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Jeep Cherokee Owner Says Vehicle Repeatedly Undergoes Interior Power Failure

Dec 17, 2014

A Jeep Cherokee owner says that the power inside her vehicle turns off unexpectedly about once a week, leaving her driving in the dark. Sandy Busedu told The Morning Call that interior power failure turns off the dashboard instruments and interior dome lights and radio and heater; she is unable to see how fast she is driving. Ms. Busedu is not the only one to experience this problem. Even more concerning, The Morning Call reports, is that a recall has not been issued.

Busedu said the power failure happened on Thanksgiving as she was driving with her brother. "Everything inside the car went black," she told The Morning Call. "I didn't lose my headlights, but I was scared to death that would happen next." The power cycled on and off several times before things returned to normal. Busedu has been staying on local roads and using her husband's truck whenever possible ever since.

"Now it's occurring more often and I'm afraid to go on a long-distance drive," she said to The Morning Call.

There is currently no recall campaign for this problem, Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said to The Morning Call. He said Busedu should take her vehicle to a dealer.

The Morning Call reports that other 2006 Grand Cherokee owners have experienced the same issue, based on complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the past two years, roughly 30 complaints cited failures with lighting, gauge and instrument panels. A complaint in August stated "I lose all lights, instruments, gauges on the dashboard. Car still runs but I have no odometer, lights, air conditioning,"

In a May complaint, another owner said "Every light on the dash lights up, flashes/flutter/flickers, headlights shut off, radio shuts off, HVAC system shuts off, but engine still runs," according to The Morning Call. "Continues to do this over and over and over again. After searching the Internet I found out that I am not the only with the problem."

Busedu believes that the power failure is related to an ignition switch defect that prompted a recall, according to The Morning Call. In 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Jeep Commanders, the ignition switch can slip out of place during driving. As a result, the driver may unexpectedly be left without power to the engine and lose power steering and braking assist.

Mayne says the ignition switch issue is unrelated to the interior power failure problem. But Busedu says that the issue only occurs when something happens with her ignition, such as when it is touched or when the car hits a bump. "If it's not the ignition, why is it when I touch my key, the whole thing happens?" she said to The Morning Star. "It's fine unless that ignition gets bumped or you tap it with your finger."

Furthermore, Busedu is not the only owner who believes the interior power problem is related to the ignition recall. One owner said in a complaint filed Oct. 28 "According to my research, online videos, and after speaking with the representative on the Chrysler recall hotline, this is strongly related to the electrical systems ignition switch recall,"

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