By on October 16, 2013

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Jeep Cherokee units keep piling up at the Toledo, Ohio factory, as Chrysler attempts to iron out production issues, but according to Yahoo Autos, none have been delivered yet.

Yahoo’s Justin Hyde reports nine units are in transit, with Chrysler’s own data showing 18,849 units built so far. The Cherokee’s issues seem to center around the long awaited 9-speed automatic transmission and its accompanying software. The 9-speed gearbox was one of the main issues that TTAC found in its test drive of the Cherokee, though we also praised Chrysler’s decision to hold off on the launch of the car until everything has been ironed out.

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64 Comments on “19,000 Jeep Cherokee Units Built, None Delivered...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    OK, I’m beginning to see what’s going on here. Once the new Jeep hits the streets the controversial styling will be such old news that it won’t be an issue, but if they wait too long it might begin to look dated

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    Crossovers used to be called “cute ute’s” as that described the female demographic for which they were intended / to whom they appealed. Women everywhere are anxiously awaiting the arrival of this crossover Chick Jeep, which could otherwise be referred to as a “Cheep.”

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    9-speed transmission, from Chrysler… oh boy, I better buy stock in transmission shops, they likely will get very busy in a few years.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    I was driving past Chrysler HQ this weekend and noticed several of the Cherokees (minus any badging) being driven on I-75. Damage control is obviously in full swing.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Or do what Toyota does and put 2013-2014 Camry, Corolla, and Avalon with bad wiper that can stop in the rain and worry about recalling them later? Toyota hasn’t changed a bit in avoiding the top of the recall list.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    They are retrofitting all of them with heated rear bumpers. So you can keep your hands warm while you push it.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    If you want to buy a new one you might want to wait a couple of years.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      New? New?!?!?!?!?

      The Best and the Brightest don’t buy new. Let somebody else take the depreciation. Besides, they’re waiting for the five and ten year reliability reports to prove that the car is at least as trouble free as a ’90’s Camry before they’ll even considering purchasing one.

      The Best and the Brightest only demand what the manufacturers should make as new. Let some other fool actually reach into their wallets and take out the money to buy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Syke I am with you, but it depends on the depreciation curve of the model in question. Some makes and models just don’t depreciate and its a suckers buy used, Subaru in this snowy region is a prime example as people will spend insane amounts of money on these things used and abused.

        But you can beat the system, case in point two I calculated over the summer: 2013 Impala, 2012 MKZ. The Impala LT in theory retails for 27K, they knock 4 off from GM and if you haggled I imagine the dealer is looking for 20-22 as a sale price. But… just in July there was a dealer selling a series of 2013 refrigerator white rental spec LSes with less than 700 miles apiece for 15,200 + fees at Manheim in central PA. I was very close to buying one to serve as new winter beater, I ended up cheapening out because I’m in the market for real estate soon and I don’t want to get overextended. The Lincoln MKZ is another depreciation wonder, they’re lease queens but in theory they retail in the mid 30s with a standard V6 in MY12. I didn’t bother with AWD, but the FWD ones do 17-20 with sub 25K. There is a Ford dealer who sometimes goes to the factory sale and buys the leases and rentals and will retail one for literally 1-2K over what I’m seeing at Manheim. I’m not sure what their angle is unless some of them are coming from some kind of back door Enterprise wholesaler deal, but a FWD V6 comfortable Fusion clone for $20Kish isn’t too shabby. Based on the first gen Zephyr I calculated by year 7 and 60K, it should still be worth in the 12s in 2013 dollars. Impala in the same period would dip to the 5-8s, but with the Impala they can be had with literally no miles if you can get into the auction.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Cadillac CTS is another great used car. 3 year old AWD CTS is about $20K around here

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My former boss paid $26K and change for an AWD MY11 with 19K otc in July. I just shook my head because I’m thinking like you, 20Kish for an MY10 tops, MY11 I might add 2-3gs but for me I’ll just age it a year and buy the 10.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yeah that’s not great, though if it’s exceptional (19K miles sounds like it could be) and if it has a sport package it could be up there

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Evidently this one was retailed but sold as a “stripper model” with no nav, moonroof, and I believe no heated seats (or maybe not cooled I can’t recall) and some other stuff. A “Cadillac” without a moonroof or nav is a joke IMO and esp for 26 (stickered at 29999).

