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Newsletter Vol. 2
Newsletter Index | Lead Poisoning | What You Need to Know About Breast Cancer
An Ounce of Prevention | Jeep Cherokee Safety Alert

IN YOUR CORNER

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Consumer Corner: Jeep Cherokee Safety Alert

By John Bonina

Jeep Cherokee Safety Alert

 

How many times have drivers momentarily exited their vehicles while the car is in park, just to get an item out of the trunk, open a garage door or secure a toddler in a child seat?
 
Of course people do this all the time, without any thought or concern for safety. After all, the car is in park, and therefore it will not move. Or so one would think. 
 
However, if you own a Jeep Cherokee in the model years 1995 to 1999, you should be aware that the vehicle can shift on its own from park into reverse, causing serious injury to the driver, passengers, or anyone standing behind the vehicle when this occurs.
 
Due to a design flaw in the transmission and the gear shift mechanism, the gear shift gives the illusion of being in park, when in fact it may be “in limbo” between park and reverse. 

Because the gear shift indicates that the car is in park, the driver feels safe exiting the vehicle to perform a quick task. Then disaster strikes. The gear shift slips into reverse, and the large SUV is propelled backwards, wreaking havoc upon the driver, passersby, or anything else in its way.
 
Daimler Chrysler last year instituted a recall on 1991 to 1992 Dodge Dakota Pick-Ups, which had the same type of gear shift mechanism, but has yet to recall the affected Jeep Cherokees. 
 
This is despite scores of complaints and accidents involving what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has referred to as “inadvertent roll away in reverse.”

Although Chrysler has not yet instituted a recall, they did change the design on the gear shift mechanism in the 2000 and 2001 models, essentially admitting that the safer design was feasible on the earlier models.
 
At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have already begun litigation against Daimler Chrysler, on behalf of individuals whose lives have been torn apart by this design flaw. 
 
If you or someone you know has been affected or injured by a Jeep Cherokee, please contact us at 1-888-MEDLAW-1. For more information about our firm, or for a link to the NHTSA website, please visit our links page.

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