Jeep has a complicated reputation. It’s known as a great brand of cars for people who love off-roading and pushing their vehicles to the limit. On the other hand, plenty of people argue that “Jeep” stands for “Just Expect Every Problem.” Regardless of whether you think Jeeps are great or junk, you should watch out for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.
Based on reports made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2019 Cherokee is the worst vehicle Jeep has made in the past decade. Here’s what you need to know about Jeep’s history of problems, why the Cherokee is so much worse, and a few other Jeeps that you should avoid if you can.
The History of Jeep Mechanical Problems
Jeeps are supposed to be tough. However, they don’t just take a beating on the road. The brand is routinely panned by car rating companies such as the J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports. The brand and its models regularly wind up at the bottom of reliability and value-for-money lists and have for years.
There are several reasons for this. Jeep proponents point out that the cars aren’t intended to be luxury vehicles like other brands. Someone buying a Jeep probably isn’t looking for a whisper-smooth ride, after all. Similarly, they claim that Jeeps are designed for off-road handling, so on-road handling isn’t as important.
However, that doesn’t excuse complaints about motor power and vehicle durability. The brand regularly sees complaints about parts failing long before they should, especially in cars supposedly designed for heavy use.
This is normally most pronounced in cars that are the first year model of a redesign. That’s not quite what happened with the 2019 Cherokee. This year model is still considered a 5th generation Cherokee, but it saw a completely redesigned front end. The model has been around for a while, so the manufacturer wanted to make a splash. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.
The root of the 2019 model’s problems comes down to that front-end change. The change included an entirely new 2.0-liter engine and the first-ever 9-gear transmission in a consumer vehicle. It turns out that reinventing the most fundamental systems of a car can have unintended consequences.
The 2019 Jeep Cherokee: What Makes It So Bad?
The Cherokee stands out in recent years for having a wide variety of complaints. Other Jeep models and years tend to have one or two outstanding problems, but the 2019 Cherokee has received hundreds of NHTSA reports in multiple categories.
If your car is going to have a problem, the engine is not where you want it to be. This vehicle is known for having its engine shut off unexpectedly while in motion, which is about the worst it could possibly be. The NHTSA has received more than 250 complaints regarding this year model’s engine alone.
The 2019 Cherokee is known for hard, sudden shifts that seem to be linked with the model’s ZF 9-speed transmission. This transmission is well-known for having mechanical errors. Drivers report shaking, shuddering, and jerking coming from the car as it unexpectedly shifts gears when the vehicle is not accelerating. The transmission may also be connected to the engine’s stalling and shutoff problem.
The drivetrain connects a vehicle’s transmission to its axles. This model’s drivetrain appears to be faulty and prone to making noises and making the whole vehicle shake. It may also be connected to the transmission’s problems.
The Cherokee doesn’t just have problems speeding up. It also has plenty of complaints about how it slows down. People report that the vehicle jerks when braking, making it hard to smoothly stop or avoid accidents. Others mention strange grinding noises coming from the brakes. The NHTSA has received more than 70 individual complaints related to the brakes.
On top of all the car’s fundamental problems, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee also has gremlins in its electrical system. Drivers have complaints ranging from lights shutting off while driving to cruise control issues to the automatic locks not working. Overall, the NHTSA has received 170 complaints about various electrical problems in this model.
Other Jeeps That Might Be Lemons
Of course, the Cherokee isn’t the only model with problems. In the last decade, there have been several other runners-up for Jeeps most likely to be lemons:
- 2020 Jeep Gladiator: This model is known for steering problems, especially at highway speeds. The NHTSA has received more than 120 complaints about this car’s tendency to “wander” across the road at speeds of more than 50 mph.
- 2015 and 2016 Jeep Renegade: The Renegade is new, and it shows. The early models of the car had just about every problem possible, from electrical issues to transmission and engine failures. Other commonly-reported problems included braking delays and cooling system struggles.50
- 2014 Wrangler: The Wrangler is one of the most popular Jeep models, but it has had many bad years. The 2014 model saw nearly 300 NHTSA complaints about stalling, oil housing leaks, knocking, and engine head failures.
- 2014 Grand Cherokee: 2014 was a bad year for Jeeps, with the Grand Cherokee also seeing some significant problems. In particular, its transmission was faulty and prone to rough shifting, leading the car to hesitate or jerk while accelerating.
Don’t Feel Stuck with a Junky Jeep
If you own a 2019 Jeep Cherokee and you regret it, you’re not stuck with it. If it has regular problems that the manufacturer just can’t seem to fix, you may be eligible to make a lemon claim. The manufacturer may be obligated to replace or refund the car completely.
To learn more about whether you’re eligible for a lemon claim, get in touch with a lemon law attorney today. They can help you understand your situation and decide whether you should file a claim for your Jeep. Stop feeling trapped by your junky Jeep and start the process of getting a ride that works.