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Jeep to repair SUVs that showed warning lights after recall fix

by Justin King

Chrysler claims software update simply revealed previously-undetected faults unrelated to the fix.

Facing complaints that a recall fix caused some Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander models to subsequently malfunction, Chrysler has denied a causal relation but promises to pay for repair costs in some cases.

The issue starts with a recall last year that affected nearly a half million 2005-2012 Grand Cherokees and 2006-2010 Commanders, which were vulnerable to problems with the circuit board on their NVG 245 transfer case. The company decided to address the issue with a software update to prevent accidental shifting into neutral due to cracked boards.

After bringing their Jeeps in to have the final-drive controller reflashed, more than a few owners reportedly encountered "4WD system error" faults and loss of low-range 4WD mode.

Some of the affected vehicles are said to have required a new transfer-case actuator to be installed. Other owners reverted back to old software and claimed that the 4WD warning lights went off and 4WD-low functionality was restored, albeit with the risk of neutral rollaway.

"The update has no bearing on the root cause of the warning-light activation," the company said in a statement posted by Autoweek. "Chrysler Group engineers developed the software update, which prevents an inadvertent transfer-case shift and also enables identification of a pre-existing electrical fault that was previously undetectable."

Despite the denial of responsibility for breaking Jeeps that left the service centers with new warning lights illuminated, Chrysler will cover repair costs "on a case-by-case basis."

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