In June, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled over 164,000 Jeep Cherokees from 2014 and 2015 to prevent water from coming in contact with the SUVs' electrical elements and creating a fire hazard. Now, the automaker has expanded that recall to include more than 55,000 Jeep Cherokee vehicles from 2015 and 2016.
The Cherokee's problem stems from a faulty shield that FCA used to protect the SUV's Power Liftgate Control Module. That shield doesn't fully keep water from reaching the module, and as a result, it can cause a short circuit -- and potentially, a fire.
A previous investigation conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that a new shield used after February 18, 2015 did a better job of protecting the Power Liftgate Control Module than the one previously employed. However, two subsequent complaints from owners revealed that the new shield wasn't entirely perfect, either. FCA switched to an improved third shield in September.
The enlarged recall affects 2015-2016 Jeep Cherokee SUVs equipped with power liftgates and built between February 18, 2015 and September 10, 2015. The recall affects 32,784 vehicles registered in the U.S., 10,138 in Canada, 924 in Mexico, and 11,841 registered elsewhere.
Until FCA sends out recall notices for these vehicles, owners are advised to inspect the cargo areas of their vehicles and keep them dry.
When recall notices are mailed, owners will be instructed to take their Cherokees to Jeep dealers, who will inspect the Power Liftgate Control Module and associated connectors for corrosion and replace those components as necessary. In addition, a new shield for the liftgate module will be installed.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions in the meantime, you're asked to call FCA customer service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall #R67. Alternately, you can contact NHTSA directly at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #15V826000.