs adequately.

A recent NHTSA complaint says, “My 2021 Jeep’s powertrain unit broke and damaged other connecting parts while driving on a highway using cruise control causing a complete loss of power. This occurred with only 5,696 miles driven on the vehicle.”

The powertrain has an active recall out because of a defect, a scary one at that. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V310000 says that affected vehicles might have a transmission oil cooler hose that wasn’t cured correctly. Because of this oversight, transmission fluid can leak, increasing the chances of a car fire. The bigger question is – are there any customers at this point that would be upset if the SUV burned into a heap of ashes?

Problems with the Brakes?

Stopping the SUV should be a paramount concern to drivers and automakers alike. However, Jeep doesn’t seem to be bothered with ensuring the brakes are working.

A final NHTSA complaint says, “While putting on new tire valve caps, I noticed a drip of something wet on the inside of one of the rims. It smelled like brake fluid. I took the car to the dealership for inspection. I was told that I couldn’t drive the car, that the caliper was leaking brake fluid, and that it would take about 6 days to order and replace the caliper. If gone undetected, the defective leaking caliper could have resulted in brake failure. There was no warning lamp to indicate an issue.”

Along with the brakes, there are serious suspension issues to look at. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V657000 talks about how the front lower control arm might fracture while driving. If this occurs, a loss of steering will also happen, leading to an unexpected crash. From the front to the back of this vehicle and from every angle, it’s easy to find a defect. So, in reality, the “journey that starts here” should be the one to another brand of vehicle.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Jeep pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

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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6 COMMENTS
  • Fayetteville N

    UPDATE: After they “fixed” the ECM issue. She picked the vehicle up and the very next day the ECM went haywire again. Against my advice she has decided to keep the vehicle. Which now has bubbles in the factory tint forming on the driver side window. The satellite radio cuts in and out as well.

  • LYNN C

    2 WRECKS NOW IN MY 2021 JEEP CHEROKKE LATITUDE PLUS 4WD, ONE WAS LAST YEAR ENVOLED IN A 6 CAR PILE UP, WAS HIT FROM THE SIDE. NO AIR BAGS DEPLOYED. ANOTHER WRECK JUST A WEEK AGO AND GUY RAN RED LIGHT AND HIT ME IN THE FRONT END AND I HIT HIM IN SIDE BACK DOOR AND NO AIR BAGS DEPLOYED AGAIN. SINCE HAVING THE VEHICLE TENN. TRIP LAST YEAR MY GPS WENT CRAZY AND HAD TO HAVE IT LOOKED AT WHILE IN TENN. DEALERSHIP. TRANSMISSION SLIPS EVERYDAY. THE RPM ESCALATE ONCE STRAIN ON HILL AND ENGINE IS IN FULL MOTION AT THIS POINT AND TRANSMISSION WILL NOT CHANGE GEARS.

  • Luis T

    Well, after just complaining about the forward collision warning with stop not computing and working properly on my 2021 jeep Cherokee latitude lux when testing this safety feature when just got it brand new on Dec.2021. As of today Jan,22.2022 with already 37K miles, this small cabin SUV has been just perfect. No issues of any kind with my Transmission, brakes, engine and electric system. Still working nice and smooth! Drove a couple of times 1500 miles back and forward from Georgia to El Paso,Tx. And driving work to Alabama twice a week 280 miles+. Amazing! PERFECT!

  • Fayetteville N

    Just happened to my friend on 14 Jan 2022. She had the brand new 2021 Jeep Cherokee for approximately 5 hours before everything went haywire. Before the incident it had 18 miles on the odometer when she left the “stealership”. She lives 5 miles give or take from there. When she drove 10 miles to pick up her daughter the dashboard lit up with every light on it. The car wouldn’t go into park. Would not turn off. Long story short, she was told it was still in ship mode. Then told that its the ECM(engine control module) and It will take a week for her to get car back because they don’t have the part.

  • Kimberly

    Just happened to me and I only have 6000 miles on mine. It’s the relay switch I’m told. Luckily they had the switch in stock.

  • Michelle G

    Woke up this morning to my 2021 Cherokee not starting with fob or app. When I went out o the Jeep and manually started it, every light for every code was sounding off, the emergency brake was locked and the engine kept shutting itself off then restart. So dissatisfied, purchased Oct 22/21 with 35km on it. Now has 3090km. Dealership is waiting for parts, says it’s a relay switch, I’m on a list, no idea at all of when this is going to be fixed!!

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