- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into complaints that water has leaked into Jeep Cherokee SUVs and caused the parking brake to activate while the vehicle is moving.
- The investigation, which involves 1.3 million Jeep Cherokees from 2014 through 2020 model years, is looking into 80 reports of problems with the vehicle’s electronic parking brake module.
- These are investigations only at this time, and neither NHTSA nor the manufacturer has announced recalls.
NHTSA has announced it is investigating the 2014–2020 Jeep Cherokee SUV after receiving 80 complaints from Cherokee owners regarding problems with the electronic parking brake. The problem appears to be that the brake may activate while the Cherokee is moving, which causes the vehicle to stall and stop. According to the reports and documentation from repair invoices, NHTSA is theorizing that water may be leaking in, causing damage to the electronic parking brake module. An estimated 1,341,055 Cherokee vehicles could be involved, and the investigation is currently at the “preliminary evaluation” stage.
One example of a consumer complaint found on the NHTSA recalls website reads: “While driving on a four-lane highway at 65 mph the vehicle partially lost power and would not accelerate, upshift, or downshift, the brake lights started flashing, along with many other lights on the dash including check engine.” The owner reported being shown the parking brake module of the car by a mechanic and informed that water had seeped into the system, leaving the electronic parking brake module corroded.
The NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation noted that a previous recall in 2015 of nearly 100,000 2014–2015 Jeep Cherokees addressed issues with the power liftgate module being damaged by water leakage, noting in the current documents that the liftgate and brake modules are “located in a similar area of the vehicle.”
For now, NHTSA has not called for the Cherokee to be recalled for the brake issue, and there are no reports of accidents or injuries. Owners can check the NHTSA recalls website for updates.