really awful
Crashes / Fires:
15 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
17 / 1
Average Mileage:
54,054 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Oct 112013

Grand Cherokee

  • 0 miles


See attached diagram. I was driver of car stopped at red light. Jeep Grand Cherokee (VIN # 1J4gw48N72C2253) engine revved at high throttle, while BTSI in park. The driver may be hard of hearing, may have been distracted to hear the noise or know comes from her car, may have had windows shut and been insulated from the sound, but she changed gear from park to drive as the tires were spinning as observed by witnesses who saw or heard those tires spinning while the car was in stationary position. Jeep speed forward about 70 feet to rear-impact my car and crush the rear of car inward. It distorted frame from rear to front or car, and rear impact caused damage to front of car. Prior to impact, my foot depressed hard on brake because I braced or stiffened hard for impact, when I heard the squeal of tires of stationary car nearby, and people leaving a carnival were nearby. After Jeep crushed my car inward, it accelerated again against my car and my efforts keep the brake pedal down, and it propelled my car forward, and then continued on its path of destruction. It wrecked my car, itself, another car, and collided with a another two cars, it hit pedestrians, caused fatality, caused injuries, knocked down parking meters, skidded dozens of feet, broke off its front tires in chunks, skidded its metal rim because that was all that was left of the tire, skidded pieces of rubber of tire, and finally got stuck after last impact, while its engine revved and its tires spun, causing yaw scraping of tires on sidewalk. _police dept found the BTSI defective, and the skid marks show that the brakes were ineffective or inoperable as Jeep's engine continued to accelerate. Jeep driver ran from it after it got stuck because she thought it would explode. The wheels stopped spinning when the motor got shut. Sudden uncontrolled acceleration, ineffective braking, defective BTSI..updated 01/04/17

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #27

Mar 082016

Grand Cherokee

  • 244,287 miles
On March 8, 2016, while driving northbound on interstate 49 in harrisonville, mo, the engine speed raced when taken off cruise control. The Jeep stayed at highway speed -- above 60mph -- and even pressing the brakes did not slow down the Jeep. The only way I was able to get the Jeep under control was to turn off the entire engine ignition. Only by exerting effort to overcome and compensate for the loss of power steering and power brakes was I able to coast to a safe stop off the highway. The tow operator who responded attempted to start the engine but found the same result ¿ runaway engine revs. The Jeep was towed to dealer service department that evening. The next morning, service advisor investigated and determined that the throttle pedal was stuck down to the floor. He loosened it by manipulation. The throttle butterfly valve was found to be stuck in the open position by a shredded piece of rubber that flaked off the resonator body intake connector. Service department performed: ¿rubber from intake seal stuck throttle body. Removed debris¿. the technician showed me the piece of shredded rubber and gave it to me. I kept it, and the entire defective resonator body, in my possession. There may be other reports of runaway engine revs but this instance seems to be related to the design of the resonator intake pathway. Although my Jeep has 246,289 miles on it, the defect was not a result of wear but seems to be result of defective design. The intake air pathway is subject to shredding rubber parts which can come loose, enter the intake air pathway and block the throttle butterfly. This seems to be an unnecessarily hazardous design.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #26

Feb 282015

Grand Cherokee 4WD 8-cyl

  • 185,375 miles
At two occasions the car suddenly accelerated as if the gas pedal was stuck. The accelerator was not obstructed by any carpet. The only way to slow the car down was by placing it into neutral and turn off the engine. After turning it back on it was still at high RPM ~5000. Some time later the problem resolved it self. After many days at the Jeep dealer the final diagnosis was that the issue cannot be duplicated and that the dealer refuses to do any work on this car.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 122014

Grand Cherokee

  • miles


I started my car and put it in R car suddenly accelerated backwards I put my feet on the brake and car continued back I could not shut engine off and attempted to shift into neutral when car surged forward. Again with my feet on the brake pushing as hard as I could car went through 3 walls of my home before stopping. Car is total loss in possession of geico claim # [xxx] at geico TL lot in Florida. I will also be filing a complaint with Jeep for same, I would like to have the vehicle inspected due to a possible manufacturer malfunction. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Wellington , FL, USA

problem #24

Mar 162014

Grand Cherokee

  • miles
I work at a dealership washing cars. We just sold a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I was running the Jeep through the carwash. My foot was on the brake, and suddenly the vehicle accelerated propelling me into a wall, and the airbag deployed. I was injured in the accident and went to an urgent care.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #23

Oct 032012

Grand Cherokee

  • 163,000 miles
J'ai un probleme de feinag a faible vites les rous qui bloque voiture pique a lavan derap veillez expliquer merci.

