FCA announced early Wednesday that it is recalling 67,248 Jeep Cherokee SUVs sold in the United States to address a transmission issue that can potentially result in a loss of power or roll-away situation.
"A review of customer data prompted an FCA investigation that discovered a driveline connection may, in certain circumstances, slip. Should this occur, it may lead to loss of propulsion and prevent the transmission from engaging PARK when the vehicle is stationary," FCA's statement said.
FCA says its Jeep service departments will install updated software that will alert the driver to the malfunction when it occurs. If the vehicle is in motion, the computer will automatically shunt power to the rear wheels to maintain propulsion, FCA says. If a malfunction is detected while attempting to shift into park, the system will also apply the parking brake automatically to prevent roll-away.
The recall applies only to all-wheel-drive models of the 2014-2017 Jeep Cherokee with a two-speed Power Transfer Unit, which simulates the sort of two-speed transfer case found in many part-time four-wheel-drive trucks and SUVs. Jeep brands these systems as "Active Drive II" or "Active Drive Lock." The former was optional on multiple trims; the latter was standard on all Trailhawk models.
Vehicles with the more common "Active Drive I" all-wheel drive system, which does not have a low-speed mode, are not included in the recall.
FCA says one accident has been attributed to this issue, but no injuries were associated. Notices will begin going out to owners of the recalled models next month.