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I have a 2007 Jeep Commander...bought brand new 3 months ago (i know, its an '07 model, but its still new). Currently only 2000 miles on it. This morning, I was taking my daughter out to my in-laws to drop her off for the day. I put the car in park, got out, unhooked my daughter from her car seat, brought her over to my father in law only to look back and see my Jeep driving forward into the yard and proceeded to smash into his tractor 100 yds away. How did this happen? The Jeep was in PARK!?

I am posting here because I am curious to know if anyone else has had similar experiences with their Jeeps. It only happened today and I can already see the blame game starting on both ends...insurance company as well as the Jeep dealer. Even if I get my jeep back now, I will always be hesitant to drive it again. Has anyone else experienced the gear slipping out of park and into drive? I have researched this today and found other cases where it slipped into reverse, but my situation shows that it slipped from park into drive. Very disconcerning...any help or info would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

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This is the first time this issue has been reported here. There have been some reports of unintended acceleration, but those were with someone in the car driving.
 

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never heard of that either.........maybe the selector was not in either gear and sitting inbetween....................it finally fell into drive

????
 

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I am by no means calling you a liar, but how can a vehicle go from park to drive without going into reverse first. Now it would make a lot more sense if you said the vehicle was in park and started driving backwards into something. Obviously there is something extreemly wrong with the vehicle.
 

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What physical position was the shifter in when you got to the vehicle ?
 

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My guess is since this vehicle is new to you that you improperly used the gear selector and your XK was not in park.
 

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my guess is since this vehicle is new to you that you improperly used the gear selector and your xk was not in park.
x2...................
 

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does anyone know if the shifter is physically attached to the transmission in the commander? i ask because there are several cars on the market today with limited drive-by-wire capabilities. if the jeep's shifter module is truly just a series of switches in a drive-by-wire system then what the op described is very possible.
 

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does anyone know if the shifter is physically attached to the transmission in the commander? i ask because there are several cars on the market today with limited drive-by-wire capabilities. if the jeep's shifter module is truly just a series of switches in a drive-by-wire system then what the op described is very possible.
It has been said on here that the HEMIs accelerator is drive by wire (no cable) but I don't know about the transmission. The 3.7 and 4.7 have accelerator cables.
 

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i know in many of the newer vehicles with the "manual" automatic transmissions this is how it is done since it allows the manufacturers to put in safety measures to keep idiots from actually downshifting into first gear at 70. if it had an actual physical shifter then you could force it into a gear that may not be healthy for you or your vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am by no means calling you a liar, but how can a vehicle go from park to drive without going into reverse first. Now it would make a lot more sense if you said the vehicle was in park and started driving backwards into something. Obviously there is something extreemly wrong with the vehicle.

Yeah...I am puzzled by this as well. You would think that if it was not properly settled in park that the gear would shift down only to reverse, but how it got all the way down to drive is beyond me. It stayed in park for a good 2 minutes....then just burst into drive. It wasn't even idling in drive...it was almost like someone had their foot on the gas pedal. It wasn't going 50 mph or anything, but we could not catch up to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What physical position was the shifter in when you got to the vehicle ?

I was holding my child at the time...you will have to forgive me but I wasn't thinking of this...I was in complete shock of what just happened. My father in law was the one who climbed in the vehicle to turn it off. I spoke to him about it later in the day b/c I wanted to know this as well. He said the car was in PARK...all he did was turn the key off.
 

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Yeah...I am puzzled by this as well. You would think that if it was not properly settled in park that the gear would shift down only to reverse, but how it got all the way down to drive is beyond me. It stayed in park for a good 2 minutes....then just burst into drive. It wasn't even idling in drive...it was almost like someone had their foot on the gas pedal. It wasn't going 50 mph or anything, but we could not catch up to it.
YDidThisHappen said:
I spoke to him about it later in the day b/c I wanted to know this as well. He said the car was in PARK
In one post you are saying the stick was in drive and in the other you are saying it was in park. Are you a politician ?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My guess is since this vehicle is new to you that you improperly used the gear selector and your XK was not in park.

