The Jeep Grand Cherokee L is the latest SUV to join the brand’s growing lineup, but that expansion hasn’t come without growing pains. The last hiccup is a reminder for certain models equipped with Intelligent Light Modules (SLMs). An incomplete SLM software update can render one or both of the headlights inoperative, and that’s worse than bad because it’s illegal. Federal law requires cars to have working headlights, so Jeep is issuing a recall.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the potential number of affected units stands at nearly 37,000. The agency’s recall report is sparse, failing to clarify the issue beyond the basics. . Inoperative headlights make sight and visibility difficult, which is very dangerous. Jeep will begin notifying owners by mail starting January 28, 2022. The company will direct owners to their dealers, who will reprogram the software for free.
This is the second recall of the model linked to its headlights since its introduction earlier this year. In October, the company recalled SUVs not equipped with automatic high beams for an issue that made it difficult to activate the high beams. However, it was a small recall that affected just over 7,000 vehicles. The new Grand Cherokee L also suffered from the continued shortage of chips, which forced the automaker to build the model without its Quadra-Lift air suspension.
This is probably the start of a trend that we will see in the years to come where simple software updates render vital vehicle systems inoperable. Large swathes of the internet have been cut off due to poor software updates, and we should expect similar events and issues with cars in the future. No one’s code is perfect and human error exists. Not having working headlights is a pain, especially for many who live in places where nighttime darkness strikes during the evening drive home.