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Wow you’re good 28DL! Found a Certified 2012 Lincoln MKZ AWD (@27K miles) with all the trimmings going for less than $25K and the dealer seems quite willing to part with some markup. Serious consideration territory, thanks!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You’re quite welcome Dolorean, although I’ll have to extend you thanks to my brother who first brought them to my attention in 2011. I imagine for the Joneses being seen in a “Lincoln” is a stigma, or its the wholesale market sees right through the clone and refuses to pay. MKZ is *the* value luxury used buy of the last five years, IMO. Lincoln dealers in my area still have delusions about the cars based on pricing I’ve seen (on FWDs) but check Ford dealers too it seems some of them are happy to make a quick buck at the expense of their LM cousins. I’m waiting to see what the MY13s do in the winter, I expect their resale to drop even faster (I4 being standard and all), although the hybrids hold well. I crunched numbers on a MY10 Zephyr (3.5 V6) and MY10 Fusion Sport/SES something (3.0 V6), the Lincoln blows the Fusion out of the water but the Fords actually did better on the block.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            What does not depreciate is a Jeep Wrangler….those hold about 65% of their value after five years….better than pretty much everything else with few exceptions…interesting how one brand can bracket both ends of a metric like that…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Agreed on the Wranglers, really of all generations I have seen. Grand Cherokee used to take a nice early dip on the 98-04 models, and the previous 93-97 were steal because of the bad rap the model got in V8 trim… the I6 was available in the cheap trim and runs just as well as its XJ cousin. Liberty used to me a middle of the road depreciator, not sure about Compass/Patriot.

            Additional: I checked the auction reports on MY13 MKZ

            The FWD I4:

            09/18/13 TAMPA Factory $28,400 255 Below WHITE-UG 4GT A No
            09/18/13 DETROIT Factory $34,600 6,040 Avg BLACK 4GT A Yes
            09/24/13 CHICAGO Factory $28,200 2,909 Below MAROON 4GT A Yes
            09/26/13 FRDKBURG Lease $31,500 4,212 Avg WHITE 4GT A Yes
            09/30/13 TAMPA Lease $31,000 1,605 Avg SILVR-UX 4GT A Yes
            10/04/13 PA Regular $35,600 760 Above RED 4GT A Yes

            The FWD V6:

            09/03/13 KC Factory $27,100 17,160 Avg WHITE 6G A No
            09/04/13 KC Factory $26,500 28,197 Avg SLV 6G A No
            09/11/13 DALLAS Lease $25,100 13,644 Avg BLACK 6G A No
            09/17/13 KC Factory $27,500 20,247 Avg WHITE 6G A No
            09/18/13 SO CAL Lease $27,750 14,070 Avg MAROON 6G A No
            09/18/13 SO CAL Lease $27,400 13,146 Avg SILVER 6G A No
            09/18/13 KC Factory $26,400 25,186 Avg SLVR 6G A No
            09/25/13 TX HOBBY Lease $27,200 17,241 Avg BLACK 6G A No
            10/02/13 SO CAL Lease $26,300 15,293 Avg BLACK 6G A No
            10/07/13 KC Factory $27,400 25,616 Avg WHITE 6G A No
            10/09/13 DETROIT Factory $31,800 15,148 Avg WHITE 6G A No
            10/15/13 KC Factory $26,600 16,505 Avg WHITE 6G A No
            10/15/13 KC Factory $26,300 20,467 Avg PEARL 6G A No
            10/15/13 KC Factory $26,200 20,877 Avg WHITE 6G A No
            10/15/13 KC Factory $26,100 22,533 Avg DK GRAY 6G A No
            10/15/13 KC Factory $26,100 20,684 Avg WHITE 6G A No

            The Hybrid:

            07/11/13 PA Regular $36,000 6,580 Avg BLUE 4H A Yes
            08/14/13 TAMPA Factory $34,500 84 Avg WHITE-JZ 4H A Yes
            08/29/13 MISS Lease $34,500 1,143 Avg WHT-JZ 4H A Yes
            09/11/13 DETROIT Factory $34,100 7,514 Avg TEAL 4H A Yes
            09/19/13 SO CAL Lease $29,600 1,832 Below BLUE 4H A Yes
            10/08/13 ORLANDO Regular $35,500 5,654 Avg BLUE 4H A Yes

            So based on the data it seems the V6 is being ordered quite a bit still, and holds in the 26K region with 20K otc for being maybe 9 months old. The I4 seems to fare better but all of those have sub 5000 miles so they don’t seem like retailed vehicles, so they are probably demos being dumped, factory sales, cars damaged in transit, etc. Hybrid doing I’d say very well holding value in the 36s. Hybrid and I4 MSRP start at 36. I built a hybrid one with a moonroof and backup camera on the website for 39,430 (heated AND cooled seats require a 2K package I didn’t select). So far it looks like the V6 will still be a value buy used next spring but conversely the hybrid is the value buy *new* if you can swing the capital (and want a hybrid).