I don't know...I thought it was in park enough to get out of my car, open the back door, get my kid out and walk away. If I can do all that with the car running, doesn't that mean the car was in park?
 

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In one post you are saying the stick was in drive and in the other you are saying it was in park. Are you a politician ?

yes, u are right, sorry, I am being confusing. My father in law who was the 1st person to get to the car said he turned it off the car by turning the key. It was already in park. I was speculating to the poster of that message as to how and why it would move all the way into drive. I have to take my father in law's word that the car was in park when it was driving/
 

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I don't want to add any fuel to the fire, but I often turn my wife's commander off while it's still in the drive, reverse or neutral position. I tend to forget sometimes that it's an automatic and I'm not in my manual transmission wrangler. Heck, I have even turned the vehicle off with it in "gear" and started to get out and realized that the vehicle was starting to move.

Not saying this is what you did, but it's very possible. I should add, most of the time that I turn the vehicle off without thinking of shifting to park is when I have my 3 year old daughter in the back seat. She'll be ready to jump out of her car seat and I'll stop thinking to see what she's doing. Sorta scary.
 

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this is straight from the Jeep Commander service manual -
"Theory of Operation
Some controllers communicate with other controllers over the CAN C bus. The Shift Lever Assembly (SLA) contains
a Electronic Shift Module (ESM) that continuously monitors the bus activity and receives the messages it needs.
The CAN C bus is also used to communicate transmission MIL status to the Engine Controller.
Refer to 8-ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONIC CONTROL MODULES - DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING for diagnostic procedures
and for further possible causes.
21 - 22 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION NAG1 - SHIFTER DIAGNOSTICS XK"
 

