Feeling the Pinch: Jeep Recalls 338k SUVs

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

In a new recall, some members of the Grand Cherokee family will require a dealership visit to sort out a problem with upper control arm pinch bolts which may have been damaged during vehicle assembly.

According to the company, approximately a quarter million Grand Cherokee L models from the 2021 – 2023 model years and roughly a further 88,000 standard-length Grand Cherokee SUVs assembled for the ’22 and ’23 model years are the target of this recall. It is suggested that only 1 percent of this number have the problem but, as will most campaigns of this type, they’re summoning all of them back to a service bay for checkups.

At issue is the amount of torque hammered into the aforementioned pinch bolts during assembly of these vehicles. Jeep says they combed through “vehicle production torque records” to identify a time period in which this was a problem, proving that car companies have way more data points available to them than they will ever admit. 

Torqueing procedures were apparently updated in May of last year, explaining why the problem suddenly vanished. Jeep also notes that similar vehicles not included in the recall were built at a different plant which had a “more robust torque strategy”. This author has decided to adopt that turn of phrase the next time he does a better job of twisting the cap on something like a bottle of Pepsi or jar of Kraft extra-crunchy peanut butter

For anyone keeping score, Jeeps claims to have shifted a total of 244,594 units of the Grand Cherokee last year alone. This is an entire 38 percent of the brand’s sales and stands in contrast to the 156,581 Wranglers (the brand’s next-best seller) which found homes last year. Combined, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer sold less than 40,000 examples. 

The company says that, as of January this year, it is not aware of any incidents or injuries potentially related to this issue for all markets.

[Image: Jeep]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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6 of 19 comments
  • The Oracle The Oracle on Mar 04, 2024

    Great, Jeep continues to push poor quality products on its customers.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 05, 2024

    Mopar Story Time: Youngest kid visited this past weekend and her 2010 Jeep Liberty was kind enough to stumble and throw a code just 1/2 mile from home as she was leaving (good job, Liberty! are we bonding now?). I grabbed the scanner and 'the book' (one of those "composition books" that has dates/mileage/maintenance notes, in theory) and we sat down to do some ciphering (but quickly, because she has places to go and things to do, now using spouse's vehicle).

    P0301, misfire cylinder 1 (misfire count 170! in a short time). Freeze Frame data corroborated the human's story, but much more precisely (28 mph, 29.4% throttle position). Just the one code (Yes!).

    What causes a misfire, but specific to one cylinder? (The coils are shared two cylinders to a coil.) There is a history of intermittent misfires with this vehicle, but trivial misfire counts and that was cylinder 2 (last time cylinder 1 registered a misfire was 4-5 years ago).

    Spouse says cylinder 1 spark plug is fouled or shorted (spoiler: checked it later, clean).

    I was curious to see the spark plug, but the Short Term Fuel Trim Bank 1 number on the Freeze Frame data was stuck in my mind: 18.8% (I like to see it under 3%). The engine computer was sending extra fuel to Bank 1 (cylinders 1/3/5) during the misfire event. 210K miles. Have we ever changed the injectors? (picture old man looking up to scan memory bank, coming up empty)

    Well my uncle the Automotive Diagnostic Genius (and Electrical Engineer) says "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." So I immediately ordered six fuel injectors, and six spark plugs, and six wires and three boots, and... three ignition coils (hesitated there but went for it). And then ordered a new compression tester because mine dates back to when I was 17. And a new '40K' air filter just because.

    Three weeks until the next vehicle swap. The last additive round seems to have 'cured' the oil consumption issue for now. The new tires get rave reviews and are wearing evenly.

    • See 3 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 06, 2024

      I went from Phoenix, Arizona

      All the way to Tacoma

      Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.

  • MaintenanceCosts The black wheel arches and rocker trim are ghastly. Looks like to get them in body color you have to downgrade to the N Line. And you can't get a 360-degree camera on the N Line. Oh well, I'm not a compact CUV customer anyway.
  • Gray Where is Subaru on the list? They build them in Indiana. NASCAR should field the Legacy sedan to go up against Toyota.
  • Redapple2 H-K Styling. May not be my cup of tea but they re trying. Gripe. This would be a deal breaker. Door cut out - seat postion - 'B' pillar. I m over 6'. So the driver's seat is towards full back position. Rental Equinox last week. 1100 miles. The seat bottom to seat back point was 8 inches behind and around the 'B' pillar. I had to be contortionist to get in and out of the car. Brutal POS. Wife's Forester? Nearly equal/flush. I ve never seen 1 car review where they complain about this.
  • Lou_BC In my town the dealers are bad for marking up products, even pickups. There were multiple "mega-projects" on the go in my region so money was flowing fast and loose both by corporations and employees. All of that is coming to an end plus we've seen a pulpmill close, one pulpmill line close and a few sawmill closures. Cash is getting tight.
  • Lou_BC Branding is very powerful and effective. I always get a kick out of hardcore Harley Davidson fans. The "Jap scrap" mentality exists even in Canada. I used to get derided for riding Japanese bikes. I confused a bunch of Harley guys once when I pointed out that in Canada, Harley is just as much as a foreign import as Yamaha. They tried to argue that a Harley made in USA was not a foreign made bike. The cognitive dissonance made me laugh.