Electrical Nightmares Thanks to a Faulty TIPM

If you've heard of a TIPM, chances are you own a vehicle from Fiat-Chrysler (FCA). Think of it like a command center for all the electrical functions of your car, and in FCA's case a very, very disfunctional one.

Your car’s totally integrated power module (TIPM) is the electrical command center. Want the fuel pump to get gas from the tank to the engine? You need a working TIPM. Want to roll down the windows? Unless you have a hand-crank, you’re going to need a TIPM. Headlights, radio, electronic throttle control … TIPM, TIPM, TIPM.

That’s a long-winded way of saying the TIPM is very important. So when something goes wrong with the TIPM, you’re going to wish we were back in the horse n’ buggy days.

What Happens When a TIPM Fails?

By some estimates, hundreds of thousands of Fiat-Chrysler vehicles from the 2007–2015 model years have defective TIPMs. This includes the Liberty, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler.

Typical problems include:

  • The fuel pump not turning off and burning out
  • The airbags not deploying OR deploying randomly
  • The engine stalling while driving
  • The starter cranks but won’t start
  • The horn going off at random times
  • Power windows not working
  • Doors locking or unlocking themselves

In other words, a faulty TIPM makes your car feel possessed.

“Chrysler’s TIPM is a computer run amuck – owners report that their vehicles act as if possessed and leave them in dangerous situations – stalled vehicles stranded without warning on the highway, fuel pumps that won’t shut off, windows that open and shut, airbags that won’t deploy. — Center for Auto Safety Director, Clarence Ditlow”

Jeep TIPM Problems

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) filed a petition asking NHTSA to investigate alleged problems with Totally Integrated Power Modules (TIPMs) installed in Chrysler vehicles since 2007. Nearly a year later, that petition was denied.

The following Jeeps have reported TIPM problems:

Make Model Generation
Jeep Grand Cherokee Gen 3 (2007-2010) and Gen 4 (2011-2015)
  Liberty Gen 1 (2007) and Gen 2 (2008-2012) 
  Wrangler Gen 3 (2007-2015)

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee has the most TIPM-related complaints on CarComplaints.com. Owners report an average TIPM repair cost of $1,200 with many reports occurring under 40,000 miles.

Chrysler’s TIPM Recalls

  1. In July of 2007, Chrysler issued a recall for the 2007 Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro. The vehicles were stalling out and Chrysler placed the blame on a timing error inside the TIPM.
  2. In July of 2013, Chrysler recalled vehicles with airbags that weren’t deploying. The fix involved “reflashing the TIPM.”
  3. Facing pressure from consumers, organizations like CAS, and pending lawsuits, FCA issued a recall for certain Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokees with faulty TIPMs in September of 2014.
  4. In February, 2015 FCA issued another recall of defective TIPMs in 2012-13 Durangos that were causing fuel pump relay problems.

The recalls only cover 2011 Grand Cherokees (built 01/05/2010 - 07/20/2011) and 2007 Wranglers.

Jeep TIPM Settlement

If you own a 2011, 2012, or 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, there’s good news. Girard Gibbs, LLP reached a proposed settlement10 with FCA to end a pending TIPM lawsuit1. The settlement includes:

  • Free fuel pump relay repairs
  • An extended warranty on fuel pump repairs up to 7 years / 70,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Reimbursement for previous TIPM replacements, diagnostics, and rental car expenses.

Additional Settlement Details

  • Chrysler wants everyone to know they’re not admitting a defect or a liability exists and they’re only settling to “avoid costly long-term litigation.” Whatever makes you sleep at night, guys.
  • Chrysler acknowledges that finalization of the terms of the agreement is based on a voluntary recall of 2012–2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs to install a stronger pump relay external to the TIPM–7
  • Reimbursement costs can go up to $1,200.

A National Backorder of TIPMs

Of course, it’s not all rosy. The problem is so widespread that replacement TIPMs are on national backorder! Chrysler remains silent while owners are left scrambling to pay for and order the part.

One Flower Mound, Texas Jeep owner told CarComplaints.com what it’s like trying to get the needed replacement part:

“The part is on backorder for MONTHS! And, Jeep Chrysler does not care about its customers. We have been told that it will take 2–4 weeks for the part to arrive, and we are not being provided a free rental during this time. We are expected to wait a month, which from what I have read on forums, etc., may not be true, but more than likely will be 2 or 3 months, for the vehicle to be repaired.”

  1. Velasco et al. v. Chrysler Group LLC, Case No. 2:13-cv-08080 

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint

  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify the CAS

  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA

  4. Contact Jeep

    Jeep Support

    Jeep Customer Center P.O. Box 21-8004 Auburn Hills MI 48321-8004 USA

    This site is not affiliated with Jeep.