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also from the Commander service manual -
"MECHANISM-SHIFT
DESCRIPTION
The automatic transmission is operated with the help
of a shift lever assembly (SLA) (1) located in the floor
console. There are four positions to which the selection
lever can be shifted: P, R, N, D. In addition, the
selector lever can be moved sideways (+/-) in position
9D9 to adjust the shift range.
All selector lever positions are identified by the SLA
and transmitted by a shift cable to the selector shaft in
the transmission.
The SLA is comprised of the following functions:
² Key lock: Depending on the selector lever position, the ignition cylinder is locked/unlocked, i.e., the ignition
key can be removed only if the selector lever is in position 9P9. A park lock cable is used to perform this
function.
² Park lock: The selector lever is not released from postion 9P9 until the brake pedal has been applied and the
ignition key is in ”ACC” or ON” positions. Shift lock is controlled by the brake light switch in conjunction with a
locking solenoid in the SLA. As soon as the brake pedal is applied firmly, the locking solenoid is de-energized
to unlock the selector lever.
OPERATION
With the selector lever in position 9D9, the transmission control module (TCM) automatically shifts the gears that are
best-suited to the current operating situation. This means that shifting of gears is continuously adjusted to current
driving and operating conditions in line with the selected shift range and the accelerator pedal position. Starting off
is always performed in 1st gear.
The current selector lever position or, if the shift range has been limited, the current shift range is indicated in the
instrument cluster display.
The permissible shifter positions and transmission operating ranges are:
² P = Parking lock and engine starting.
² R = Reverse.
² N = Neutral and engine starting (no power is transmitted to the axles).
² D = The shift range includes all forward gears.
The shift range can be adjusted to the current operating conditions by tipping the selector lever to the left-hand side
(9-9) or the right-hand side (9+9) when in position 9D9. If the shift range is limited, the display in the instrument cluster
indicates the selected shift range and not the currently engaged gear.
² 4= Shift range is limited to 4th gear.
² 3= Shift range is limited to 3rd gear.
² 2= Shift range is limited to 2nd gear.
² 1= Shift range is limited to 1st gear.
Tipping the shift lever will have the following results:
XK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - 545RFE - SERVICE INFORMATION 21 - 411
² Tipping the selector lever toward (-( one time after another: The shift range is reduced in descending
sequence by one gear each time, i.e., from D - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1. If the selected limitation of the shift range would
result in a downshift causing excessive engine speed, the shifting is not executed and the engaged gear as
well as the shift range remain unchanged. This is to prevent the engine from overspeeding. Engine retardation
is low with the selector lever in position 9D9. To make use of the full braking power of the engine, 9manual9
downshifting by tipping the lever towards the left-hand side is recommended. If this has been done, subsequent
upshifting must be carried out manually as well.
² Tipping the selector lever toward (-( and holding it in this position: The currently engaged gear in range
9D9 is indicated in the instrument cluster display and the shift range is limited to this gear.
² Tipping the selector lever toward (+( one time after another: The shift range is increased by one gear each
time and the increased shift range is displayed in the instrument cluster; possibly, the transmission upshifts to
a faster gear.
² Tipping the selector lever toward (+( several times: The shift range is increased by one gear each time the
lever is tipped until the shift range ends up in 9D9.
² Tipping the selector lever toward (+( and holding it in this position: The shift range is extended immediately
to 9D9, shift ranges are indicated in ascending sequence; possibly, the transmission upshifts to a faster
gear due to the extension of the shift range.
REMOVAL
1. Remove any necessary console parts for access to
shift lever assembly and shifter cables. (Refer to 23
- BODY/INTERIOR/FLOOR CONSOLE -
REMOVAL)
2. If necessary, remove the bolts holding the shield,
covering the gearshift and park lock cables, to the
shifter assembly and remove the shield.
3. Shift transmission into PARK.
4. Disconnect the transmission shift cable (3) at shift
lever (1).
5. Remove the shift cable retainer (4) from the notch
in the shifter assembly.
6. Verify the key is in the LOCK position and disconnect
the park lock cable (5) from the shifter
mechansim cam and the notch in the shifter
assembly.
21 - 412 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - 545RFE - SERVICE INFORMATION XK
7. Disengage all wiring connectors (2, 3) from the
shifter assembly (1).
8. Remove all bolts (2) holding the shifter assembly
(1) to the floor pan.
9. Remove the shifter assembly (1) from the vehicle.
XK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - 545RFE - SERVICE INFORMATION 21 - 413
INSTALLATION
1. Install shifter assembly (1) in position on the floor
pan.
2. Install the bolts (2) to hold the shifter assembly (1)
onto the floor pan. Tighten bolts to 12 N·m (105
in.lbs.).
3. Place the floor shifter lever in PARK position.
4. Loosen the adjustment nut (2) on the shifter
assembly (1).
5. Install the gearshift cable (3) to the shift lever pin.
6. Install the park lock cable (5) to the shift mechanism
cam and the notch in the shifter assembly.
7. Verify that the key is in the LOCK position and
remains there until the cable is fully adjusted.
8. Verify that the park lock cable adjustment tab is
pulled upward to the unlocked position.
21 - 414 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - 545RFE - SERVICE INFORMATION XK
9. Install the wiring harness connectors (3) to the
shifter assembly (1).
10. Verify that the shift lever is in the PARK position.
11. Tighten the adjustment screw to 30 N·m (265
in.lbs.).
12. Verify that the key in the LOCK position and the
shifter is in PARK.
13. Push downward on the park lock cable adjustment
tab to lock the adjustment.
14. Verify correct shifter, park lock, and BTSI operation.
15. If necessary, install the shield, covering the gearshift
and park lock cables, to the shifter assembly
and install the bolts to hold the shield to the
shifter assembly.
16. Install any console parts removed for access to
shift lever assembly and shift cables. (Refer to 23
- BODY/INTERIOR/FLOOR CONSOLE - INSTALLATION)
XK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION - 545RFE - SERVICE INFORMATION 21 - 415"
 

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Dude, next time, shut off the vehicle. Surely you can't remove the key unless it's in PARK. Also apply the parking break. Safety is the major factor to consider, especially when handling kids. Good thing nothing bad happen, but just be aware... 'keep praying' that god is on your side.
 
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