        • 0 avatar
          SaulTigh

          I paid $19,500 for a 2008 MKZ in 2011. My wife and I have put 27,000 trouble free miles on it and I intend to take it up to 200,000 miles then just hoon the sh&t out of it until it dies. This model year was tops in JD Power 3 year reliability ratings, and that generation Fusion also has a good quality rep. New cars are expensive, and used car prices are currently ridiculous. I just need something that’s trouble free, has some pickup (Ford’s 3.5 V6 is a peppy engine) and a decent radio.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Using “luxury” and “trouble free” in the same sentence has almost become an oxymoron. I think more recently doing so was in reference to a Lexus or maybe a Town Car, but I’ve read the same surveys. Paradoxically a “good” luxury car has terrible depreciation, I say buy the dip.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Sooooo they keep building cars with the inferior materials too? I suppose I could see the logic in “well just flash the software once we figure it out” which is the Microsoft response to everything, but if there are still materials issues one would think you’d delay production until those too are sorted out.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Does the article say that they are building with bad materials?

      Do you have any evidence to support this claim, or are you just assuming that the preproduction issues Derek observed are still present?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have no idea but I seem to recall poor leather stitching on the steering wheel among other things in Derek’s first review. I would hope those things were addressed along with the transmission software, which is what I’m purporting.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      They stopped production while OK to buy was pushed back. They could have released the vehicle with less than perfect programming, as is extremely common in the industry, but Sergio really wants it to be released at it’s best. So they’re holding them back. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were even more updates even after the vehicle is released. Tuning a powertrain with a 9 speed gearbox is a lot of work.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        That’s especially so for the “world’s first” transverse nine speed auto. Other manufacturers have nine speed automatics, but they’re longitudinal, with a transfer case at the output shaft for AWD. The Cherokee is doing it differently, and that’s probably the rub.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Most manufacturers do their engineering development work BEFORE they turn on the assembly line …

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The new Cherokee isn’t the only model that Chrysler is having problems with for 2014. The 2014 GRAND Cherokee is now officially being recalled.

      As luck would have it, my wife’s three sisters all bought a 2014 Grand Cherokee, each, and all of theirs had to go back to the dealer for one thing or another within months of buying it.

      Among the problems they claimed to have experienced were several electronics glitches, flashing warning lights, blackouts and two of them had howling automatic transmissions as well. A re-flash may cure the electronics issues but the transmission howling should be a mechanical or hydraulic issue.

      We haven’t had any problem with our 2012 Grand Cherokee, maybe because Daimler developed and engineered it.

      The ironic part of all this is that my wife’s sisters bought Highlanders because we enjoyed such a great experience with our Japan-built 2008. Theirs had issues and recalls; made in the good ol’ US of A. Obviously, something went amiss there.

      So now they traded their Highlanders for 2014 Grand Cherokees based on our great experience with our 2012, and guess what? Their 2014 Grand Cherokees have issues as well.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I wouldn’t be so quick to put your good fortune on the Daimler connection. You’d be hard pressed to buy a more unreliable marque over the past 10 years than Mercedes. My brother’s CLK had a transmission controller failure that killed the trans, $5000 after 66K. A real POS.

        I’ll bet the Grand Cherokee will be fine after those few items are taken care of. Doesn’t make it better, but really, considering the complexity of today’s cars, does one trip – even two – to the dealer really mean you made a mistake in your purchase? Even a recall? By that metric a Camry is a disaster.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          golden2husky, maybe we were just lucky with our Overland Summit. It really has been a great truck. My wife loves it! All I have done to it is to change the oil and filters and put new Michelins on it to replace the ratty Goodyears it came with.

          The 2012 GC Laredo of a friend had to be reflashed because it wouldn’t run right, the Check Engine Light stayed on, and it would only run on Premium Unleaded gas.

          Once reflashed, all’s well and it takes 87 Octane Regular Unleaded now without rattling and pinging.

          I haven’t had to take my wife’s GC in for anything, so far, so I have to give credit where credit is due. If it had turned out to be a POS, I would have said so.

          All that said, I’m not a believer in ANY vehicle having to go back to a dealer for anything because it was flawed when it left the factory, no matter how complex vehicles are today.

