New Jeep owners are going to have to bring their new vehicles back to dealers already for a recall involving a software issue that can disable the vehicle’s airbags. According to Autoblog, it affects nearly 100,000 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models. The bulk of that number belongs to Grand Cherokee Ls, of which near 88,000 are affected.
The issue stems from a trio of faults within the vehicle’s occupant restraint controller. According to an NHTSA release, the fault is due to an incorrect software version that was placed in the vehicles during production. When these faults activate, the vehicle’s diagnostic trouble codes won’t notify the driver. In layman’s terms: Essentially the vehicles aren’t alerting drivers that there’s an issue with the airbags, which is extremely dangerous. From Autoblog:
These malfunctions can increase the risk of injury in a crash. However, since they don’t throw up any diagnostic trouble codes, the airbag warning light won’t illuminate to warn the driver and occupants that there’s an issue with the airbag system.
In the Autoblog article it also states that Jeep has reported it does not know of any injuries related to the issue.
Stellantis says that notices will be sent out to owners by the end of December. Luckily the fix may be easy and simple to do. Roadshow reports owners will bring Jeeps into dealerships to have the OCR unit reprogrammed.
If you are concerned about the recall you can contact Jeep’s customer service at 1-800-853-1403. The recall reference number is Y79. You can also look up your recall information on Jeep’s website. I reached out to Stellanits for more clarification on how the company plans to go about this fix and will update this post when someone gets back to me.
While information is somewhat limited on the issue, it doesn’t bode well for the brand, as this is the second recall for new Jeep models in a month. In late October a recall was issued for over 7,000 Grand Cherokee L models for an issue with the vehicle’s high beams. The vehicle wouldn’t allow the high beams to activate if the lighting switch was set to auto.