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Grand CherokeeReturn of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
Posted by mike on 2007/10/24 8:34:49 (2112) reads

Just when you thought we had forgotten about all the lawsuits and bickering about the Grand Cherokee's alleged "sudden acceleration" issue, ConsumerAffairs.com comes along and reminds us what a long strange trip it's been.

In case you don't remember what I'm talking about, a little over a year ago, car wash owners were in a tizzy about a potential issue sudden acceleration from Jeep Grand Cherokees. Several documented cases of the issue were reported, but in the end, neither Chrysler nor the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), admitted that it was a mechanical issue, but likely due to "driver error".

The ConsumerAffairs.com article alleges that the problems continue and the NHTSA nor Chrysler have budged on their stance:

ConsumerAffairs.Com has received reports of unintended acceleration in the Grand Cherokee since at least 2000 and continues to receive similar complaints from consumers driving Jeep vehicles.

NHTSA, the federal agency in charge of vehicle safety, reports one petition from Elaine Ziegler in Coatsville, Pennsylvania to recall a 2006 Jeep Commander for sudden acceleration but the petition was denied on January 3, 2007.

The complaint involved unintended acceleration with Ziegler's Jeep Commander causing an accident that killed a person in Delaware in December 2005, according to NHTSA documents.

The article goes on to discuss several other incidents.

If you or someone you know has witnessed this, let us know via the contact form or by posting a comment.

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Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/10/25 9:18  Updated: 2007/10/25 9:26
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
Here's a pretty good article that slants toward pedal position as a potential cause... which still means some (extremely small percentage of) people are sometimes not cognizant of which pedal is which. I'm not surprized.

Check out the story on the cop who got dragged 150ft!

The story also states that
"...NHTSA's analysis found that complaints about sudden acceleration by 1993-1995 model Cherokees and Grand Cherokees were coming in at more than four times the rate for the next closest similar vehicle..."
Gee, could that be because those models were produced in pretty large volumes compared to most other cars?

SUA Article

Poster Thread
jpsmith
Posted: 2007/10/24 18:43  Updated: 2007/10/24 18:43
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Joined: 2006/7/25
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Posts: 97
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
Immediately after reading this thread, I head over to a Tacoma forum to see what's new there. I find a post with a link to this news video:

http://www.kpho.com/video/14310861/index.html

Seems oddly similar.

Poster Thread
01TJ
Posted: 2007/10/24 13:52  Updated: 2007/10/24 13:52
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Posts: 109
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
The following quote from an letter sent to consumeraffairs.com CANNOT be someone pressing the gas instead of the brake. Someone needs to look into this before someone is killed. I know strange things can happen, my wifes Commander went haywire a few weeks ago. It did not accelerate but would not go above 25 MPH, when it hit this speed is would buck like a pissed off bull! She took it right to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong. Something with the traction controll computer went nuts and it's only matter of time before it happens again.

Chrysler needs to do something, anything before they have a major PR issue. It is totally possible there is a computer program bug where there is a false TPS (throttle position sensor) reading causing full throttle or something to that effect. Heck an air leak in the intake system can cause a full throttle condition. Anyone dismissing this as pure driver error would have to be a complete dumb a$$.

"Kim of Olean NY (04/08/07)
I have had two incidents while driving my 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the first time I was coming over a hill approaching a stop sign as I applied the brake the rpms reached 6,000 I was able to stop the Jeep with no problem with the brakes I put it in neutral and the rpm's continued to race so I shut it off."

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/10/24 14:54  Updated: 2007/10/24 15:23
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
The real conundrum is that the brakes are normally PLENTY strong to stop a car from a standstill with the engine at full throttle. If you don't believe that, just try applying the brakes with the left foot and flooring your Jeep with your right foot. You'll go nowhere fast. So, while the testimonials read like they're from credible people, the smart money is on the "complete dumb a$$" drivers as the problem. They're only a fraction of a fraction of a percent of all drivers who could possibly panic & mistake pedals, but I'm certain they're out there!

That's what happened with the Audi case... after 3+ years of investigation by Audi & NHTSA, they found NO FAULTS with the vehicles, and it faded away... even as tens of thousands of those same Audis remained on the road --without further incident. Pretty suspect, huh? Well, at least we got the brake pedal interlock out of the deal!

