— A Chrysler recall of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos has been issued because torque power can fail to be transferred to the front wheels from the drivelines, something that has caused at least one crash.
More than 560 model year 2019 Durangos and Grand Cherokees may have front differentials with pinion gears that weren't hardened properly, causing the gear teeth to wear down. Worn gear teeth on both pinion gears will result in a loss of power and a loss of the PARK function.
Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) received five failed warranty-return front differentials in October 2019 that had been installed on 2019 Dodge Durangos and Jeep Grand Cherokees.
The automaker sent the components to the supplier for testing, and the supplier determined all five differentials were assembled with pinion gears that weren't hardened properly.
In November 2019, FCA opened an internal investigation based on warranty claims and continued to work with the supplier. At least 18 warranty claims and one field report have been filed. Chrysler also says one crash is related to the defect, but no injuries have been reported.
Unhardened front differential pinion gears may result in the teeth of the gears wearing off, which can cause a loss of engagement between the pinion gears and the side gears.
Torque cannot be transferred between the front wheels and the driveline if both pinion gears have their teeth sufficiently worn off. And because the single speed transfer case differential is open, the wheels rotate freely which results in a loss of motive power while the vehicle is in motion, along with a loss of the PARK function.
There is no guarantee, but it's possible a driver will hear a grinding noise or a gear whine.
Chrysler says 515 of the vehicles are in the U.S. and 48 are located in Canada.
Chrysler dealers will replace the front differentials when the recall begins May 15, 2020.
Owners may contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403 and refer to recall number W22.