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My Jeep drifted while in park and hit another car

Help! I got my 2004 jeep wrangler “serviced”…ie brakes, all fluids, transmission services, etc…

four days later, while idling in PARK (fully in park, i swear) it sat still for about two minutes and then drifted backwards into another car. Now $5k in damages later, three witnesses and a police report later, the dealership that “serviced” my jeep… says it is impossible… HELP?? any suggestions as to why this happened?

Your AT slipped into gear. Never happened to me, though I’ve heard of it happening.

Clearly, though, if idle power was enough to do damage, you couldn’t have had the parking brake on or have had the wheels curbed.

I See A Recall For Transmission “PARK” Problems For 2005-2006 Wranglers, But Not 2004.

This is from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website.


"[i]Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
CHRYSLER / 300 2005-2006

     DODGE / CHARGER     2006

     DODGE / DAKOTA     2005

     DODGE / DURANGO     2005-2006

     DODGE / MAGNUM     2005-2006

     JEEP / LIBERTY     2005

     JEEP / LIBERTY 4X4     2006

     JEEP / WRANGLER     2005-2006

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V460000
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PICKUP TRUCKS, SPORT UTILITY AND PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 42RLE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS, THE CUP PLUG THAT RETAINS THE PARK PAWL ANCHOR SHAFT MAY BE IMPROPERLY INSTALLED. IF THE SHAFT MOVES OUT OF POSITION, THE VEHICLE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ACHIEVE ‘PARK’ POSITION.
Consequence:
IF THIS OCCURS AND THE PARKING BRAKE IS NOT APPLIED, THE VEHICLE MAY ROLL AWAY AND CAUSE A CRASH WITHOUT WARNING. [/i]"


Here’s a link to their website. Click this:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/

CSA

Just one more example why you should always use the parking brake. It is not an emergencies, it is a parking brake. If you ever loose your brakes and try to stop with the parking brake, you know what I mean.

Relying on it to keep you car from moving when parked without the parking brake can also damage the transmission.

It is best to stop the car with the service brake, apply the parking brake and then shift into park.

thank you! very helpful :slight_smile:

It is hard to understand why you did not step on the brake. For these “car acted on its own posts” all parts of the story must fit exactly with no holes in the story for me to concentrate on a vehicle failure instead of a normal driver induced accident.

Your story has a hole in it in regards to how the car got up so much speed or rolled so far with you sitting in the drivers seat,how could this happen? as soon as the car started to move, normaly you would step on the brake you must explain this for the finger to be pointed at the car.

If it is worth it to you perhaps a transmission disassembly and inspection could provide extra clues.

I guess my story does have a hole in it…
I WASN"T IN THE CAR
I got out of the car for about four minutes, it rolled away (running and in park, but i do admit no parking brake. lesson learned the hard way) while I was running in the house to give something to my teenager.

Considering the height of Jeep Wrangler bumpers, it probably didn’t have to gain much speed to do a lot of damage.

What kind of vehicle did it hit?

“I got out of the car for about four minutes, it rolled away…”

I can’t imaging that anyone would leave the car without engaging the parking brake. If you live in Maryland, leaving the car without setting the parking brake is illegal.

I must agree the parking brake should have been applied (firmly). Etc, etc, etc.

I’m also going to suggest the parking pawl is either bent or broken due to NOT using the parking brake.

If I’m right, that answers the shifter jumping into reverse, thanks to the help of a vibrating running engine.

I did get a ticket, and have seriously learned my parking brake lesson! I guess i need to have the parking pawl checked out now. thank you everyone. very helpful.

I Don’t Know A Jeep From A Sheep.

What I wonder is what’s different about the 2005-2006 Wrangler transmissions compared with the 2004 or earlier ones?

Did this recall hit all the problem transmissions or does it need to evolve or expand to cover some earlier years? I believe there have been recalls in the past that were made to be more encompassing after the initial campaign. Right?

You can blame people for not setting the Parking-Brake in addition to putting the vehicle in Park. However, vehicle flaws triggered a RECALL in 05-06 parking pawl installations. Did the Feds get them all?

CSA

Other than agreeing with everyone, let me add something about Recalls.
There are a lot of politics involved in recall procedures and car makers usually fight the recall process tooth and nail.

To go along with CSA’s comment, often times recalls are issued for certain year models, a certain VIN range, etc.
This does not mean that vehicles out of that year or VIN range do not suffer from the same problem. It’s due to what I guess you could call “averaging” and trying to cover a range of vehicles where there has been the most complaints.

Unfortunately, with the '04 models being excluded and considering the Chrysler financial situation it’s unlikely you could push this matter and get any reimbursement from Chrysler without wading into a time consuming and expensive legal mess.

And the dealer is flat wrong if they say this problem cannot happen. It happens quite frequently and has happened over the years with other makes.
My memory is hazy on this but it seems like back in the 80s there was a rash of Crown Vics popping out of park and taking off with some national news stories on TV about this.

If by “dealer” you mean a white-shirted service writer or manager then don’t put much faith into what those guys say. The vast majority are mechanically clueless and a transmission tech might say something a lot different.

OK, Vehicle Owners Should Be Encouraged To File A Complaint On The NHTSA Web Site.

As you know, a certain number of similar complaints dealing with a safety problem will trigger an investigation and could result in a recall.

Government run car companies should be able to handle Government ordered recalls. It’s a case of being shot by one’s own gun.

I do recall that “slipping out of park” epidemic you’re talking about.

CSA