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Unread 09-21-2014, 12:42 PM   #1
BrokenEcodiesel
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Wk 2014 Grand Cherokee Ecodiesel in the shop...again

Purchased by brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Ecodiesel in April 2014. Loved everything about it until....

July 6th 2014

2014 Grand Cherokee Overland Diesel 3.0 - transmission failure at 5500 miles.

Driving home on a hot Summer afternoon from vacation with my pregnant wife. As stop and go traffic finally dissipates, I attempted to accelerate and the car lurches, the check engine illuminates and the transmission rests permanently in forth gear. We 'limped' the $54,000 vehicle off the expressway and into a parking lot in a community clearly scourged by methamphetamine and prescription painkiller addiction. We first call Chrysler Roadside assistance. They advised me that a tow truck would tow us to the nearest Chrysler dealer and that they would call us back in 20 minutes with an ETA. As I waited, junkies scurried about in the parking lot while I attempted to get the car out of 'limp mode' and into gear. Eventually, only reverse and neutral were working. After an hour, Chrysler roadside assistance finally called and provided me an ETA of 2 hours. This was unacceptable, so I called AAA and they arrived within an hour. The AAA driver pointed out, while loading the car onto the flatbed, that my transmission was leaking transmission fluid. By now, it was getting late and the technicians at the local dealership as well as the rental car companies were getting ready to close. I began to wonder if I should try and find a prescription painkiller dealer... My wife and I load into the cab of the tow truck and drive to the dealership. The very competent driver made some calls and found us a rental car location that would be open for another 90 minutes. We arrive at the dealership (Hiller Dodge) about 30 minutes later and the dealer tech had already gone home. The tow truck driver attempted to unload the car but he couldn't get into neutral or reverse. We couldn't find the override switch anywhere in the console. I tried five times and the transmission wouldn't leave park. The driver had to employ a two ton jack to lift rear tires and essentially shake the new jeep grand cherokee off the bed of truck. The person at the dealership was extremely reassuring that they would look at it first thing in the morning but that they were extremely busy and probably wouldn't get it fixed for a few days. After an hour, the Jeep was off the flatbed and completely useless. The tow truck driver raced us over to the rental car place. We rented an ash try on wheels and found a place to stay for the night. The next morning, I called Chrysler customer support and explained the situation. Chrysler explained that A) loaner cars and rental reimbursement is NOT covered by warranty and B) nothing can be done until the dealer makes a diagnosis. By noon, I called and checked with the dealer to see if they looked at the vehical. They had it on the lift and had just begun. My wife and I agreed that it was very unlikely that the dealer would get the car fixed the same day and we had to go to work the next day so we started to drive home. After 2 and 1/2 hours we stopped at a diner, ate and decided to call the dealer. As it turns out the dealership explained that the vehicle was being washed and I can come pick it up. We couldn't believe our ears. We drove back to the dealership in our rented Marlboromobile and found our jeep shiny and ready to go. I wanted to hug the tech as he explained that there was a cooling line going into the transmission that wasn't properly installed by the factory and popped out, allowing all the transmission fluid to drain.

Thanks to Hiller Dodge, we drove home from vacation, albeit a day later, trouble free. The vehicle remained trouble free for another 5000 miles until....

September 20. My (still) pregnant wife (full term and can go into labor any day now) were on the highway on our way to get breakfast at the local diner and suddenly..limp mode. On the bright side, we happen to be within 2 miles from my local dealership. They're closed but I left them the keys and we took a taxi home.

At this point, we have 10.6k miles on the vehicle. I'm considering just selling it at a loss when it's finally fixed and buying a Lexus or Acura (and maybe an old Wrangler for off roading). I've never had trouble with those brands and their service folks tend to be better. They also provide loaners at most of their dealerships, unlike Chrysler.

I called Chrysler customer service to complain but they're totally useless. Also, my local dealership's service department appears incompetent given my previous experience. Very frustrated.

Stay tuned. Wish me luck.

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Unread 09-21-2014, 01:02 PM   #2
10Xk
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Rentals are not covered by warranty unless you have maxcare. What do you want from Chrysler without troubleshooting the problem.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 01:13 PM   #3
BrokenEcodiesel
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You sound like the customer service representative. A $55k car shouldn't completely break down twice in the fist 10k miles. All I want from a Chrysler is for my car function properly. If the can't provide a properly functioning and safe vehicle for $55k, they could at least offer a loaner vehicle.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 01:17 PM   #4
10Xk
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Should have done your research. Why does it matter how much you paid? Oh you got the Chrysler experience package. For 30k you don't get the tow truck tour of the service department.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 01:42 PM   #5
SouthDakota
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There are many, many of these vehicles on the road without any issues, or very few. Sounds like you were unlucky, unfortunately.

