A lack of parts and support from the FCA has caused some real issues.
The second-generation Jeep Liberty may not have been a ground-breaking model but its chunky design and solid underpinnings appealed to many and it was a solid seller, averaging over 60,000 units annually during its five-year production run. It was discontinued in 2012 and many are still on the roads today. Yet despite their popularity, some owners are starting to get rather irate due to issues with the Jeep’s SkySlider roof.
NBC Miami was contacted by one owner, Allan Tavss, who has had endless problems with his roof mechanism since he bought the car new. Despite having been for repair under warranty twice before, the roof has never been right. Tavvs complained that it has now completely stopped working, is noisy on the expressway and leaks when it rains.
These complaints are not unique to Tavvs and the NHTSA has 14 unique structural component issues listed on its site, and most of the 140 complaints in that category are regarding the SkySlider roof. Aside from the noise and leaking issue, some owners have even had the entire roof mechanism separate from the roof and fly off. One would assume that Fiat Chrysler would do all in its power to offer the affected owners a solution to this problem. The company regularly carries out mass recalls for various models, yet things are apparently not so simple.
FCA told NBC Miami that "We have no inventory left in our dealer network. We have exhausted all resources in trying to locate a solution." Essentially, there are no suppliers currently manufacturing this part. After doing some digging themselves, NBC found that while the part may be listed on some sites as available, there simply isn’t stock of it anywhere. FCA said that the supplier who once made the parts is now no longer in business.
When they interviewed Julio Martinez, a mechanic at All Import Tech, he said that since the Jeep Liberty models are no longer covered under a warranty, the manufacturer is no longer obliged to stock parts for it. While this situation does happen, there are usually a number of aftermarket options available to customers.
In the case of Jeep Liberty owners, the only solution Martinez has found is to customize the entire roof so that the unavailable parts are bypassed. While this may be a costly exercise, selling a car with a faulty roof mechanism could reduce its value by an even larger amount. We can only hope that this is not the beginning of a string of cases where major auto manufacturers leave their loyal customers high and dry, or in this case wet, thanks to the leaking roof.