Pros: Great brand, reliability and luxury; historic past and durability
Cons: Inadvertent rollaway when in park
Grand Jeep Cherokees are going nuts in our parking lots. They are running over, crushing, pinning down, knocking down and roll away and back into parked cars and trees. You may think that these vehicles are possessed. But this is no laughing matter! With various incidents of injuries and deaths, DaimlerChrysler must answer to its loyal consumers and NHTSA.
As a Jeep owner, I can't be rejoicing over the next review of the 1995-1999 Grand Jeep Cherokee. For a number of years now, I have deliberately chosen to own and drive my Jeep. Thanks to its glorious war time performance, durability and reliability, many of us have come to associate Jeep with the dream vehicle. And more and more, Jeep is mixing performance with luxury and comfort if we take a look at the recent designs of the models that the company puts out. No matter what name recognition Jeep has, if there are some defects in the 1995-1999 Grand Jeep Cherokee models, consumers, owners should have been made aware.
How To Tame The Beast? What Can One Do To Be Safety-conscious?
It's just a question of having a car in good driving conditions and without having to explain to insurance companies. It is a question of being aware all the time!
If you own a 1995-1999 Grand Jeep Cherokee, Never let it idle while you set the gearshift in park position. It will/may inadvertently switch from park to reverse and take any and everything that's in its way! The transmission may not be really in park position.
Just this week, a colleague of mine was somewhat alarmed to have read in the major national newspapers about the reports of deaths, rollaway incidents and complaints that are being directed to NHTSA. He had just joined the loyal family of Jeep owners. He bought a 1999 Grand Jeep Cherokee for his family. When he saw me in the parking lot of our agency, he motioned me to stop. Then, he asked me for the year/model of my Jeep. I could read all the feelings of disappointment on his face when I told him that mine never gave me this type of problems. I felt bad for him because I was the one who encouraged him to buy a Jeep instead of Honda van. He was having lots of problems with his Dodge Caravan just a few months ago. Now that he had read these reports, he did not know what to do. I had to reassure him that his Jeep will be fine as long as he puts it in park, turns it off and sets the emergency brake.
By now, most automakers have taken great lessons from the brouhaha, the mess in which Firestone and Ford found themselves last Summer. DaimlerChrysler obviously does not want to be in the headlines all the time. That's what the company probably was trying to avoid when it entered into secret, confidential settlements in some lawsuits. As consumers, we would like to know when they started receiving reports about the gear shift problems. We stand a chance to find out as NHTSA is about to launch a probe into the various complaints of injuries it has received so far. We have a right to know what's wrong with our vehicles. Shouldn't the designers check the Grand Jeep Cherokee gear shift before selling these vehicles to the public? This is a major issue for many of us, owners. If the Grand Jeep Cherokee goes into reverse whenever it wants, you can see the potential for damage of properties, trapping, crushing and eventual disabilities and deaths. A recall may be needed depending on the continued escalation of the situation.
It's not uncommon for manufacturers to recall vehicles deemed or reported defective. Most automakers have to deal with this unpleasant side of the business. All owners and drivers need to remember is to turn off the Grand Jeep Cherokee and apply the emergency brake.
That's what I have been doing. That's what I hope you will be doing too. As for my colleague, I hope he heeds my advice once again. It's for his safety and that of his family!