- Marseille, AE, USA

problem #22

Feb 052013

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, she depressed the accelerator pedal but the vehicle would not accelerate. When the vehicle responded, it lurched forward. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated the catalytic converter would have to be replaced. After the repair, the failure continued. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 132,000.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jan 102010

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 162,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The contact stated that when she tried to accelerate from the stop light, the vehicle did not respond immediately. When the contact removed her foot from the gas pedal, the vehicle lunged forward. The vehicle then began to accelerate very slowly and within a few minutes it started to drive normally. The current mileage was 162,500 and the failure mileage was 162,000. Updated 3/30/2010 updated 05/06/10

- New York, NY, USA

problem #20

Nov 302008

Grand Cherokee

  • 141,000 miles
Unintended acceleration of 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, resulting in minor accident. Upon putting vehicle in gear it revved and accelerated very rapidly and could not be slowed despite full brake pressure. Incident resulted in major damage to 3 cars (including Jeep) within a ~40 ft range.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #19

Jan 252008

Grand Cherokee 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
I was coming upon a 4-way intersection with one car in front of me at the traffic light when my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee accelerated at a great rate of speed as I touched the brake going about 5 miles per hour. I plowed into the 2008 Chevrolet pushing it into the intersection. To avoid hitting it again, I turned the wheel hard to the right as there were 2 lanes of traffic waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I was told I went around the corner on 2 wheels, again at a great rate of speed, just barely touching one car and tearing the front end off of a 2000 Honda van. There were a total of 4 cars in the accident, 3 of which were totaled, and a total of 10 people in these cars. I am so lucky that no one was killed at the rate of speed my vehicle was traveling, all because my Jeep was like it was shot out of a cannon by itself.

- Webster, MA, USA

problem #18

Jan 292008

Grand Cherokee 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While attempting to stop at a traffic light, my 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee limited began unintentionally accelerating. I was forced to use both feet to hold the brake down but the Jeep continued to surge until I struck a truck in my lane. My car was damaged and sent to a collision shop for repair. They are attempting to check the reason for this unintended acceleration. It appears it may be associated with a faulty cruise control malfunction but we are not sure.

- Lower Lake, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 252008

Grand Cherokee 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
My wife and I have a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee which has about 79K miles. The vehicle has been very good to us during this time and was in mint condition until Friday night. Friday night I went out to do some errands when I approached an intersection here in my town of webster. The light was red and one car was in front of me. I started to slow down when the car accelerated uncontrollably where I could not stop. I smashed into the car in front of me and so that I did not hit him again, I turned right at this four way intersection and there were two lanes of traffic waiting for the light to turn green. I turned the steering wheel so hard that I was now on 2 wheels trying to avoid hitting any of the cars as well. I grazed one car, but tore the front end of a Honda van off before my Jeep came to a halt across the street. This all happened in 3-5 seconds. By the will of god I did not kill anyone or seriously hurt anyone, as I was very lucky. Most people, 10 in all in the four vehicles, I am sure have aches and pains like I do today. If I would have hit any car broadside, I would have killed I don't know how many. Damage done, I would say that 3 of the 4 cars are totaled. I found through my son that this has been a common occurrence with Chrysler and that there have not been any recalls. Please go into google and type in "Jeep Grand Cherokee accelerating on own" and go to the 4th one down and look at all the accidents related to this same problem. Also my sister in Virginia gave me a news station down there that carried a story on this. Again, go into google and type in "10 on your side Jeep safety" and see their news clip. I am asking you with your wide array of contacts to get this word out to people as these items are very isolated, but the fact still remains that someday there will be an accident where several people get killed because of this defect that Chrysler down not do anything about. Thanks for you time.