          Analogy here; would you fly in an airplane that had to go back to the factory in mid-flight to fix a flaw? I wouldn’t, and I spent 20 years in the Air Force, much of it as a Flight Crew Member during my younger years.

          We made sure we were flight-worthy before we rotated. And believe me, the old AC-47 was something else; cantankerous as an old woman!

          The same goes for vehicles. They need to be road-worthy before they leave the factory or the dealership.

          BTW, I agree with you. Toyota products made in the USA are a disaster. Ever since all the foreigners started making them in the USA, the quality dropped precipitously.

          Maybe it has something to do with their suppliers over here. CTS gas pedals, anyone?

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            With all due respect, you’re a tough customer. While zero defects can sometimes be delivered, even “biological units” don’t appear with zero defects. Are aircraft really that reliable? I certainly don’t pretend to be an aeronautical engineer (I’m an EE) but I think the reason planes are so safe is careful engineering, cost being less of an object, and redundancy being built in where possible. I can accept a trip or two to the dealer, provided the manufacturer treats me right and steps up to right what is wrong, especially if the defect surfaces after warranty. As for the decline of Toyota, the two reasons you mention are just the tip of the iceberg in their decline. Pushing units and profit at the expense of reputation is always a bad thing. Look at Maytag, for which Toyota seems to have taken its playbook and repeated it. Only difference is Toyota did it in the US whereas Maytag did it by outsourcing….Kind of sad, really.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe in March they can re-title them as 2015s.

  • avatar
    Cirruslydakota

    Ill just leave this here.

    http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2013/10/confirmed-cherokee-fix-found

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good find.

      A firmware fix has been found to work around 2014 Jeep Cherokee transmission-axle interaction issues, and Cherokees are being systematically “flashed” (upgraded with new firmware), tested around a 2-3 mile course, and approved for delivery, according to “The Mad Duck.” The Duck did a fly-by over Manheim Auto’s old lot in Flat Rock, which has been up for sale for some years; the 101-acre paved lot has room for around 3,000 cars, he said. While there, he saw that employees of a logistics company were taking out groups of Cherokees for their test runs after upgrading the firmware. The work seemed to be progressing steadily, but there is a tremendous backlog.

      • 0 avatar
        Cirruslydakota

        Allpar is on my list of reading every morning when I get up along with TTAC. As soon as I read this article I decided to link the Allpar one.

        Although its been annoying waiting for the Cherokee to reach dealers I have to admire the effort in making sure everything works right when its released. Old Chrysler and especially GM wouldn’t have done so and relying on the dealers to reflash and test all of the Cherokees sounds like a terrible idea.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I’m not sure who in Fiatsler made the decision, but I praise it. Who’d have thought Detroit could learn from its mistakes?

          • 0 avatar
            Cirruslydakota

            It reminds me of my Chrysler Cirrus I owned (The Mitsubishi sourced 2.5 V6 being that cars biggest problem). The manual and the transmission dipstick stated “Use of type 7176 fluid (Atf+) or dextron recommended”. However, in the manual it clearly stated use of dextron only if type 7176 couldnt be obtained. Anything used in the A604 or 41TE/42TE other than ATF+ resulted in torque converter shudder during lockup and wacky hard shifting. Thus the reputation of Chrysler front drive transmissions being crap. Most grease monkey places put in universal ATF with an additive swearing it made the fluid compatable. It didnt work. Point is this was on a 1995 car, the transmissions had been out years prior to that and yet the information was still wrong. Imagine how many transmissions got a rebuild they didnt need all because of something so simple.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t know enough about transmissions or fluid to tell you why transmission/transaxle A requires specific fluid B, but one would think you’d design (or just buy) a unit generic enough to use the prevailing fluid of the day (which I imagine was Dexron). The LH drivetrain and its needs were certainly unique but transverse I4 in the cloud cars was pretty standard fare at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I thought the Mitsu engine was an I4 and the 2.7 was the V6 offered in the cloud cars?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I thought we were never supposed to speak of the 2.7 again.

            Luckily the Concorde I bought used had the 3.2.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah I wasn’t aware the 2.7 has become the He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named motor, but I certainly can understand why.

          • 0 avatar
            Cirruslydakota

            Cloud cars (Cirrus, Stratus, Breeze) had a Chrysler 2.0, 2.4, or a Mitsubishi 3.0 V6downsized to a 2.5. The Sebring coupe made due with the Mitsubishi 2.4 and 3.0V6. While sounding great that engine was underpowered for the car. The it who shall not be named 2.7 was found in the 2nd gen stratus and Sebring along with the 2.4.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thank you for the clarification, Cirruslydakota.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatist

            My wife’s 97 Grand Cherokee STILL had “Dexron or ATF+” on the dipstick.

