Video: Car-wash chain won't clean older Jeep Cherokee models over sudden acceleration fears

Categories: News

2007 jeep cherokee 205x205.jpg
Photos, videos below.
Update below: Sometimes it seems like every third Coloradan has an SUV -- and plenty of them are from the Jeep Cherokee family. But if your model of the latter was produced in 2010 or before and you want to give it a scrub, don't take it to one of six Waterway Carwash branches in the metro area -- because the staff there won't lay a brush on it, no matter how much folding green is in your pocket.

Why not? Persistent problems with sudden acceleration, say company representatives. Get details and see photos and videos below.

The story comes to us from 9News, which received reports that owners of older model Jeep Cherokees [and Grand Cherokees -- see update below] were being turned away from local Waterways, including the popular affiliate in Cherry Creek. And sure enough, the company confirms that as of March 1, such vehicles are being pointed back to the street.

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The Waterway branch in Cherry Creek.
"Waterway has experienced an unacceptable number of dangerous and costly accidents involving pre-2011 Jeep Cherokees," reads a statement provided to 9News. "At Waterway, employee and customer safety is our chief concern. Therefore we have made the decision to stop washing these vehicles."

This is not a new issue. Way back in 2006, the International Carwash Association issued an advisory on Jeep Cherokee models based on sudden-acceleration reports. The document doesn't recommend banning such vehicles, but it does list five procedures to be employed when they're being cleaned for safety reasons:

1. Handle Jeep Cherokees and Jeep Grand Cherokees with extreme caution
2. Allow only specially trained car wash employees to handle these vehicles
3. Notify all car wash employees when one of these vehicles is on the property
4. Move the vehicle using both feet - left foot on the brake and right foot on the accelerator
5. Instruct employees and customers to never walk in front of one of these vehicles
Over the years that followed, reports about sudden acceleration involving Cherokees and Grand Cherokees continued to circulate. A YouTube video posted three years ago and shared below includes a reference to the International Carwash Association advisory and footage of a Jeep cruising through a car wash all by itself.

Here's the video. The car-wash sequence takes place around the thirty-second mark.

Online forums are also crowded with references to the alleged problem -- and this one features several from Colorado.

Continue for more about Jeep Cherokees and sudden acceleration.

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My Voice Nation Help

The problem is not the vehicle, it’s the minimum wage rejects that don’t know the brake from the gas.


The problem is not the vehicle, it’s the minimum wage rejects that don’t know the brake from the gas.


There isn't a vehicle made that has an engine that will overpower it's brakes if they're properly working!


Funny that this was just posted. I bought a 2010 Grand Cherokee last week and went yesterday to waterway to change  the vehicle on my membership. They turned me away and wouldn't comment on the exact reason they would not wash my vehicle. I called customer support and canceled my membership. When the woman heard my cancellation reason she just laughed and said, "Ok, all taken care of." When I asked her for specifics on the issue, she said she wasn't allowed to comment. 

Rob Strong Paw Ruby
Rob Strong Paw Ruby

The craziest thing about this story is that there is actually an International Car Wash Association

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@s.e.batterson Very interesting, S.E.. We're going to make your post an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for weighing in.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Rob Ruby ... so realities and facts that you are ignorant of are "crazy" eh?

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