- Webster, MA, USA

problem #16

Nov 082006

Grand Cherokee 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
: the contact stated on three occasions, after the vehicle was driven for a short distance then turned off, and then turned on 15 minutes later, the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably after being put into drive. The engine had to be turned off to stop the acceleration. The vehicle was driven to the dealership, where the computer found no codes and the problem could not be duplicated. Updated 12/12/2006 - the Jeep is presently parked in the consumer's garaged because it is unsafe to drive.

- Port Republic, VA, USA

problem #15

Sep 192006

Grand Cherokee

  • miles
At approximately 9:20 am on 09/19/06 one of my car wash employees was pulling a customers car forward out of the car wash bay and suddenly the vehicle accelerated out of control crossing both the westbound and eastbound lanes of fullerton ave and crashing into a tree across the street from the car wash. The car suffered extensive damage and my employee was transported by ambulance to Illinois masonic and is currently hospitalized from the injuries he sustained as a result of the accident.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Jul 272006

Grand Cherokee 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles
: the contact stated the plastic blades on the fan fractured and detached from the engine puncturing the radiator. There is a NHTSA campaign id # 06V199000 pertaining to the engine and engine cooling system; fan. The vehicle was not included in the recall due to the VIN. There was also an unnecessary delayed in acceleration. There was a grinding noise and smoking coming from the brakes. The dealership determined the brakes were rubbing against the discs causing friction which caused the brakes to overheat. The caliper was also leaking. The brake calipers, brake shoes and pads were replaced.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #13

Apr 192006

Grand Cherokee 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
2002 grand Jeep Cherokee -at 6:40 a.M. backed into parking spot where I work; pulled forward and straightened up backed into spot; Jeep jumped curb hit building; put Jeep in drive; Jeep catapulted forward at high rate of speed. I went through an iron fence into a long term parking lot; stopped hitting another Jeep head on and a concrete base; iron fence damage to two additional cars parked. No one else was involved; only injuries were to myself when air bags deployed. Ems and police arrived and policeman turned off Jeep which was still accelerating after impact. Jeep was totaled and all damages are being covered by our state farm insurance.

- Hazelwood, MO, USA

problem #12

May 012006

Grand Cherokee 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
2002 Laredo engine light and service light illuminated. When the consumers vehicle was returned to him, the engine light was still on and other problems had surfaced. The consumer believed the dealership didn't do anything to the vehicle but create more problems. The vehicle used excessive amounts of antifreeze. The transmission malfunctioned. The four wheel drive could not be used. The check engine light and coolant light remained illuminated at all times. The head gasket blew. While the consumer's foot was on the brake pedal the vehicle would accelerate suddenly. The ses light has been illuminated since the vehicle was purchased.

- North Haven, CT, USA

problem #11

Mar 132006

Grand Cherokee 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,500 miles
While preparing to back out of a parking space, my 2002 Grand Cherokee overland suddenly accelerated forward at a full rate of acceleration. My right foot was pushing on the brake pedal, not the throttle pedal. The vehicle continued to accelerate for about 2-3 car lengths until it struck a building, causing both front air bags to deploy. I was pushing on the brake pedal so hard, that one of the bones in my foot broke when the vehicle struck the building. I previously owned a 2000 Grand Cherokee and two Cherokee, so I am very familiar with the brake and throttle pedal locations on these vehicles.

- Sandy, UT, USA

problem #10

Mar 182005

Grand Cherokee 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,100 miles
Was stopped at a service station, when I placed the car into gear it lurched back as it passed through reverse, and then went forward at full throttle. The Jeep cannot be put into gear without depressing the brakes. The brakes did not hold when the vehicle was a full throttle. If I had not driven it into a pole I would have hit numerous other cars. The Jeep dealer was unable to find any problem with the vehicle. I am very certain that I had my foot on the brake and not on the accelerator.

- Yakima, WA, USA

problem #9

Jul 302004

Grand Cherokee 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee limited takes off by itself with a huge power surge. Has happened when placed in "drive" and in "reverese." Exceptionally difficult to stop. Has happened on 5 occasions without warning.

- Bedford, MA, USA

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