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Update: Chrysler fixes 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee handling problem

Consumer Reports News: February 10, 2011 04:10 PM

Chrysler has taken steps to rectify a handling problem we identified late last year with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rest assured, Grand Cherokee owners and potential shoppers: The fix works.

When we tested the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee V6 last fall, we were quite impressed overall, but found its on-limit handling performance disconcerting. In our double-lane-change avoidance maneuver, it skidded and hopped sideways on several runs (see video above). A V8 version we tested later didn't exhibit that problem.

Chrysler engineers asked to come to our track and review our findings. In early December we were informed that Chrysler had developed a fix. It's a software update focused on the stability control system. Chrysler started incorporating the update as of December production. All dealers have been performing that repair free for customers since early January and the fix has been applied to all vehicles in stock. It involves a "reflash" of the vehicle software. (Download Chrysler service bulletin pdf.)

We had the reflash performed on our V6 Grand Cherokee and have just repeated our emergency avoidance-maneuver tests. The Jeep performed much better, managing a top speed of 50 mph through the course. That's pretty good for a beefy SUV, but, more important, it behaved predictably when pushed up to and past its limits, instilling a lot more driver confidence. As a result the Grand Cherokee V6's overall test score has risen from 66 to 71, and it only adds to a vehicle that we find quite pleasurable to live with. (View our revised Grand Cherokee road test video.)

Gabe Shenhar

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