— With Fiat Chrysler facing a July 2 public hearing over possible failures of making repairs in 20 recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has more questions for the automaker.
The government has opened an investigation into the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee after reports the SUV can slow down without a driver touching the brake pedal.
NHTSA has received complaints alleging the "autonomous braking system" can be activated without warning while driving. The system is supposed to be a safety feature to help prevent forward collisions. However, owners of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee have complained the system activates on its own, warns the driver of an imminent crash and then slams on the brakes.
Not only does this leave a driver a total nervous wreck, but anyone traveling behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee must take quick action not to slam into the back of the braking SUV.
Owners report the incidents occur with no objects in the road and can happen on any type of road surface.
"When this happens the car makes an alarming beeping sound and the brakes automatically grind. This feature should only be triggered when the car comes too close with another object on the road, however, it is randomly set off when there is no obstacle in sight." - 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee owner / New York, New York
"Problem has occurred about 10 times in first year of ownership. Instrument panel changes to "BRAKE", sometimes with audible warning, automatically braked a couple times. Always occurs with a vehicle stopped in adjacent lane, usually a left turn lane. At least once with a stopped vehicle in the right lane. Very alarming and not acceptable" - 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee owner / Snohomish, Washington
The NHTSA 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee investigation will try to determine if 20,000 SUVs should be recalled.
What is happening with the Grand Cherokee isn't unheard of, especially with more vehicles than ever coming equipped with forward collision avoidance systems. In May 2015, Acura recalled 19,500 cars that could brake on their own simply because a vehicle traveling in front drove near any metallic object.