Notes: The 2012 Grand Cherokee hasn't seen the same complaint volume as the 2011, at least not yet.

It's worth noting both model years are part of a class-action lawsuit that focuses on a defective TIPM and a long wait for replacement parts.

The 2012 also received national attention after it failed a Swedish Magazine's "moose test". The test measures a vehicle's ability to swerve out of the way of an obstacle you wouldn't want to hit while driving down the road ... like a moose.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,175 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.

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Owner Comments

problem #13

Apr 292018

Grand Cherokee

  • 89,130 miles


We loaded up to go to the desert (clear summer day with temperatures near 80 degrees Fahrenheit), stopped to get gas and ice (Jeep was running the entire time) and once we got on the way there, the battery light came on, then an odd sound was heard then whitish electrical smelling smoke started pouring out of the engine compartment, this happened within 8 - 10 seconds total). I grabbed my extinguisher and popped the hood and saw that the smoke appeared to be coming from around the alternator and steam was everywhere. I also noticed that the motor was overheated (but no temperature light and no fans were turning). We turned around and made it the 3 blocks back to the house when the Jeep died and without power steering and brakes we almost collided with a parked car. We parked it in the middle of the street to cool off and to obtain assistance to push it into my garage. It was found that my alternator had a diode that shorted to ground. Please actually read the following: There are at least 38 other complaints concerning the same chain of events on NHTSA website. Alt shorts, destroys the battery, and tipm/PCM. Fca refuses to expand 1 of 3 open recalls to include my make/model and many others. NHTSA refuses to actually hold Jeep/fca accountable. Check P60-14V634 (alternator had bad diodes and shorted to ground) expanded multiple times, T36-17V435 (alternator had bad diodes and shorted to ground)expanded multiple times, T75-17V741 (alternator had bad diodes and shorted to ground). The data in NHTSA data shows that from years 2007 to 2018, fca us, llc models badged 2012 had the highest percent of total recalls of any year owning 18% of the 24,053,941 total recalls fca family had. How does this not flag the NHTSA to fight for us? the NHTSA fined fca 120,000,000 for their addmitted unefectual recall process. I have so much more data. Sad.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #12

Jun 012013

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • miles
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Consume writes seeking reimbursement for vehicle repairs. Consumer would also like tpim replaced along with all vehicle recalls associated with vehicle repaired. The consumer stated A/C not working.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #11

Oct 012014

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
I was driving on the 241 toll road up a steep hill going approximately 65 mph and the engine down shifted into a lower gear, the engine began revving high, the RPM went high, and I lost speed. I pulled off to the side of the road. I put the vehicle in park while I called my husband because I did not know what was happening to the vehicle. I wanted to let him know in case I was stranded on the side of the road. We decided we wanted to try to get the vehicle home, if possible. I put the vehicle back in drive and got back on the highway and it did not do it again and I made it home.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 162015

Grand Cherokee

  • 69,045 miles


Having the Jeep services for a broken chair rail ($1200!) and they told me the power steering reservoir was empty and the power steering pump, reservoir, rack and pinion and hoses will need to be replaced for another $2350! I've read that this vehicle has a history of this and has created a fire hazard. This car is not 3 years old and has had fuel pump, water pump, rear latch lock and multiple recalls on other items. Dealership is raking in the cash; it very upsetting for someone who really wants to buy american made vehicles!

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 022015

Grand Cherokee

  • miles
2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Consumer writes in regards to seat cylinder head and brake system recall notices issues. The consumer stated the check engine light illuminated prior to receiving the recall. The dealer informed him he would need to put down over 4100 for a diagnostic check to verify the problem. The consumer stated it was not mentioned in the recall. In fact, the recall stated the defect would be fixed for free.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #8

Feb 152014

Grand Cherokee 4WD 6-cyl

  • 20,800 miles
I brought my Cherokee into dealer where I purchased it for a check engine light. The Jeep was looked at and the lead mechanic proceeded to tell me it would need a cylinder head. I bought this Jeep on 11/7/11 and couldn't believe what I was hearing. After reading many forums and Chrysler's comments; which they don't take full responsibility for this critical issue by putting some fault on the customer. Brand new vehicle which I paid a good amount for and after 20,000 you have to rip my truck apart and now I hope for the best. I feel this is just a band aide to cover the major problem with this 3.6-L engine. To me now it's as if I bought it used. If I try to trade the Jeep in I'm sure it has depreciated and the same if I was to sell to a private owner. I truly feel I was taken advantage of by Chrysler and to pay that amount for a vehicle which clearly has mechanical problems, well to me, that is just not acceptable. I know fires under the hood are being investigated, I am very concerned on this issue as well. I think my Cherokee should be warranted for the life of the Cherokee by Chrysler due to the mechanical problem returning after another 20,000 or 25,000 miles. Thank you for your time.

