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Auto blogMon, 10 Mar 2014 14:33:00 EST
Chrysler has announced that it is recalling over 25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from several markets over concerns about brake feel under hard braking. The affected models are from the 2012 and 2013 model years, although the actual dates of production aren't available. 18,700 are in the US, while 825 are in Canada, 530 are in Mexico and a further 5,200 outside of North America.
According to a statement, Chrysler was informed of the issue by a component supplier for the Ready Alert Braking system, which primes the brakes in anticipation of an emergency stop. A component in the system was restricting the flow of brake fluid too much.
As Chrysler is quick to point out, the way the brakes functioned was in compliance with regulations and there are no reported cases of drivers losing braking power. Instead, the issue rests with what Chrysler calls a pedal feel that "was not consistent with customer expectations." So it would seem Chrysler is being proactive and fixing a problem not because there's a legal issue at work, but simply because it doesn't feel the way the manufacturer wants it to. Well done.
Unless the governor, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, gives them a reprieve, the 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot are expected to meet their makers sometime next year. Should they perish, it's a shame that it would happen just as they've shed the continuously variable transmission that was their major bugbear, and just as the Compass has gotten its best looks yet.
Both will roll with a proper six-speed automatic transmission, courtesy of PowerTech. Noise-resistant gears and tuning by Chrysler boffins should alleviate the unappealing sounds that were given off by the older CVT. Unless, that is, you choose to have either model equipped with Freedom Drive II; the serious off-road package, available on both baby Jeeps, will still come with the CVT. The base transmission on the entry-level Sport trim remains the five-speed manual.
Otherwise, it's minor changes for the Compass, set off by the new 18-inch wheel option, trim pieces around the car and a back-up camera. The Patriot gets seat-mounted airbags, but is carryover otherwise. With their expected demises perhaps a year away, not much has changed otherwise. Engine choices comprise the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque or the 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 172 hp and 165 lb-ft.
We had our First Drive of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee last month, but it appears that prospective buyers won't have too much longer to finally get time behind the wheel of the new small Jeep.
Automotive News is reporting that after a two-month delay, Jeep dealers will finally start receiving their first shipments of the new Cherokee, in the next 10 days. A Chrysler spokesperson confirmed to Autoblog that the Cherokee is indeed on its way to Jeep dealers.
According to AN, about 23,000 Cherokees have been built since production commenced back in June, but potential powertrain issues forced Jeep to make adjustments to the Cherokee along the way. Automotive News says that in order to make sure there are no issues with the Cherokee before it reaches customers, it is testing each vehicle after it rolls off the assembly line at a rented test track near the vehicle's Toledo North Assembly Plant.