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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,245 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2014 Fiat 500 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2014 Fiat 500 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Jul 132015


  • miles


I had my radio replaced at the dealership because the screen was having some distortion issues and also it was creating a lot of heat, so it was replaced and now it's starting to short out and they cant seem to figure out why its doing it! the volume goes up and down once in awhile by itself and they can't seem to figure that out either! also my wife has been experiencing a lack of power when she's driving and the vehicle will not go past 50mph, and then it starts to shake pretty bad! she has to pull over and shut the car off wait 2 minutes and than turn it back on and than it's fine! and lastly when I sit at a traffic light I start to smell something burning coming from the engine and I pull over to inspect the engine and nothing.. I called the dealership and the lady told me it's the transmission burning because I have the auto manual shifter model and that's why it does it and it is normal! I really don't think it's normal at all? the lady at the service counter told me that this model really took off in italy but not here in the states! so I guess I bought a lemon I told her and all she said was she was sorry!! I have so much trouble at this dealership because I have to prove something is always wrong with my car!!!

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #23

Jul 122015


  • 5,492 miles
I've had trouble with the car when pulling away from the curb with the transmission not engaging or saying "gear is not available" when moving from drive to reverse/neutral. Usually it will do it once and I can turn off the car and back on and it gives me an engine warning light and the car is drivable. In the past month it's done the 'gear not available' while moving around 25-30 mph on city streets. I've had to pull off to a side street and turn off/restart the car to get the gears back. I have video of the most recent event. I'd taken the car to the dealer service and they could not replicate the situation. I've video'd the dash during the most recent event(s) on July 12 at 4:44 and 4:47 pm. For the 4:44 pm I was pulling away from the curb. For the 4:47 I was moving along a city street at 20 mph. I have contacted the dealer service again and I will be providing them video of the dash as I tried to change gears and restart the car.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #22

Jun 202015


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Fiat 500. The contact stated that the when the engine was started, the vehicle failed to move forward or in reverse. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the computer codes were reset, however, the failure recurred. The vehicle then began to move in reverse when the gear was in the drive position. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the transmission control was replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 16,000.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #21

Jun 182015


  • 8,400 miles


I bought this car brand new in June 2014 with 3 miles on it and absolutely loved it. While sitting in a drive thru one day, this white smoke came out from under the hood and the smell was awful. I had no idea what was going on since no light indicators lit up on the dash board. I left the drive thru and problem seemed to stop so I thought nothing more about it. The other day, again while sitting in a drive thru, white smoke pours out from under car, car shutters, then dash board lights up and car dies. I am left freaking out in a drive thru alone with a dead smoking car which had to be pushed out by 2 helpful employees. Towed to the dealership, I was informed that you can't just sit in traffic with this car, you have to push the break pedal hard to release the clutch from spinning and causing friction. The friction in stop and go traffic will cause overheating and stalling of the vehicle... um hello, this is not safe. I live in orlando Florida, stop and go traffic capital. I have 8400 miles on this car and now faced with the dilemma of getting rid of this fire trap waiting happen with myself and child in the car, or just keep it and pray it does die in the middle of the interstate and I am killed trying to push it off the road. I will never buy this brand again, nor will I support any "fixes" they say will help. The company knows they made a mistake and could cost lives, this is why it is not offered in the new 2015 500L or the new 2016 500X. I am getting rid of this death trap, but not until I bug the hell out of the corporation for selling faulty products to the public and knowing the issues and risk they have caused.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #20

Jun 052015


  • 12,500 miles
This is my third complaint and I have yet to get any feedback from you all. Fiat usa and the dealerships are at odds over the clutch issue. Fiat usa tells you to schedule a service appt and the dealerships tell you that this is a normal component of the vehicle, that it is normal mind you for the vehicle, only a year old, to smoke and stall out due the clutch overheating at anytime in heavy traffic or they tell you to put the car in neutral in traffic, or pull over and pop the hood to let vehicle cool down, neither of which is very safe, feasible or practical. This is not normal, this is unacceptable and a very hazardous defect. I want my money back or another model of vehicle. I would appreciate your assistance and feedback please. Previous ODI #S 10723909 and 10693082.

- Washington, DC, USA

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problem #19

Jun 052015


  • 12,500 miles
I am reporting a second incident, the first was March 2015 ODI #10693082, of the clutch overheating and my vehicle stalling out, this time it was in the middle of F street downtown DC on a Friday night. I was sitting in traffic and attempted to make a three point turn when my vehicle stalled out with no warning, no smoke this time, no indication that it was overheating and died in the middle of making a three point turn and would not start again. I had to be pushed out of the street by strangers who assisted me and popped the hood so the vehicle could cool down. This car is putting me in precarious and dangerous situations. The clutch overheats sitting in traffic and it will in turn stall out and won't start again until the clutch cools down. This is a serious defect and I am asking you all for the second time to assist me in having Fiat either replace or fix this issue in the 2014 Fiat 500 L.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #18

Dec 312014


  • 4,000 miles


The contact owns a 2014 Fiat 500. While at a stop, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact noticed smoke coming from the tires. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the transmission ball bearings needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 4,000.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #17

