— Jeep Cherokee parking brakes are getting stuck, and the problem is allegedly so bad a class action lawsuit has been filed over 1.3 million model year 2014-2020 Jeep Cherokee SUVs equipped with electronic parking brakes.
The Cherokee class action lawsuit alleges water leaks into the electronic parking brake module and causes corrosion.
The Jeep Cherokee parking brake can get stuck, something Fiat Chrysler has allegedly known about since at least May 2016.
FCA issued a technical service bulletin (TSB 08-060-16) in May 2016 for 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees equipped with electronic parking brakes.
Entitled, "Electronic Parking Brake Module Connector Water Intrusion," the TSB "involves inspecting the parking brake module wiring harness connection for terminal corrosion and if needed, replacing the connector."
According to the bulletin:
"The customer may describe that the Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) may not release and a service message is present with a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) illumination. Upon further investigation the technician may find one or more of the following Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs): C008E-00 - ECU Internal Performance / C10CD-01 - Electronic Park Brake Switch - General Electrical Failure / C10ED-00 - Electronic Park Brake Switch LED."
Jeep dealers were told to replace the parking brake module wiring harness connector if corrosion was found.
The lawsuit also contends Chrysler knew at least 6-12 months before the TSB was issued that the parking brakes could get stuck.
The class action further alleges FCA knew the parking brakes get stuck and could see the results based on the "high number of warranty reimbursement claims." However, the plaintiff doesn't say how many warranty claims have been filed.
California plaintiff Ruth Areias purchased a new 2019 Jeep Cherokee which has allegedly suffered parking brake problems. The plaintiff claims the first incident occurred in January 2020 while trying to take off from a stop and the parking brake got stuck.
She says it took several attempts for the parking brake to disengage.
The class action alleges the Cherokee experienced the same parking brake problem in August 2022. However, the plaintiff doesn't allege she took the Jeep Cherokee to a dealer or mechanic for an inspection or repairs.
Jeep Cherokee Parking Brake Problems — NHTSA
The Jeep Cherokee parking brake lawsuit wasn't filed until months after the federal government opened an investigation.
In July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into 2014-2020 Jeep Cherokees after receiving 80 complaints about the parking brakes. Customers complained their Jeep Cherokee electronic parking brakes suddenly activated while driving and while parked.
Jeep Cherokee owners said dealers diagnosed the problem as parking brake module damage caused by water and corrosion.
NHTSA also noticed Chrysler issued a previous recall because Jeep Cherokee power liftgate modules were getting wet. Although there may be no connection between the liftgate module recall and the electronic parking brake module, both modules are located in the same area of the Cherokee.
According to the lawsuit, even when Jeep dealers do make repairs, the repairs don't help because Fiat Chrysler dealers use the same defective parking brake components for replacement parts. This allegedly does nothing but cause repeated repairs that never remedy the parking brakes getting stuck.
The Jeep Cherokee parking brake class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Ruth Areias v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC, and Bursor & Fisher, P.A.