Anyone who owns or leases a 2014-2022 Jeep Cherokee and experienced stalling problems or other issues with their parking brake.
What’s Going On?
A lawsuit has been filed alleging a defect in certain Jeep Cherokees causes the electronic parking brake to engage while the vehicle is moving, resulting in unexpected stalling or stopping. Attorneys working with ClassAction.org want to speak with more people who had this happen in order to strengthen the case against the automaker.
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
A class action lawsuit could help drivers get back money for repairs and possibly force the manufacturer to offer a fix.
A class action lawsuit has been filed claiming certain Jeep Cherokees are plagued by a defect that causes their electronic parking brakes to engage unexpectedly and while in motion.
This can lead to sudden stalling or stopping in traffic, which the case warns could be a safety hazard because it increases the risk of a rear-end collision.
A successful class action lawsuit could force the automaker to offer a fix for the cars and reimburse drivers for repair costs, but the attorneys need to speak with more people who experienced these problems in order to strengthen the case.
What’s Causing the Apparent Parking Brake Issue?
The lawsuit claims the Jeep Cherokees at issue are plagued by a defect that allows water to leak into the car and corrode the electronic parking brake module. The damage can cause the parking brake to engage while the car is being driven and make it unexpectedly stall or stop, the case says.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began looking into the electronic parking brake in certain Jeep Cherokee vehicles after receiving dozens of complaints from drivers about the apparent stalling issue. The agency noted that some 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokees were previously recalled to address an issue that allowed water to leak into the cars and damage the power liftgate module, which is “located in a similar area of the vehicle” as the electronic parking brake module.
Drivers File Complaints with NHTSA
NHTSA has received at least 80 complaints from Jeep Cherokee drivers about the apparent parking brake issue. Many drivers report stalling problems, and some say they have had trouble getting their Jeep’s parking brake to disengage or release.
Here is a sampling of complaints from NHTSA’s website [sic throughout]:
Vehicle stalls anytime it idles or comes to a stop. Stalls while in reverse or drive. Stalled several times in reverse backing out of driveway. Stalled while trying to go straight after coming to a stop at a stop sign. Stalled in the middle of an intersection while trying to make a left turn after being stopped, waiting oncoming traffic to clear. Stalling in an intersection could have caused serious injury or death to myself or proceeding oncoming traffic through the intersection. When vehicle stalls, the emergency parking brake is activated and requires the car to be put in park and restart the vehicle.” — NHTSA Complaint #11328321
My electronic parking brake malfunctioned. The vehicle was parked in a driveway and turned off without activating the parking brake. When I returned to the vehicle and restarted it the parking brake was engaged and would not turn off. In addition, the red ‘brake’ light, and yellow electronic park brake warning light on the dashboard appeared; the odometer was flashing; and, ‘service four-wheel drive’ appeared on the dashboard message window. After several attempts flipping the parking brake switch from the on and off positions, then holding the switch in the ‘off’ position for several seconds, the parking brake did disengage. All of the lights remained on. Each time the car was placed back into ‘park’ the parking brake would re-engage, and I needed to go back through the same process to disengage the parking brake.” — NHTSA Complaint # 11281773
Electrical warning system can not be remedied. Emergency brake system is malfunctioning and setting when car is in drive. Electrical system completely went dead on the freeway causing the car to stall, when car was restarted and nursed off of the freeway the electrical system completely went dead, the transmission locked up preventing the tow company from loading the car onto the tow truck, the car was manually manipulated to release the system into neutral…” — NHTSA Complaint #11280560
Parking brake locked up, car could not move an[d] had to be towed, this happened while in a lot.” — NHTSA Complaint #11279854
My 2016 Jeep Cherokee Limited has a parking brake issue. My parking brake will not disengage, the car will not move forward or back, the light remains lit up on the dashboard. My Jeep is inoperable due to this issue. I was stopped at a light in traffic and my car refused to move at all. It finally moved out of park in 30 minutes. The next day my car did the same thing again while I was trying to back out of a parking space at the store. It had to be towed to a Jeep dealership. These two incidents caused me to be stuck dangerously in traffic at a street light, and then again at the grocery store in the parking lot…” — NHTSA Complaint #11398607
My daughter was driving and the parking brake automatically came on and locked up the wheels and caused her to run off the road and hit a mail box and slide into a ditch[.]” — NHTSA Complaint #11432655
According to the lawsuit, the apparent parking brake defect is a major safety concern since random, unintended braking can increase the risk that a driver will be rear-ended.
The case claims the automaker has been aware of the alleged defect for years yet has failed to warn consumers.
Additionally, those who have attempted to have their cars repaired under warranty have had the electronic parking brake replaced with an “equally defective part” that is likely to fail again, the lawsuit alleges.
How a Class Action Can Help
A class action lawsuit could force the manufacturer to recall the vehicles and offer a fix free of charge or reimburse drivers for repairs.