- Seekonk, MA, USA

problem #7

Jan 092014

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles


This vehicle has recurring starting issues. At any time, cold or warm engine the ignition would engage and the engine fails to start. Service dealership has not identified any specific reason why this occurs. On January 8th, the same starting issue occurred and this time the engine light appeared. The service dealership has identified a bad cylinder head. There recommended repairs are replacement of the cylinder head and associated components. Service dealership stated the starting issue is not related to the cylinder head. They stated they would replace the fuel pump in an effort to resolve the starting issue. In discussions with Jeep customer service they stated the cylinder head issue is related to NHTSA campaign number: 11V487000. Upon reviewing this campaign it states the "engine requires replacement". I am not satisfied with a cylinder repair and a probable fix of the starting issue were the vehicle mileage is only 29K. I agree with NHTSA campaign requiring replacement of the engine.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #6

Nov 132013

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 12,504 miles
Check engine light went on and service dept for my dealership said it was the cylinder head. Still waiting for part to be delivered. This is a known problem for Chrysler since 2012. In 2012, I had to have the intermediate steering shaft replaced. Jeep was purchased new in 2/2012.

- Bronxville, NY, USA

problem #5

Apr 152013

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
I was driving home for lunch and smelled a very sharp scent that burned my throat and eyes. I rolled down the windows thinking it was the car in front of mine. I saw white smoke on the right side of my vehicle and than the passenger visor melted off the ceiling and followed it was a fire at the sight of the visor hole. The fire dripped down onto the passenger seat and I called 911 and pulled over. I ran inside and 2 gentleman came out with a fire extinguisher and put the fire out right as the fire department arrived... updated 08-20-14 updated 08/25/2014

- Sun City, AZ, USA

problem #4

Feb 012013

Grand Cherokee 4WD 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The incident occurred during acceleration up an entrance ramp incline from 30 mph to 50 mph entering the highway. When entering the highway a vehicle moved into my path at which time, I quickly moved my foot from the accelerator pedal to the brake pedal to find the brake pedal was hard to press and my car did not respond to any brake pedal input, at that moment. I had to swerve to avoid contact with the other vehicle. A very short time later, the brakes appeared to function normally again. I was able to recreate this condition multiple times and brought my vehicle in for service. They were unable to recreate the condition initially. I rode with the technician and walked him through the steps to recreate my experience. He confirmed the condition existed. The dealership has replaced a brake booster vacuum hose and can still create the condition in my vehicle "a brake pedal that is hard to depress and does not slow/stop the vehicle immediately." Chrysler has stated it is aware of this condition in it's pentastar 6 cylinder due to low vacuum brake boost under certain conditions and describes the condition as a "characteristic" of the engine, further explaining the "vehicle is working as intended." While every one at the dealership and Chrysler was nice this is a safety concern that needs to be remedied immediately. Not having responsive brakes under all conditions is not acceptable, this is not a "characteristic" but a design flaw that someone needs to address before too many units are on the roads and experience the wrong conditions at the wrong time and someone is not able to swerve or stop in time. I can't imagine this has not occurred already. There is a "Chrysler start case" with this information in it.

- Plantsville, CT, USA

problem #3

Mar 302012

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 592 miles


Turned onto state highway when engine began to make seizure noise and temperature moved toward H with shaking and lost power from engine. I put on emergency blinkers, removed foot from accelerator, tapped brakes, with noise continuing, while attempting to accelerate again with no power occurring. I drifted slowing down the highway a few hundred feet, turned onto a side road, with violent engine seizure noise continuing and turned off vehicle. Vehicle restarted without a problem. I got vehicle towed to dealer to be checked since I purchased the vehicle only two weeks prior. I highly suspect engine debris caused this very dangerous incident. I thought an explosion of the vehicle would occur and a crash from approaching vehicles. I will not take delivery of the vehicle in incident and requested out of contract.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #2

Jan 312012

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 5 miles
We purchased a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with 5 miles on it. Upon leaving the dealership the engine began making a strange noise. We brought the car back to the dealer and the mechanic told us to leave the car. It's 5 days later and all we know so far is that they have removed the front end of the transmission and they are still working on it. We don't have the car. Additionally, the front driver's side door was not flush with the body of the car. We asked them to look at the door to see if it was not installed properly. They offered to have the body shop bend the door.

- Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 182011

Grand Cherokee 6-cyl

  • 4,200 miles
I was going approximately 20-25 approaching a signal light. I let off the gas and applied the brake as the light was red. As I let off the gas, the engine began to rev higher and as I applied the brake I had to apply it harder and harder as the engine continued to rev even higher. I began to smell the brakes burning as they tried to hold the car back. Fortunately I had the foresight to put the car in neutral. It continued to rev for about 5 seconds and then went down to normal. It has happened once. No warning lights went on. The dealer said that they contacted the detroit technical bureau and they suggested that maybe it was the floor mat, or my foot, etc, etc but claimed they had no other reports of this occurring. I don't have carpets as I opted for the rubber mats and they sit tight to the floor. And my foot was not stuck on the gas. I was conscious of the fact that my foot was on the brake and not the gas as I was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. They said they drove it and did computer checks and had no explanation. The service rep said the response from the technical bureau would be "insulting to me". the dealer was bradshaw Jeep in watertown, ct and the service rep was victor. I wrote this out on the service order and kept a copy.

- Watertown, CT, USA

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