The transmission in the V8 and ecodiesels especially is more resilient and less prone to failure, as it was built by ZF and hasn't been touched by Chrysler other than programming. So again, this points to lack of luck.

I sympathize with your situation, and hope the dealership gets it fixed for you. Every brand has its bad dealerships and its good dealerships, depending on the crew that works there and it's manager(s)/owner. I'm hoping your dealership experience gets better. Keep us posted.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 02:01 PM   #6
ColdCase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenEcodiesel View Post
You sound like the customer service representative. A $55k car shouldn't completely break down twice in the fist 10k miles. All I want from a Chrysler is for my car function properly. If the can't provide a properly functioning and safe vehicle for $55k, they could at least offer a loaner vehicle.
You may be a bit frustrated and have every right to be but you do sound a bit narcissistic in your post. $55K is pretty inexpensive now days when the competition is at least another $10K investment. If you just paid another $2-$3000 up front for factory warranty coverage, instead of skimping, you could have a loner At any time. Turns out its perhaps your bad decision after all. Doesn't help much with the break downs, but it happens. My neighbor's Lexus was a lemon and brother's Acura was a POS. Based on that sample I wonder why you'd want to return to those brands.

Personally, I want to have the choice to deny the extra cost insurance and perks that I most likely would never use, and not have the extra cost shoved down my throat like other brands. I've stopped buying BMW and Mercedes because of that kind of worthless extra cost.. and their dealer service is terrible in this area. I would rather see an independent shop, pay less money, and get better quality work... but that just may be me.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
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I consider myself a car enthusiast. I read a lot in various forums. Here are couple things I keep remind myself:

1- A premium high price doesn't buy reliability. A 13K nissan versa tends to have less issues let's say than 55K dollar luxury vehicle, because it has less things to get wrong to begin with.

2- Cars that follow the industry behind rather than lead the industry ( bringing newest tech to technology etc) is more reliable. Example Jeep brought 8-9 speed transmission etc. So that a boring ugly looking honda accord with early 2000s tech is more reliable on average than a Jeep Cherokee introduced this year with 9 speed.

3- Well I can get disagreement on this , but cars manufactured overseas particularly in Germany, Korea and Japan has more reliability than the ones manufactured in the US. It can be a German car, but if it is manufactured in the states, the reliability can be a big issue. Down side is their repairs are more costly than the domestic competitors.

4- Jeep reliability sucks, period; but they are sexy! Jeep charges premium prices but the average service from a dealer is still a quality of average American car manufacturer . So don't expect a Lexus, Mercedes, BMW way of doing business with dealers for service from Jeep. From the forums, there were many Jeep owners who had rental loaner but those owners as far as I can see insists and escalates strategically or lucky to work with a decent dealership.

Lastly, even though I sympathize with OP, if I happen to have a pregnant wife; I wouldn't trust the reliability of Jeep at this point. At least have some sort of insurance to cover rental cars, and have arrangement from at least two major towing companies to reach you in time.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:02 PM   #8
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While I can most certainly understand frustration with this issue, Lexus and Acura aren't cure alls. My son's 2011 GX was an unquestionable lemon, and he just turned it in after many shop visits, coincidentally for 2015 Summit Ecodiesel. The Acura competitor to the JGC seems to have above avg reliability, but Id drive a Honda Odyssey and save $20k, the vehicle it is based on.

You do have the warranty, and it seems like they will get it right this time. Question: With this time, did you notice any fluids leaking again?
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartx
I consider myself a car enthusiast. I read a lot in various forums. Here are couple things I keep remind myself:

1- A premium high price doesn't buy reliability. A 13K nissan versa tends to have less issues let's say than 55K dollar luxury vehicle, because it has less things to get wrong to begin with.

2- Cars that follow the industry behind rather than lead the industry ( bringing newest tech to technology etc) is more reliable. Example Jeep brought 8-9 speed transmission etc. So that a boring ugly looking honda accord with early 2000s tech is more reliable on average than a Jeep Cherokee introduced this year with 9 speed.

3- Well I can get disagreement on this , but cars manufactured overseas particularly in Germany, Korea and Japan has more reliability than the ones manufactured in the US. It can be a German car, but if it is manufactured in the states, the reliability can be a big issue. Down side is their repairs are more costly than the domestic competitors.

4- Jeep reliability sucks, period; but they are sexy! Jeep charges premium prices but the average service from a dealer is still a quality of average American car manufacturer . So don't expect a Lexus, Mercedes, BMW way of doing business with dealers for service from Jeep. From the forums, there were many Jeep owners who had rental loaner but those owners as far as I can see insists and escalates strategically or lucky to work with a decent dealership.

