ATLANTA - Jeep owners in Georgia and several other states complain they paid extra for fancy interiors that are now coming apart at the seams.
Consumer investigator Jim Strickland spoke with a driver who knows the problem first hand.
"It looks trashed. Obviously it's defective," said owner Richard Jones of Gwinnett County.
The leather-covered dash inside his 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee started bubbling two months ago. The SUV has the Outlander Summit trim package. The car is now out of warranty.
"The initial cost just for the part is $1,185 not counting 3.5 hours of labor," he said while showing Strickland the repair estimate from a local dealer.
Strickland found pictures and postings from Jeep owners with the same story at carcomplaints.com. Most of the complaints come from southern states, but there is a smattering from New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
"If Chrysler's having this kind of problem with multiple vehciles in different states, there is a deep-down problem," said Jones.
Jones said Fiat Chrysler denied his request for a free repair due to his car being out of warranty.
Strickland sent pictures of dashes to my press contacts at headquarters in Michigan. Late Thursday afternoon he received this reply email:
“The 2011 Jeep Cherokee Overland Summit’s dashboard is made with real, natural leather. The manufacturer’s warranty would have covered wrinkled dashboard repairs for the original owner during the term of the warranty unless there was evidence of abuse. FCA US is aware of some dashboard complaints that are generally isolated to older vehicles outside of the warranty period. There are a variety of environmental factors which may impact the performance of the dashboard. The company is not aware of any reported injuries related to wrinkled dashboards. As with all out-of-warranty customer claims, FCA reviews each case on an individual basis with the goal of satisfying our customer.”
Strickland has told the company would reach out to Jones.
"It's obviously defective, and it should be covered," he said.