Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Update: Owners Report Significant Lag, Hesitation After AEM Software Fix

Concerns are rolling in regarding the EcoDiesel’s performance after the approved emissions software update.

Some described the hesitation as “dangerous”.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten several e-mails concerning owners of older 2014 – 2016 Jeep and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel vehicles. After we published an article on affected Ram trucks over on TFLtruck.com, we heard even more feedback from Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel owners who have significant acceleration lag and hesitation after taking their vehicles to dealers to install the AEM (Approved Emissions Modification) update.

Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel. [Photo: FCA]

After reaching a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, FCA began installing a software update on 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models equipped with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engines. The company also provided an extended warranty for each eligible vehicle that received the AEM update. The warranty provides coverage for “the greater of (i) 10 years from the initial date of sale or 120,000 actual miles on the vehicle odometer, whichever comes first; and (ii) 4 years or 48,000 miles from the date and mileage of installing the [AEM] on the vehicle, whichever comes first,” per the Mopar website.

Customers are also supposed to receive cash compensation from FCA of up to $3,075 to eligible class members who file a claim. Some owners have reported slow movement on receiving compensation for their valid claims. More critically, however, owners have reported the hesitation problems after installing the update. Dozens of Ram and Jeep owners have reached out to TFLtruck, while some also state the acceleration lag as being a dangerous issue, particularly while trying to maneuver in traffic.

FCA response

UPDATE 8/5/2019: FCA responded to our request for comment. They did not have anything specific to add at this time, but did point us toward their May 3, 2019 statement on the settlement with the EPA and CARB. In it, they emphasize that, “The settlements contain no findings of wrongdoing, nor any admission of any wrongdoing, by FCA US.”

The statement clarifies the compensation scheme, saying that owners can receive up to $3,075 in cash for their claim. Lessees are entitled to receive up to $990. According to FCA, “The software update does not affect average fuel economy, drivability, durability, engine noise, vibration, or other driving characteristics of the vehicles.”

Owner reports

In the meantime, let’s look at some words from owners as first-hand reports roll in. The first comes from Kevin in Holland, Massachusetts. He considers the problem more of a minor annoyance than out and out concern.

“I had the AEM done at 160,000 miles. The Jeep now has a lag or hesitation coming off idle that it did not have before the update.  I don’t particularity like it, but I guess I can live with it.”


Kevin from Holland, MA

Others noted other quality of life issues after the update as well. According to one owner, you can no longer open the door while the truck is in drive or reverse. On top of that, the same owner also noticed acceleration lag after the recall repair. Particularly, it’s an issue in more extreme temperatures:

“One of the major differences is the turbo lag when accelerating very noticeable after the recall. It seems really bad in hot weather.
Also when towing a trailer and backing it up I like to open the drivers door and stick my head out a little bit to see better. with the recall now, it does not let you do that anymore. that you cannot open the door with truck is in drive or reverse anymore.


Other than that I have not noticed any other issues after recall.

Mike

The update doesn’t seem to have just affected the vehicles in hot weather, either. Another owner says his vehicle is “Dangerously slow” when cold, and says he’ll sell it after receiving his cash compensation from FCA.

“[I] agree with the assessments that the vehicle changed drastically. I have to enter a busy street every time I leave home. [For the] first few days I almost was hit every time I went out there. Now I figured a way to merge into traffic. I press on the brake hard, rev the engine above 2,300 rpm and then let go of the brake. It gets me across the street the way the Ram used to be.


I’ll be selling it as soon as I get my 3K. I don’t like my wife driving it. Too dangerous. The benefits of the diesel have been ruined.

Edgar

Carl from Bozeman, Montana also experiences significant turbo lag when accelerating into traffic in his Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel:=

“Since I got the emissions update I too have experienced turbo lag and have had problems pulling into traffic.  The lag is probably one second, but is enough to be very dangerous when pulling into traffic.”

Carl from Bozeman, MT

Not every owner reported issues

While there have been dozens of owners getting in touch with us, not all of them have negative comments after the AEM update. A few, like the owner below, says he took his Jeep Grand Cherokee in three months ago. Since then, there hasn’t been a noticeable change in performance or fuel economy.

“My 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited EcoDiesel underwent the required software modification three months ago. There has been absolutely no difference in performance, economy, and power delivery whilst driving under any conditions including towing a 6,000 lb. travel trailer. Odometer reading at time of modification was 29,250 miles.”

Stephen P.

Again, we’re still receiving e-mails from EcoDiesel owners, and will update these posts accordingly. Let us know in the comments if you’ve had issues with your EcoDiesel Jeep or Ram! Stay tuned to TFLcar.com and TFLtruck.com for more updates.