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Jeep SUVs recalled to fix problem that can cause power loss


DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is recalling almost 95,000 Jeep Cherokees worldwide because a transmission problem can cause the small SUVs to lose power unexpectedly.

Also, when drivers shift into park, the transmissions may not go there, increasing the risk of a rollaway crash.

The recall covers certain Cherokees from the 2014 through 2017 model years and includes about 2,700 replacement parts. Most of the SUVs are in the U.S. and Canada.

Gear teeth in a device that automatically changes from all-wheel-drive to front-wheel-drive depending on road conditions can wear off and cut power to the front wheels. If the teeth are gone, the vehicles may not shift into park.

The company says in documents posted Thursday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it has one report of a crash with no injuries. It also has 829 warranty claims and three field reports due to the problem.

Dealers will reprogram software to send power to the rear wheels if the teeth wear out, so the vehicles will keep moving. The software also will automatically turn on the parking brake if a driver shifts into park.

But with the recall repairs, owners could still have faulty transmissions. Fiat Chrysler says the problem happens in 1% of Cherokees, and most are covered by five-year powertrain warranties. For 2014 and 2015 models, transmissions are covered for 100,000 miles. For 2016 and 2017 models it’s 60,000 miles.

Owners will get recall notices around July 31. The company says drivers should always use their parking brakes.

The Associated Press

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