The Jeep brand has been around for a very, very long time. Jeeps gained popularity due to their promise of being able to get you where you need to go, even if there’s a flooded roadway or maybe some boulders in your way. Reliability (or at the very least, the appearance of ruggedness) is one of the brand’s biggest selling points, but you’re not going to be able to get where you’re going if your car catches fire. So, when the company was alerted to a transmission fluid leak that increased the risk of a vehicle fire, it had to initiate a recall.
A new recall bulletin posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that Chrysler is recalling a total of 18,800 2021 Jeep Cherokee vehicles due to a pretty serious issue with the transmission oil cooler hose. According to the company, the hose may have been “incorrectly cured,” which could lead to a transmission fluid leak. Because of the heat generated by the engine and other moving parts, this fluid could cause smoke and/or flames.
The recall notice states that not all vehicles included in the recall will actually need to have maintenance done, but the company needs customers to have their vehicles inspected in order to see whether or not the transmission oil cooler hose needs to be swapped out for a new one.
In accompanying documents, the total number of vehicles “potentially involved” is 18,800, but the estimated percentage of those vehicles with the defect is just 10%. The documents also note that the vehicles in question were manufactured between January 19th, 2021, and March 8th, 2021. The official description of the defect reads: “An incorrectly cured TOC hose may have a weakened hose wall that can rupture, allowing transmission fluid to leak.”
The safety risk reads: “Transmission fluid leaking from a TOC hose may contact a competent ignition source and lead to a vehicle fire. A vehicle fire may increase the risk of injury to occupants and persons outside of the vehicle, as well as property damage.”
If your vehicle is included in the recall you will be receiving a notice via mail from the company. Once you receive this notice you’ll be able to schedule a visit with a dealer who will inspect the hose and, if necessary, replace it for free. Those notices are expected to be sent out by June 23rd. In the meantime, the company is providing a customer service line for customers with questions about the recall:
Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is Y18. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to http://www.safercar.gov.
If you find that your vehicle is one of the nearly 19,000 that needs to be inspected, it’s a good idea to take care of it as soon as you can, as vehicle fires are not to be taken lightly.