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5 Jeep Grand Cherokee Years to Avoid: Models to Steer Clear

5 Jeep Grand Cherokee Years to Avoid: Models to Steer Clear

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a popular SUV that was first introduced in 1993. It was designed with a rugged exterior, and its off-roading capabilities are phenomenal. The latest models come with a range of impressive features and high-tech gadgets that enhance the vehicle’s popularity, but this wasn’t the case for some past models.

Years to avoid are based on the years that the model of the time received the most complaints. For the Grand Cherokee, this would be in 2011, 2014, and 2015, where the vehicle received a total of 1,467 complaints in total, most of these relating to electrical complications.

This is a pretty huge number and actually means that the Cherokee counts for over a fifth of Jeep’s overall complaints over the years.

Jeep Grand Cherokee – Complaints by Year

Jeep Grand Cherokee - Complaints by Year

With such a high number of complaints made during these three years, it’s crucial that when you’re in the market for a Grand Cherokee, you steer clear of the ones that encounter the most problems and receive the most complaints.

Below you’ll find the lowdown of each malfunction the car came up against and how many complaints were received yearly.

Model YearComplaints Received


Jeep Grand Cherokee - 2005

The 2005 model of the Grand Cherokee comes with its fair share of downsides.

One of the most commonly received complaints was regarding the steering system, which was loudly clicking. This was due to an obstruction between the turn signal lever and the cancel cam when the wheel was turned.

There were also reports of a hissing sound when the brakes were pressed, which related to friction surrounding the wheel bearings.

Lastly, one of the most concerning complaints was the severe transmission problems that caused the car to be recalled. This issue meant that the vehicle would either become stuck in gear and not move or have problems with acceleration.

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Transmission failure
  2. Engine fails to crank
  3. Electronic failures
  4. Faulty cooling system meaning only the passenger side worked
  5. Key failing to turn in the ignition
  6. The braking system causing the brakes to jam
  7. Water leaks from handles and glove compartments in wet weather


755 is a considerable number when we’re talking about complaints, which tells us that out of the years to avoid, this is one you should most certainly steer well clear of, or it could end up costing a lot more than you bargained for.

The main setback with the 2011 model of the Cherokee was issued with the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM), which was not starting. This complaint alone was received by over 200 people.

Another issue reported was with the engine. In fact, they received so many complaints regarding this that it called for a class-action lawsuit. Jeep quickly resolved this issue, as you can imagine, and by the following year, complaints had reduced by 80%.

You can kind of forgive this for being such a disaster year, as it was the first model of the fourth generation, but one thing’s for sure, the 2011 Grand Cherokee should be avoided at all costs, so if you had your heart set on this model, it might be time to look for alternatives.

Reasons to Avoid

  1. TIPM Failure
  2. Central brake booster
  3. Interior styling
  4. Electrical Wiring


Jeep Grand Cherokee - 2013

While 2013 wasn’t the worst year for purchasing a Grand Cherokee, it still received a high number of complaints surrounding various issues.

The most common problem with this model was the fuel pump, which owners claimed was causing the vehicle to stall regularly.

Another pretty major concern at the time was the stiffening of the brake pedal. This was related to the booster failure.

There were multiple reports of electrical problems affecting the car’s dashboard system, heating, and air conditioning.

Some owners also experienced the Cherokee not starting.

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Trouble turning over/starting
  2. Electrical issues were affecting multiple parts of the car, including the dashboard
  3. Fuel pump relay failure
  4. Air conditioning/heating problems


Another model of the fourth generation is the 2014 Grand Cherokee. The model had a more dynamic engine, a more stylish interior, and an enhanced electrical configuration.

However, this doesn’t mean it wasn’t free from issues. In fact, there were almost 500 complaints received regarding the vehicle engine, braking system, and interior.

The biggest Achilles heel of this model, however, was the gearbox. It had significant issues with the transmission, which caused unpredictable and jarring gear changes, which was not only a huge frustration, but a potentially serious hazard too.

There were even reports of injuries caused by rolling vehicles caused by the fault shift from park to drive, making the entire safety of this vehicle extremely questionable for potential owners.

In total, there were 12 recalls for the model for various reasons.

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Defective airbag automatically disabling
  2. Brake fluid Leaks
  3. Engine faults
  4. Brake Booster Shield Corrosion
  5. Stalling due to alternator failure
  6. Software failure
  7. Transmission making parking difficult due to gears not locking in place
  8. Speed control (vehicle accelerating unaided)


Unfortunately, Jeep didn’t seem to recover well after the disasters that occurred with the 2014 model, and a lot of the same issues crept into the design of the 2015 Grand Cherokee. On top of that, thrown into the mix, were a bunch of new errors that occurred too.

Some of the same electronic faults appeared in the 2015 model as had happened before, causing problems with the control system.

You’d think the hazardous gear shift would have improved after such severity, wouldn’t you? But no. This was a recurring issue, which still meant that putting the car into the park was a challenge and often failed altogether.

Another problem that reared its head following 2014 was the brake fluid lead from the engine, another hazard for potential owners and other road users as it meant the brakes needed to be applied prematurely to avoid accidents.

Reasons to Avoid

  1. Electronic failures
  2. Brake fluid leakage
  3. Faulty transmission
  4. Wiring system
  5. Suspension affecting rear-end stability
  6. Hydraulics causing brake caliper to break easily

Closing Thoughts on The Jeep Grand Cherokee Years to Avoid

While generally speaking, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is a reliable and outstanding piece of machinery and a dream to drive; it has had to jump over some pretty big hurdles to become what we know it as today. 

Despite the many recalls and setbacks the Cherokee has encountered, thankfully, in later, they’ve only got better and better.

So far, in 2023, we aren’t aware of any recent recalls or complaints.

If you’re considering investing in a Grand Cherokee, be mindful of the make, model, and year. For example, the 2010, 2017, and 2017 are up there with some of the most trusted.