Allegation: Defective E-Shift Mechanism & Display
Jeep Grand Cherokee electronic shifting mechanism defects have led to a recall of 2014 and 2015 models and have caused at least 42 potentially related injuries to drivers. Because of a design that makes it hard to determine what gear the vehicle’s engine is in, drivers have been injured and even killed in accidents where their Jeeps start moving when the drivers thought the vehicles were locked into park — but tragically were not.
Safety advocates note that the design of the gear shift in these Fiat Chrysler vehicles makes it hard to determine what gear the vehicle’s engine is in. Whereas most gear selectors shift through distinctive positions unique to each gear, the Fiat Chrysler design always returns to a single upright position — the driver moves the selector forward or back to choose a gear, but it then returns to the original upright position.
“No matter if the Jeep is in Park, Reverse, Neutral or Drive, the gear selector always appears in the same position.”
Though there are supposed to be lights that signal a driver as to the vehicle’s gear and a not-in-park warning chime, drivers are still emerging from their vehicles in the belief the autos are safe and immobile when they are not.
Though its Jeeps are getting the most media attention relating to the problem, the ambiguous gear issue also relates to other Dodge and Chrysler vehicles (see list below). Chrysler intends to beef up its warnings and ultimately change how the gear selector system operates. The company will alert owners to the recall and will do the necessary repairs at no cost. Until those repairs are ready and then made, however, drivers are at risk of serious injury from the not-parked Fiat Chrysler vehicles.
Affected vehicle models include:
- 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans
- 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs