Chrysler is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2005 through 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2006 through 2010 Jeep Commander SUVS for an electrical flaw that could cause the vehicle to shift into neutral without warning.

A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website puts the number of vehicles potentially affected in the U.S. at 295,000. Build dates for the affected vehicles are as follows:

The problem

The NHTSA bulletin and Chrysler documentation (PDF) indicate that the problem stems from an electrical failure in the transfer case that may result in unintentional shifting of the transfer case into the neutral position.

This condition may result in a vehicle rollaway, increasing the risk of a crash and injury. Chrysler opened an investigation into the problem on January 18, 2012 after receiving a complaint from the owner of a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee that allegedly shifted into neutral and rolled upon a remote start.

Warranty analysis and software modifications were completed in October and December 2012, respectively. Chrysler completed software validation March 19, 2013 and determined to issue a voluntary safety recall on April 30, 2013.

According to a report in The Detroit News, Chrysler said there have been 26 crashes and two injuries related to the issue.

What Chrysler will do

Chrysler will notify owners of affected vehicles and dealers will “reflash” the final drive controller which governs the transfer case, with new software. The service will be performed at no charge.

The Chrysler safety recall campaign, identified as N23, is expected to begin in June 2013. In the meantime, owners of 2005 through 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2006 through 2010 Jeep Commander SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753.

Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to  Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 13V175000.


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