Late Monday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into 408,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs (2014-2015) after receiving 14 complaints of the vehicles rolling away after being shifted into park.
Of those 14 complaints, five were crashes and three had injuries. Eric Mayne, the spokesman for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, said the company is cooperating. The Jeep Grand Cherokees being investigated have an electronic gear shifter or shift by wire system. The shifter does not move along a gate path like conventional gear shifters, the gear selection is made by pressing the shifter paddle forward or backward.
An owner in Livonia said he put his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee in park, in June, at a gas station.
“The vehicle then started to roll backwards while still in park and then collided into another parked vehicle. While the vehicle was rolling backwards, three other occupants proceeded to evacuate the vehicle before it collided with the other parked car,” the complaint said. “The evacuation of the vehicle left the doors open which, when the vehicles collided, left the doors of the rolling vehicle (the jeep) unable to be closed.”
Two children and one adult were able to get out. One of the children was injured exiting the vehicle as it collided with another parked vehicle and then continued on, rolling into a ditch. A bystander jumped into the vehicle to try to stop it and noticed the shift indicator was showing the vehicle was in park, the complaint said.
More updates as they become available (once the NHTSA concludes their investigation).