I do agree that Chrysler/Jeep should investigate nonetheless... because you never know for sure...

Here's a couple of interesting links:
Sudden acceleration Take 1
Sudden acceleration Take 2

I guess there is also some data that shows that old(er) drivers are 6X more likely to report a sudden acceleration problem than younger drivers. There's a clue... reaction time...

Hey Mike, how about posting a vote for this sticky issue?

"Gee, it seems like the HARDER I pushed the BRAKE, the FASTER the car would GO!"

Poster Thread
mike
Posted: 2007/10/24 20:36  Updated: 2007/10/24 20:36
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Joined: 2000/4/13
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Posts: 42
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
What do you think the poll question should be? I've thought about doing this, but I can't come up with a decent question without sounding (too) biased one way or another...

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/10/25 6:58  Updated: 2007/10/25 6:58
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
How about this:

Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE ONGOING DISPUTE CONCERNING THE JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SUDDEN ACCELERATION ISSUE?

A: IT'S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE. WITH ALL THE ELECTRONIC GIZMOS ON CARS TODAY, ANYTHING COULD GO WRONG.

A: IT'S HIGHLY UNLIKELY, AND THE MOST OF THESE INCIDENTS ARE PROBABLY DUE TO DRIVER ERROR.

A: IT'S VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE. ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS CAN BE LINKED TO DRIVER ERROR. "THE HARDER I PUSH THE PEDAL, THE FASTER I GO!" GET YOUR FOOT OFF THE GAS PEDAL, STUPID!

Poster Thread
mike
Posted: 2007/10/25 9:51  Updated: 2007/10/25 9:51
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 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
Done.

Poster Thread
jeepxk
Posted: 2007/10/24 11:17  Updated: 2007/10/24 11:17
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From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
All I can say is Audi 5000. Look it up if you are not old enough to remember.

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/10/24 9:42  Updated: 2007/10/24 9:53
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
Until proven otherwise, I'd have to chalk this up to fat-foot or wrong-pedal syndrome. Remember the similar Audi incidents in the 80-90's?!

I personally know of someone (old guy) who thought he was pressing the brake pedal as he approached a parking space, but --in fact-- was FLOORING the gas pedal. He continued to panic, crashed & pushed & pinned 2 cars against a concrete wall, and still(!) had the gas pedal floored. Only when his wife (who SAW his foot on the gas pedal) reached over & turned off the ignition, did the mle cease.

Thankfully no one was badly hurt, but the guy swore to his dying day that he was depressing the brake pedal. That was on a Chrysler minivan, but I have little doubt that these mistakes happen on other vehicles, with equally clueless people. No offense to the clueless; we all have our occasional brain farts... albeit smaller ones...

That being said... you'd think Chrysler would want to get ahold of a few of these "free-spirited" vehicles and investigate further. All it would cost 'em is a few new (replacement) vehicles to the "lucky" customers, and they could avoid a lot of bad press... and maybe get to the bottom of it... if there even is a bottom...

Hey, wait a minute... doesn't that new JK have a drive-by-wire throttle... hmmmmmm...

Poster Thread
Josephus
Posted: 2007/10/24 15:21  Updated: 2007/10/24 15:22
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 265
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
Mark,
I have a JK and I think this is the reason Jeep put a throttle killer mode in the computer. If you hit and hold the throttle and brake (automatic) the computer after a few seconds will kill the throttle and throw a red lightening bolt warning signal until the condition clears. After a few seconds of normal driving the computer releases the kill mode and clears the warning light. I took mine to the dealer and the logs show it being a case of "Fat-Foot".
So I gotta think this is a result of this Sudden Acceleration thingy.

I sent this theory in to MythBusters.

As I've said in the past here, I think it's the Gerodiscs in the Quadra-Drive system and impatient car wash attendants. Don't beleive me? Then explain how the Commander can be affected too?
Think about it, slippery soap, impatient car wash dudes hitting the throttle again, and again, and all of the sudden the Gerodiscs kick in and WHOA!!!
Off to the races...

Any other theories of substance?

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/10/24 15:31  Updated: 2007/10/24 15:31
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: Return of the Sudden Acceleration Issue
I'm not thrilled about drive-by-wire technology... In the future, you will start to see a lot of drive-by-wire steering systems, too. Imagine that: NO mechanical linkage between your hands & the tires!

Scared, yet?
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