Modern technology brings all kinds of neat features to automobiles, but it's proving to be a double-edged sword for manufacturers. The latest casualty of the global semiconductor shortage reportedly comes from Jeep, specifically the Quadra-Lift air suspension system available on some new Grand Cherokee L models.
The height-adjustable suspension is – or was – standard equipment on Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve according to Mopar Insiders. Nosing around the Grand Cherokee L online configurator, only the standard suspension shows up now. Further investigation found that the Quadra-Lift feature was removed, with the report citing a Jeep spokesperson as stating it was removed due to the ongoing chip shortage. Motor1.com contacted Jeep to confirm this, and to determine if there's a projected timeframe for when the feature will return. We will provide an update if new information becomes available.
Gallery: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L: First Drive
The air-ride system provides five different settings that alter suspension stiffness and ride height. Clearance can vary as much as 4.2 inches, which is significant for any vehicle with off-road intentions. As such dropping the Quadra-Lift feature from the lineup changes the Grand Cherokee L's maximum approach and departure angles.
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Realistically speaking, we suspect very few owners would be trekking their $60,000 three-row SUVs in an environment where such capability is required. That's probably why Jeep decided to remove the feature instead of delaying overall production. And since it was a standard item on some Grand Cherokee L trim levels, Mopar Insiders reports a credit of $750 is applied to the final MSRP on affected models.
This is the latest in a series of on-the-fly adjustments made by numerous automakers to keep production lines operating. Earlier this year, GM delivered Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups without the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation feature on models with the 5.3-liter V8. Volkswagen sold its subcompact Fox in Brazil without infotainment systems. Ford built F-150 trucks without some electronic modules, but held them until those modules were available before sending them out. Even with these solutions, temporary production-line shutdowns have affected most every automaker around the world to some degree.