The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating hundreds of thousands of Stellantis vehicles for reports of loss in braking performance and unexpected loss of power. Though not a recall, the investigation could result in one, though thankfully, none of the dozens of reported incidents resulted in a crash or injury.
The probe comes after Jeep received 15 complaints about the 2019-2020 Compass, which stated that the SUVs shut off unexpectedly and displayed warnings messages afterward. The Compass showed coolant temperature warnings but would behave normally after the restart, but one owner reported needing a tow.
Unsurprisingly, owners have taken to the internet to complain. One posted on the MyJeepCompass forum, saying the error messages are not related to an actual overheating event but still cause the Compass Trailhawk to shut down. They said the issue happens at any time of day and is not affected by being cold. Concerningly, they note that the vehicle shuts down at traffic lights and while driving on the highway, stating that the vehicle temporarily locks up and can stop abruptly. It’s not hard to see how that could turn out badly at highway speeds.
In addition to the 230,000 Jeep Compasses being investigated, the NHTSA is also hot on the trail of an issue affecting almost 400,000 Ram trucks. Reports for those trucks say the Ram 2500 and 3500 from 2019 and 2020 sometimes experience intermittent loss of braking power. Some have said that replacing the ABS module and hydraulic control unit fixed the problem, but there’s no official statement on that yet.
It’s worth noting that neither the Compass nor the Ram trucks have been recalled yet. These investigations could result in a recall, which would then lead to a fix, but for now, NHTSA is gathering facts.