Steering, forward collision avoidance, lane departure, and electrical system issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
After a decade with nearly the same design, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee ushered in a new fifth generation. As a two-row model, this lineup is said to be “re-engineered for the future.” However, consumer complaints are pouring in, many reporting the same issues plaguing the 2021 model. The most common of these relates to power steering failures and phantom braking.
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Most Common Problems
Available in the U.S. since the fourth quarter of 2021, the 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee is heralded by Jeep as being the most technologically luxurious and advanced 4×4-capable Grand Cherokee ever. This new fifth generation presents an impressive lineup that includes the new Trailhawk, said to be the ultimate 4×4 Grand Cherokee. The 4xe, which is the first electrified Grand Cherokee, has been available since early 2022. But the ever-growing volume of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from unhappy customers highlights a host of problems.
The first complaint about a fifth-generation model was lodged with the NHTSA on February 24, 2022. Complaints have been increasing gradually ever since, and by February 8, 2023, there were 37 on file. The components and symptoms that are listed most often are steering, forward collision avoidance, electrical system, and lane departure. Others listed are exterior lighting, service brakes, engine, powertrain, airbags, seats, suspension, tires, and visibility, including cracking windshields.
There is a lot of crossover, with complaints frequently listed under 2 or 3 different headings. For instance, steering complaints, most of which concern power steering disconnect, also include other issues. These relate to forward collision avoidance, lane departure, the electrical system, brakes, and exterior lighting.
Most complaints listed as forward collision avoidance problems relate to phantom braking. This is when the automatic braking system slams on the brakes for no reason. But only 1 of the service brake complaints is listed under brakes.
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
|Unknown Or Other
|Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
|Vehicle Speed Control
There are also 6 recalls, none of which relate to the most common problems consumers are complaining about.
There is a steering-related recall, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the power steering disconnect problem. Rather, it is because of a faulty steering gear assembly. According to NHTSA Campaign Number 22V154000, the steering gear rack bar may not have been hardened sufficiently during the manufacturing process. This might allow it to bind within the steering rack. If this happens, the driver will have difficulty steering and may lose steering control. Potentially, 931 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2021-2022 Dodge Durango vehicles are affected.
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Power Steering Problems
Almost all of the complaints listed as steering issues involve power steering problems. Some complaints state that drivers suddenly lose power steering, usually along with other driver-assist functions like lane assistance and forward collision control. Others say that power steering simply failed, while others refer to a power steering disconnect.
With only 173 miles on a new 2022 Grand Cherokee, an owner from Colorado went to start the SUV, and “the power steering, electronic stability control, blind spot monitoring, and lane assist lights all went on. The power steering didn’t not work and I was unable to back out of my parking space. I repeatedly turned the car on and off and the lights persisted for at least an hour. After an hour, all lights went off and I was able to drive the vehicle. This could have been extremely unsafe if this had occurred while the vehicle was in motion. This also was problematic as I was stranded in a parking lot late at night.
“I immediately took it into the dealer and they cannot reproduce the problem. I am driving a loaner as I do not feel safe in the brand-new vehicle. No warning lights came on prior to this problem appearing.”
Crash Caused by Power Steering Failure
An owner from Arizona whose 2022 Grand Cherokee had 2,700 miles on the clock in August 2022 crashed as a result of the problem. The incident started when the message “power steering unavailable, service required” was suddenly displayed. The power steering then malfunctioned, which made the steering wheel difficult to turn in either direction. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who replaced the steering rack and pinion.
After collecting the supposedly repaired vehicle, the owner was driving at about 25 mph when the power steering malfunctioned again. The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. During the incident, the braking system also malfunctioned and the brake pedal was hard to press down. So, the vehicle didn’t stop before crashing into the tree. The driver sustained a headache and back and shoulder pains. The front seat passenger sustained back and neck pains. The vehicle was towed away, but at the time of the complaint, the failure had not been determined.
An owner from New York had the same message 3 weeks after taking delivery of a new 2022 Grand Cherokee. The warning persisted after turning the ignition on and off several times. “When trying to maneuver the vehicle the steering was very hard, proving this was not just a false alarm. Not being able to properly steer the vehicle was an obvious risk to myself and (my) family, especially if it was to suddenly happen while driving. Because of this I promptly called the dealership tow service to bring it into the service department. It is now 6 days later and the dealer has not had a chance to look at it yet, or confirm anything about the issue with me.”
