2016 Jeep Cherokee that's included in the latest Jeep Cherokee recall.

Jeep has issued two recalls for its Cherokee SUV, both because of the same part. The larger recall is for 67,248 Jeep Cherokees from the 2014 through 2017 model years. It involves the Power Transfer Unit (PTU), an important part of the optional all-wheel-drive system.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the part may not be able to maintain a connection between the vehicle's transmission and its front wheels, resulting in the PTU and transmission not engaging. If that happens, the Cherokee may not be able to remain in motion while driving. In addition, the vehicle could lose the ability to be put into Park while it's stationary, and may roll away. Both situations can lead to a vehicle crash or injury.

A spokesman from Jeep said the automaker is aware of one crash related to the problem, which didn't result in injuries.

The other recall involves Jeeps that already had their PTUs replaced. Certain replacement parts may also fail, and vehicles with them will need additional work.

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Dealers will conduct a software update as part of each recall. In the case of the smaller recall, dealers will replace the affected PTU with a new part if an owner previously had the part replaced. 

The 2014 and 2015 Cherokee has a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and the 2016 and 2017 Cherokee has a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. (As with all warranties, whichever limit is reached first applies.) If you've already paid to replace the affected part out of warranty, contact Jeep's customer service to discuss eligibility for a refund. Be sure to have any paperwork associated with the repair with you when you call.

The Details

Vehicles recalled: 67,248 Jeep Cherokee SUVs from the 2014 through 2017 model years, plus 2,669 replacement parts that may have been installed in Jeep Cherokees.

The problem: There may be a loss of engagement in the connection between the vehicle’s transmission and the system that sends power to the front wheels. If that happens, the vehicle can lower power while in motion. It could also fail to engage the Park function.

The fix: FCA will notify owners, and dealers will provide a software update for the 67,248 vehicles involved in the main recall. The update will—in the event of a similar failure at a later date—put the vehicle in rear-wheel drive while the vehicle is driving. This update will also automatically activate the electronic parking brake when a vehicle with a faulty PTU is placed in Park. All repairs will be done free of charge.

How to contact the manufacturer: FCA says that the recalls are expected to begin July 31, 2020, and that owners may contact customer service at 800-853-1403.

NHTSA campaign numbers: The recall for the 2014-2017 Jeep Cherokee is 20V343. FCA’s own number for this recall is W47. The recall for the PTUs sold for use in Jeep Cherokees is 20E037, and FCA’s own number for this is W48.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: NHTSA’s website will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

If you plug your car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website and a recall doesn’t appear, it means your vehicle doesn’t currently have any. Because automakers issue recalls often, and for many older vehicles, we recommend checking back regularly.

Stay informed about recalls that might affect your vehicle by using our Car Recall Tracker. Create a free account now to become a CR member.