Owners of Bricked Jeep Grand Cherokee L’s Blame Faulty Key Fob Electronics
The key fob allegedly loses connection with the vehicle, at which point it’s rendered immobile.
The three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L was revealed last year ahead of its two-row Grand Cherokee sibling. Despite suffering some chip shortage setbacks, they've been steadily rolling off the line. However, owners of the SUV have recently complained of an irritating issue: their key fobs are reportedly losing connection to their vehicles, rendering the trucks immobile.
The issue seems to primarily affect 2022 model-year Grand Cherokee L models assembled recently, as opposed to ones built earlier last year. We spoke to one owner who claims the problem has left his new Jeep totally bricked at a local dealership for several days. In a forum thread on Jeep Garage, numerous owners of new GCLs are claiming their vehicles also suffer from the issue. It's currently unclear if this is messing with other Jeep models.
The owner of the affected Grand Cherokee L, who asked to be referred to as Alex, reached out to us on Feb. 21, although forum posters have been raising the alarm since earlier this month. He received his truck on Saturday, Feb. 12, saying the issues began just days after he took delivery. Alarmingly, there was no gradual reduction in functionality. The connection between the fob and the vehicle allegedly disappeared all at once, and the truck was rendered immobile.
"The Jeep has forgotten the key fobs exist, and for us, it was all of a sudden," Alex told me. "My wife drove it to an appointment, and when she went to leave, [she] couldn’t unlock the vehicle or open the rear hatch." After she tried to open the vehicle with the physical key that comes with the fob, the Jeep assumed it was being broken into, and completely locked down. "That action set off the alarm, and the Jeep now thinks it was a theft attempt. Can’t unlock, lock, start the vehicle or anything," he added.
Seeing as the truck was then stuck in place, Alex arranged to have it towed to a local dealer. After the right tow truck finally arrived—he says Jeep roadside assistance initially sent the wrong type—the vehicle arrived at the dealership where it's been sitting since last Tuesday. "They said they opened a case with Jeep, but not much luck when calling or stopping in getting an update—the updates are no updates," he continued. "I don’t think they’ve touched it."
Other owners on Jeep Garage have had the same to say; however, Alex may have been lucky to have his vehicle functional for a full three days before it was bricked. The discussion starter in the linked thread says his truck was "Bought Saturday, towed Sunday," after suffering from the same issue. Another says he bought his truck on Feb. 12 and it "died [on] the same day." As the thread continues, more than half a dozen other owners of Grand Cherokee L's claim to have the problem, and all of them purchased their vehicles in February.
This seems to not be software-related, but hardware-related, perhaps to do specifically with an in-vehicle "antenna or module," according to the forum thread. We've reached out to Jeep for comment on the situation, though we've yet to receive one at the time of publishing. These bricked trucks are still sitting at dealerships, and nobody knows yet when a fix will arrive. "It’s very frustrating," Alex concluded, noting the automaker's service has been less than useful. "Based on my interactions with Jeep so far, they don’t care at all."
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