By on October 3, 2017

2014-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-03

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says it is recalling nearly 710,000 sport utility vehicles to check on shields protecting the brake boosters. The shields were a new addition to a bundle of SUVs involved in a 2014 recall and FCA is worried they may have been installed improperly.

The company discovered that units exposed to water were subject to excessive corrosion, resulting in unacceptable brake pedal firmness. Affected vehicles also run the risk of degraded braking performance. FCA says it is aware of at least one accident associated with the problem but noted there were no injuries.

(Read More…)

By on July 24, 2017

All-new 2017 Jeep® Compass - Image: JeepIf the rate of growth FCA’s Jeep brand experienced in the United States in 2016 could be carried forward into 2017, Jeep would sell 1,000,000 SUVs/crossovers this year.

Count the zeros. 1 million.

For a company that sold fewer than 300,000 vehicles per year coming out of the recession, that’s an absurd figure.

Jeep earned 5.4 percent of the overall auto market in the first half of 2016, yet through the first half of 2017, Jeep’s market share has taken a dive to 4.8 percent. In a market gone mad for utility vehicles — where sales of SUVs/crossovers are up 6 percent, year-over-year, despite the market’s downturn — no-car Jeep is losing sales faster than every auto brand aside from Chrysler and Smart.

Worrying? According to Jeep boss Mike Manley, Jeep is, “exactly where I thought we would be in the U.S.” (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2017

Jeep ZJ Concept

For over half a century, Jeep has held an annual safari in Moab, Utah, where 4×4 enthusiasts come to tackle the rough terrain in all manner of off-road vehicles. It’s also become an opportunity for Jeep to showcase its modern concept vehicles.

While Jeep has in past years leveraged nostalgia as a theme for its based-on-current-model concepts, the crème de la crème from this year wasn’t even from the current millennium and comes to us — via Craigslist — in the form of a 1993 ZJ Jeep Grand Cherokee.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2016

2017 Jeep® Cherokee Trailhawk

After ending a 35-month streak of improved U.S. sales with a 3-percent year-over-year decline in September, Jeep volume slid 7 percent in October 2016, the second consecutive month of decline for the previously white-hot SUV brand.

Jeep’s best-selling Cherokee recorded the most significant plunge in October 2016, falling 23 percent from year-ago levels to rank third in Jeep sales. Only the Grand Cherokee, quickly becoming Jeep’s top seller, and the departing Patriot posted October improvements.

Jeep, so often the engine behind FCA’s growth when Chrysler, Dodge, and Fiat have struggled, was instead partly to blame for FCA’s 10-percent October decline.  (Read More…)

By on October 6, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Interior-006

A new wrinkle has cropped up in the lawsuit filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles by the parents of late Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin.

Yelchin died in June after being pinned against a gatepost by his 2015 Jeep Cherokee, which was subject to a recall for its confusing Monostable shift lever. According to documents obtained by TMZ, the dealer that sold him the vehicle blames the victim for the accident. (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-015

Jeep’s upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs promise to make the high-flying brand plenty of moolah, but where exactly the top-shelf models will be built remains hazy.

Automotive News reports that Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne might backtrack on a tentative plan to build the models at the Warren Truck plant — a move that could impact the production of other models. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2016

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side rear

The parents of Anton Yelchin filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in a Los Angeles court yesterday, alleging that the automaker knew about the defective gear shift design in their son’s Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Yelchin, the actor who played Chekov in the Star Trek film franchise, died in late June after his vehicle, equipped with FCA’s maligned Monostable shift lever, rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a gate post. The 2015 Grand Cherokee was found in neutral, with the engine running. (Read More…)

By on July 11, 2016

jeep wrangler theft

It looks like car thieves in Houston have found a way to break into (and make off with) Jeep and Ram vehicles without using a slim jim, crowbar or screwdriver.

Surveillance video from a Houston garage shows a Jeep Wrangler being methodically commandeered by a man using a laptop and tablet. After last year’s remote-control Grand Cherokee incident, this is another hacker-related headache for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2016

1978-jeep-wagoneer

Language is everything. Comments by Jeep brand chief Mike Manley published earlier this week implied that the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would be upscale versions of the Grand Cherokee, but that’s no longer the case.

The two models will share the same architecture as the next-generation Grand Cherokee, which bows in late 2018 or 2019, but it’s now confirmed that they’ll be standalone models — not upscale trim levels. (Read More…)

By on July 5, 2016

no_grand_wagoneer

If you were expecting Jeep’s upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer to be range-topping standalone models, think again.

According to Automotive News, the new additions to the lineup will simply be upscale versions of the next-generation Grand Cherokee. Consider your retro-tinged dreams squashed. (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2016

2015 jeep grand cherokee altitude side

A software fix issued to Jeep dealers sheds light on how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to stop the accidental rollaways plaguing many of its vehicles.

The dealer service document, issued for recalled 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees with the confusing Monostable shift lever, was obtained and published by Jalopnik.

FCA voluntarily recalled 1.1 million vehicles in April after the shifter, which sometimes stays in gear after drivers think they’ve shifted into “park,” was linked to hundreds of rollaways and 41 injuries. That was before the shifter became the focus in the recent death of actor Anton Yelchin. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2016

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Less than two days after Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died in a bizarre vehicle crash in his Los Angeles driveway, the maker of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee says it will investigate the incident.

Yelchin, 27, was found crushed between his SUV and a brick gatepost two nights ago. The vehicle, which was found in neutral with the engine still running, apparently rolled backwards down the steep driveway and hit him.

Police reports identified his Grand Cherokee as one of the models recalled due to its confusing Monostable shift lever, with Reuters now reporting that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles promises to conduct a “thorough investigation.” (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2016

Anton Yelchin

According to multiple news reports, promising young actor Anton Yelchin, known for his portrayal of Chekhov in the reborn Star Trek movie series, was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against his mailbox at his driveway security gate.

The Jeep was parked on a steep hill but found in neutral gear when he was discovered dead.

Considering recent recalls with Fiat Chrysler Automobile shifters, could a badly designed shifter have killed the 27 year old? And could this be the first death attributable to the design flaw?

(Read More…)

By on May 23, 2016

2013 Jeep Trailhawk II Front

Don’t do it for us. Do it for yourself.

Jeep is not a purveyor of transportation appliances. It creates and markets lifestyle products built on its off-road reputation. And the brand is not well positioned to compete in the increasingly crowded SUV/CUV space based purely on quality and everyday performance. But that’s okay, because Jeep can drive growth by playing to the strengths that brought it 865,000 customers last year, the essence of which is extreme off-road capability.

Jeep sales grew a dizzying 25 percent in the United States last year. Through the first third of 2016, the brand is tracking for two-percent growth. Blowing past the elusive one million sales mark in the U.S., and staying there, will not be easy. The Wrangler will continue to anchor the emotional identity of the brand, but Jeep would benefit from diversification as the top. To continue its impressive seven consecutive years of growth, Jeep should offer two distinct, yet equally capable products that speak to enthusiasts and mainstream consumers alike.

Jeep needs to build a hardcore, off-road version of the Grand Cherokee.

(Read More…)

By on April 23, 2016

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Like an unoccupied Dodge Charger stuck in “Drive,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ gear selector controversy was rapidly building momentum before yesterday’s announcement.

Responding to numerous instances of runaway vehicles and an expanding National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, FCA voluntarily recalled 811,586 vehicles in the U.S. and 52,144 in Canada, and a further 265,473 in Mexico and overseas. (Read More…)

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