The owner did some research and tracked down numerous complaints about the same power steering issue starting from the 2021 Grand Cherokee L and with the new platform 2022 Grand Cherokee 2-row and L models. “Although this seems to be a widely known issue no recalls have been made.”
There are 59 steering-related complaints about the 2021 Grand Cherokee on the NHTSA website. Like the 2022 model, steering complaints rank highest of all components and systems. The complaints don’t often specify which Grand Cherokee models they own. All the complaints have been entered under 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV 2WD or 4WD. There are no complaints shown under 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L SUV 4WD or RWD.
Problems with the Automatic Braking System
Most of the complaints about forward collision avoidance describe how the automatic braking system slams on brakes for no reason. There is one, however, from an owner in Virginia who states that the vehicle suddenly “starts to speed up when it was slowing down for the traffic.” When this happens the driver has to press the brake to force a manual stop.
A typical complaint from an owner in New York states: While “driving (at) approximately 25 mph on a road with a 30 mph speed limit, cars are behind me, nobody is in front of me, the Jeep suddenly slammed on its brakes to a full stop for absolutely no reason. Cars behind me had to run off the road to avoid hitting me. Two people yelling at me out of their window.”
The one phantom braking complaint that is filed under forward collision avoidance and brakes is from an owner in Pennsylvania who sees it as an advanced brake assist/emergency assist issue. “While highway driving, during a sunny day and with no cars for at least 1 mile, the system engaged the emergency brake as if it detected an imminent accident. This was at highway speeds, so caused some commotion in the car. Once safely stopped in a rest area I turned off that system. The next day the active lane management system stated it needed service, that later went away.“ Additionally, the complaint states that when the brake pedal is depressed the pedal pulses, “leading me to believe the rotors are warped.” It was scheduled to go to the dealership the following week
Like power steering failures, phantom braking is also an issue that is a common cause of complaints about the 2021 model.
Other Brake Issues
There are 4 complaints listed as service brake problems, but only 1 is listed under this heading alone. It cannot be ignored because it is from a Michigan owner who works at a Jeep facility doing repairs.
“We notified management that someone put glue in the fitting for the left rear brake line, where it meets the soft line. The issue was never fixed and the vehicle has since been shipped. The person who fixes brakes on (the) first shift said he’s been putting glue in brake lines since day one. Management has no idea what they’re doing here and these vehicles are unsafe to be on the road.”
Electrical System Problems
While half of the electrical system problems reported to the NHTSA are linked to steering, there are also other electrical issues. For instance, an owner from California experienced electrical failure on the wiring harness. Another owner, from Puerto Rico, had an issue with a rear camera component fault. The radio doesn’t project an image when the vehicle is in reverse. The dealer hasn’t got a solution. There are also problems with key fobs.
An owner from Michigan says the Grand Cherokee stopped communicating with the key fob. “The whole car is dead because of this.” To make matters worse. The dealership wasn’t able to get the parts to repair it.
An owner from Pennsylvania also reported a key fob problem. “The key fobs do not respond at all and if you hit the start button nothing happens. I have a wife, an eight-year-old daughter and twin baby (14-month-old) sons. Now, what if we are in the car together and this happens? Now luckily both times this has happened it was in my driveway, but I cannot take the car anywhere because I cannot risk the safety of my family. This was the purpose of buying this vehicle so we could have a family vehicle that would accommodate our family, and now it is basically a brick sitting in my driveway. This is the second time this has happened in less than a month.”
An owner from Texas describes how a Grand Cherokee with only 653 miles on the clock suddenly lost motive power and decelerated while driving at about 75 mph. “Performance Limited” “Service Fuel System” and “Service Charging System” messages were displayed. The battery charging and check engine warning lights were also illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the local dealer.
Your Lemon Law Legal Rights
When problems recur in vehicles and they affect their value or impact your use of them, this could spell “lemon.” But every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. Furthermore, the law makes Stellantis, the multi-national corporation that owns Jeep, pay the legal costs.
If you think you may have bought a lemon, contact Lemberg Law for a free assessment of the issues you are facing. We have helped thousands of lemon owners resolve their problems. All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form.