            28 cars later: There’s quite a story behind that situation, but essentially when Chrysler went to the electric solenoid transmissions (abandoning the less than efficient, but highly reliable Torqueflit) all sorts of weird things happened as the solenoids were pulse modulated and resulted in nasty shuddering as the components aged. They did a crash development with one of the oil companies (forget which) to modify the friction behavior of Dexron to match the behavior of the solenoid controlled clutches. Now the formula has been cross licensed so you can get it from a number of suppliers.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @Cirruslydakota:

          I, too, had a 95 Stratus with the Mitusbishi 2.5. I found the engine to be the best part of the car, but I traded it at only 70k miles when the A/C quit and the tranny started acting funny. I had only owned the car since 40k miles.

          The body shape was timeless, but eventually I found the car was just a bit too small for my 6’6″ height. That, plus the failures/concerns listed above, plus a crunched hood caused me to just trade it as-is. Sorta regretted doing so, because my next car was a troublesome Passat.

          It was this Stratus that caused me to have interest in small-displacement V6 engines. Infiniti used to make a 2.5 V6 with a 7000 rpm redline (I think), but it was recently discontinued.

          I suppose it’s good that Chrysler has not shipped these Cherokees, but it’s also concerning that it’s taken this long to fix the problem.

          • 0 avatar
            Cirruslydakota

            Dont get me wrong, I loved the 2.5 V6, until I had to do a timing belt on one in a super cramped engine compartment due to the cab forward design. Even with the stock exhaust it would scream sounding great running up to redline in a tunnel.

            I also agree that the bodystyle, especially the Cirrus style aged very well and still looks great today. Mine was a first build LXi with OBD1 and I added a set of 2001 sebring 16″ painted wheels along with tint that really helped the silver paint pop. I do somewhat regret trading mine in. With 220,000 miles on the clock it still ran and rode great, I do sometimes miss it but the Mustang GT I traded it for gave me many more smiles after I uncorked its exhaust.

            If theres one thing Chrysler knocked out of the park it was styling. Take a look at what its american rivals had for style during the same time frame, youll be shocked at just how far ahead they really were.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    ” The LH drivetrain and its needs were certainly unique but transverse I4 in the cloud cars was pretty standard fare at the time”

    The JA cars used the A604 which required the use of ATF+3, and later ATF+4. Sure the layout differed from the LH, but the transmission still required the correct fluid for proper operation due to the overall design of the unit.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Thanks for the info, I wasn’t aware the two designs shared a transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        Cirruslydakota

        These were the first fully electronic transmissions using learning shift logic and a computer controlled solenoid pack. The 45/545rfe was the first fully electronic rwd transmission making its appearance in the 1999 WJ Grand Cherokee.

        The 41te/42te are exactly the same except the 42 has a higher torque rating hence the second number “2”. For example the 68rfe has 6 forward gears, a torque rating of 8, Rear wheel drive and Fully Electronic.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          I thought I read in Motor Age (A service publication that I managed to snag a subscription to) that the A604 was the basis for all modern electronic learning shift logic transmissions that is still used today. Too bad the dipstick had the wrong fluid markings and a little more beta testing was not done first before releasing it onto the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Cirruslydakota

            Correct, it beat ford to market by a number of years. Atf+ was developed due to dextron/mercons incompatibility with the solenoid pack. Since then its been upgraded to finally +4 which is a full synthetic fluid and has since been recommended in any transmission requiring atf. Correctly maintained the A604/41te is very reliable and still lives on as the 62te in the minivans and the new promaster if I’m not mistaken.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    Not a comment regarding the transmission, but about the styling. I was down at the State Fair of Texas on Monday and they had a few halls full of new car models. They had both the Trailhawk model and a Limited on display and I have to say, they look pretty good in person. The trailhawk certainly looks a lot more “macho” than any other cute-ute out there and the limited certainly has a style edge over any of it’s competition IMHO.

    The interior is also nicely done, controls at easy reach, tastefully appointed and comfortable for my 6’2″, 195lb frame.

    More importantly for Chrysler, a family member who has owned a bunch of Jeeps going back to the original Cherokee was very excited about the new offering and was enthusiastic about the styling both inside and out.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Question again. Is there a possibility of the Fiatsler 3.0L CRD in this beastie for the NA market?

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Marchionne is depressing the value of Chrysler Group’s last remaining asset to complete the takeover at a more palatable price.


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