One Jeep Grand Cherokee owner is afraid due to an interior power failure issue that leaves her driving in the dark. The Morning Call reports that Sandy Busedu experiences this issue about once a week; the interior power failure turns off the dashboard instruments and interior dome lights, radio and heater. Ms. Busedu is unable to see how fast she is driving when this happens. Furthermore, it appears that she is not the only one to experience this issue.
“Now it’s occurring more often and I’m afraid to go on a long-distance drive,” she said to The Morning Call.
“Everything inside the car went black,” she told The Morning Call, describing the power failure that occurred on Thanksgiving as she was driving with her brother. “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.
Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said to The Morning Call that there is no recall campaign for this issue. Busedu should take her vehicle to a dealer, he said.
Complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that other 2006 Grand Cherokee owners have experienced this issue as well, The Morning Call reports. Roughly 30 complaints in the last two years cite 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, an issue that is under recall and affects 2005-2007 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Jeep Commanders. The faulty ignition switch can slip out of place during driving and cut power to the engine, power steering and braking assist.
Mayne says the interior power failure problem is not related to the ignition switch recall. Busedu, however, believes otherwise; she 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.”
Other Jeeps owners also believe 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,”