Lastly, even though I sympathize with OP, if I happen to have a pregnant wife; I wouldn't trust the reliability of Jeep at this point. At least have some sort of insurance to cover rental cars, and have arrangement from at least two major towing companies to reach you in time.
Yhea go put a $2k retainer on the tow company to be at your beacon call, on your way stop and do the same with the rental company....

How much of the GC is from oversea's? The motor, tranny??? Tranny is made in Deutschland and tranny is Italian, so I don't see your point about buying foreign.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:46 PM   #10
BrokenEcodiesel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDaneLvr View Post
While I can most certainly understand frustration with this issue, Lexus and Acura aren't cure alls. My son's 2011 GX was an unquestionable lemon, and he just turned it in after many shop visits, coincidentally for 2015 Summit Ecodiesel. The Acura competitor to the JGC seems to have above avg reliability, but Id drive a Honda Odyssey and save $20k, the vehicle it is based on.

You do have the warranty, and it seems like they will get it right this time. Question: With this time, did you notice any fluids leaking again?
I didn't notice any fluid this time but the last time I didn't see the fluid until it was being pulled onto the flatbed. This time, I was only two miles from the dealer and drove there in limp mode. Is it possible that the leak pooled up in the underside of the skid plates?
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:48 PM   #11
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I can empathize with you on the issues that have occurred, but I agree with the others that the cost of a vehicle is not an indicator of its reliability. My BIL had an X5 that was riddled with problems (left him stranded, was in the shop for weeks at a time, etc), that was a $65K vehicle, although he did have a loaner.

Regarding loaner's, some Jeep dealer's offer them for service and/or repairs; it is unfortunate that yours isn't one of them, but they are out there. The other option is to spring for MaxCare.

In the past, I have owned Lexus, Acura and Audi and with what you are expecting for service, they may be your best bet. My wife drives an RX330 and while it has been one of the most reliable vehicles I have ever owned, I always prefer to get into my Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Good luck.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:52 PM   #12
chartx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Xk View Post
Yhea go put a $2k retainer on the tow company to be at your beacon call, on your way stop and do the same with the rental company....

How much of the GC is from oversea's? The motor, tranny?
The way I do is to have emergency road service from a major insurer on my name, doesn't cost you a fortune (mine is $1 for a month ...), and have another insurer under second family member, and have numbers ready for few local towing companies just in case of delay of those major free ones.

Rental insurance can be more expensive, but then I have an extra beaten car just in case for the rainy day. So i don't need.

Oh not to forget, tranny on V6 is manufactured in Indiana under ZF, but V8 and diesel is made overseas.
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Unread 09-21-2014, 03:59 PM   #13
BrokenEcodiesel
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Appreciate all the helpful comments. Here are some general clarifications:

1 - I chose to buy a Jeep vs an Acura or Lexus knowing that Jeep's quality track record is inferior. However, I'm disappointed with the extent of the poor quality/reliability. Still...my bad.
2 - I prefer Jeep over Acura and Lexus as far as style and performance. I just don't like breaking down and having to leave the car in the shop. It makes we worry about driving anywhere with my family.
3 - I have already have two rental reimbursement plans. My comment about a loaner car was more about the principal. I believe that if a company sells a product and it happens to be a lemon, they should do whatever they can within reason to make the customer whole. Is that crazy? Why any customer would think this is unreasonable, is beyond me.

Last edited by BrokenEcodiesel; 09-21-2014 at 04:09 PM..
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Unread 09-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #14
10Xk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chartx

The way I do is to have emergency road service from a major insurer on my name, doesn't cost you a fortune (mine is $1 for a month ...), and have another insurer under second family member, and have numbers ready for few local towing companies just in case of delay of those major free ones.

Oh not to forget, tranny on V6 is manufactured in Indiana under ZF, but V8 and diesel is made overseas.
Doesn't the vehicles come with roadside assistance?

Transmission is made in Germany so the buying foreign idea, not so much. Used in BMW 7 series.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenEcodiesel
Appreciate all the helpful comments. Here are some general clarifications:

1- I chose to buy a Jeep vs an Acura or Lexus knowing that Jeep's quality track record is inferior. However, I'm disappointed with the extent of the poor quality/reliability. Still...my bad.
2- I have already have two rental reimbursement plans. My comment about a loaner car was more about the principal. I believe that if a company sells a product and it happens to be a lemon, they should do whatever they can within reason to make the customer whole. Is that crazy? Why any customer would think this is unreasonable, is beyond me.
First statement, you chose the jeep knowing the quality track record. Then why you complaining?????
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Unread 09-21-2014, 04:11 PM   #15
BrokenEcodiesel
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10Xk, do you work for, invest in or have a personal connection to Chrysler? If not, why so defensive?
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