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Cherokee Nightmare

10799 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Gurgle
In late June 2018 I bought a 2019, 6 cylinder latitude 4x4. The day I drove it off the lot a check engine light came on. I have a reader that connects to my phone it said 2 errors "Engine too lean & Catalyst System below threshold. I made an appointment for service. By the time the of the service appointment a week later the error disappeared. So after talking to the service rep, I cancelled the appointment. August came and the problem appeared again this time just the threshold error. I took it in and the rep saw the error, but it disappeared so they did nothing. Then the nightmare began. The light came back on immediately after driving to work the next day. Took it back and they replaced one of the catalytic converters. They said stuff was coming out of it. Drove it for a couple days then same error but this time the engine was making awful noises. The service department said they thought there was water in the gas and wanted to charge me $400 to remove the tank and empty it. No water! They checked the oil and found metal in it. It took them until late October to replace the engine over 2 months. I get the vehicle back and sure enough next day check engine light, catalyst threshold. I take it back and after a couple days they said they replaced the O2 sensor. I don't make the 10 miles home and the light comes on again. This time I write a letter to the dealership owner listing the problems I had. Including them forgetting to put the access cover to the oil on the engine. Them testing it and emptying a full tank and giving it back empty, dirty and 445 extra miles on it. This is not the first such testing, they have put as many miles or more than I did on it. Last time I checked it had 5448 miles on it. But I wouldn't know because I gave them a last chance to fix it in 10 days on Nov 1st. I have not seen the vehicle since. After the 10 days I sent a form letter to FCA notifying them that they were well past VA lemon law and requested a new vehicle. Two weeks ago I received a call from a rep saying to call the service manager at the dealer and he would call me the next Monday. I called the service manager and he said they were working with Chrysler Engineers because though they fixed the catalyst issue by replacing the entire system, now they have a "communication issue with the transmission". I have not heard anything back from the Chrysler rep at all. I guess he just wanted to say hi because that is all he ever really communicated, that and a broken promise to call me. I have not had possession of the vehicle in months and have been paying payments, property taxes and interest on it. It has been a nightmare and FCA has been no help at all!
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I'm avoiding getting a lawyer because then the case gets sent to arbitration and from what I have seen it could take months more. That is coming from the lemon law lawyers site and googling others issues. I am under intense pressure from my significant other to lawyer up. My next move is to call the local news station they love this stuff. If I can be a squeaky wheel maybe they will figure out its in their best interest to settle this quickly. Especially since they have driven my vehicle with my back plate on it. And the same time I have the front plate on the back of my loaner. That is illegal in this state.
I'm not sure how the Lemon Law works in VA, but in GA, it is designed so that you don't need a lawyer. That being said, you need to do everything the Lemon Law requires to a T. Look it up on your state government website.

In GA, once you meet the definition of a lemon (one repair attempt for a serious safety defect, or three repair attempts for other defects, or a cumulative total of 25 days out of service), you can file a final repair attempt with FCA. This should be done in writing, via overnight delivery. In GA, you should also fax a copy to the State Attorney General's office, who administers state lemon law. Once received, FCA has 7 days to respond in writing to you. In my case, they set up an appointment at the dealer with a factory rep there to go over the issue. They then have 14 days to resolve the issue. If not resolved after that time frame, in GA, you are allowed to request either a repurchase of the vehicle, or a replacement vehicle. Check your state laws because in GA, a repurchase requires that you are responsible for mileage that you have put on the vehicle. They basically deduct a per mile amount from the amount that you receive when your vehicle is repurchased. If you select the replacement method in GA, no per mile amount is assessed and there should be no out of pocket expense to the customer (taxes, fees, etc.) if you select an exact replacement. In my case, I selected a vehicle with more options, so I simply paid the difference in MSRP between the 2 vehicles (basically...I paid a little less because FCA did some good-will stuff for me) and the difference in taxes.

At no point in time did I feel like FCA was ignoring me, or trying to take advantage. I simply followed the lemon law process outlined by the state Attorney General to the letter, and everything worked out great. I am a happy FCA customer.
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Ahh, here's the difference, directly from the VA website:

"Virginia has a "Lemon Law." It is called the Virginia Motor Vehicle Warranty Enforcement Act.
Read Virginia’s “Lemon Law”

This law establishes a “lemon law” rights period ending 18 months after the date of the vehicle’s original delivery to the consumer. The provisions of Virginia's “Lemon Law” are enforceable by private action brought by the consumer, not by a governmental agency.

In GA, if the manufacturer doesn't behave, the Attorney General's office gets involved. VA law doesn't appear to be as consumer friendly.

Personally, I would stay the course with working the lemon law case through. As soon as you mention the word lawyer to anyone, they will stop talking to you and make everything go through your lawyer and FCA counsel. In my case, I got MUCH more with honey than with vinegar. I just had to be patient, and follow the process all the way through. I bought a '18 in mid-October of 2017, and started having issues with it. First visit to the dealer was Nov 2017, and it was in/out of the shop for more than 25 days. I filed final repair attempt paperwork in the beginning of Feb this year, and I finally picked up my new vehicle on April 5, so the process takes a while.
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If the specific issue that they say is fixed comes back, as long as you are in your rights period, you pick up exactly where you left off.

If a new problem comes up, that is treated as such...a new "non conformity".

I would suggest contacting the AG office in VA and asking their advice on the matter. No, it's not legal advice, but they are there to protect consumers, so see what they have to say.
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