Feb 242015


  • 9,326 miles
On the day of Feb. 24 2015 me and my wife were in the drive-thru at star-buck. While we were in line to get coffee we smell this bad burning smell. I thought it was from some where in the area, I even ask the star-buck clerk whats that smell, his reply was this is the first time smelling it. As we pulled off from star-bucks I noticed white smoke coming from under the hood and making its way into the cabin of the vehicle. Called the Fiat dealership as it was happening, they suggest me to bring Fiat in, so I did. Fiat verified the problem and stated this.( verified clutch burning type smell under hood. Inspect and found no leak and no codes in PCM or tcm. Drove and found engagement from stop very slightly delayed compared to newer vehicle. Relearned clutch contact points. Drove again and feels better. Ok at this time.) then on May 6 2015 14005 miles, my Fiat 500L did it again. We were at popeyes drive-thru waiting in line to buy chicken and it happen again with the burning smell and white smoke, but this time my Fiat wouldn't move while we were in drive. So I shifted out of drive to reverse from reverse to neutral and car wouldn't move. Then I put it in park and kill the car, reatrted car and it decided to move then. So it scared me again with the breathing of the burning smell, in which hurts your lungs and burns your eyes. So I brought the Fiat to a different Fiat dealership, with my concern. They kept the car for 1 day and said. (test drive vehicle and is operating as designed. Shifts through gears pro pertly, up shifts and down shifts. Unable to duplicate concern at this time. Checked over vehicle ans is operating as designed.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #16

Dec 152014


  • 2,200 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Fiat 500. The contact noticed smoke emitting from the hood of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be adjusted. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 2,200.

- La Habra , CA, USA

problem #15

Nov 212014


  • 18,000 miles
Driving down the road at normal speed of traffic and the car looses acceleration. The car goes from 55 mph down to 0 and I have to pull over and stop the car and then start again. The gas pedal is dead is how it is described by the tech no response to me pushing it down. This is a danger because it happens at random and in the flow of traffic. This is a safety issue since the traffic does not stop going at normal speed and there have been several close calls where I felt in danger of being rear ended... this happened several times randomly... the dealership says they have never heard of this happening and not offering any insight into how to fix it at all.

- Riverton , IL, USA

problem #14

Oct 082014


  • 15,461 miles


While driving the car, would experience jerky movements while the car shifted in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears, both accelerating and decelerating. Have had issues with the transmission locking while the car is in park, needing to let the car sit and then restarting it. Have also had issues with sluggish 1st gear that suddenly lurches forward when the gas pedal is really pushed down. Braking is also touchy. Multiple trips to the dealership service department to have this fixed, opened a case with the manufacturer regarding the fixes. Manufacturer supplied a new transmission valve body that was replaced, seemingly fixed the jerky movement but resulted in the sluggish 1st gear. Manufacturer closed case when lemon law was mentioned.

- Pleasant Grove, UT, USA

problem #13

Mar 102015


  • 7,810 miles
We purchased the 500L Fiat in December of 2014. On February 14, 2015 we brought the vehicle in because on a return trip from tijuana Mexico while in border traffic the engine started smoking. The car looked like it was going to catch on fire, it smelled of burnt rubber. We brought the car in and they explained that this has been happening a lot and the manufacturer is aware but is not doing anything about it. We contacted Chrysler usa and opened a case, however during the case review the car did the same thing and we returned the car to the service shop on March 10th...which again they said it is our fault the car is doing this due to driver error. I should explain that what they are calling driver error, it is an automatic vehicle and Chrysler usa is saying that for this vehicle (mind you it is an automatic) if you are in traffic for a period of 5 minutes or longer you must shift the car on every occasion into neutral or else it could burn out the transmission. They go on to say that if the car does smoke just pull over and after the transmission cools down it is safe to drive again. I asked Chrysler usa to show me on exactly what page does it say that in their manual, furthermore that when purchasing this car the dealer did not disclose special driving instruction for their automatic vehicle. If the dealer did disclose that information before the sale we would have not bought a car that could leave us stranded in Mexico or other areas. At this point after Chrysler usa, has refused to show us where it states that in the manual if in traffic more than five minutes the car must be shifted into neutral to avoid burning out the transmission, and they are not intending on doing anything besides tell us that "sorry the car is performing as designed". we are taking every means necessary to get a buyback on this vehicle.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #12

Feb 202015


  • 12,200 miles
While sitting at a drive through, the car started to smoke profusely and shut off. It was a horrible smell. Technician said due to the stop and go situation at the drive thru, the clutch engage/disengage action, the clutches overheated and the transmission safety switch shut the engine off. I had just pulled into the drive thru and stopped. I did not have the opportunity to "go" before the car shut off. I live approximately 1 mile from the restaurant.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 092015


  • 9,988 miles
I am writing out of serious concern over the overheating clutch on the Fiat 2014 500L trekking model. I had absolutely loved my Fiat, until it overheated after sitting in a car wash line for all of maybe ten minutes at the most. Scared and embarrassed that my car was on fire, I had to be pushed out of line and assisted by the car wash manager, who popped the hood and told me to call for a tow.I then called the dealership service dept and was told that unless the engine light was on or transmission light, that the overheating was a common consequence of stop and go traffic with a duel transmission. I then went online and saw all the various complaints about the same issue from other 500 L owners much to my disappointment and dismay. I live in Washington DC, the capitol city with the norm being stop and go traffic, the worst in the nation. I told the service rep that I had smelled something burning on a prior occasion but never experienced full on smoke and the vehicle stalling out because it was overheated with absolutely no warning from my Fiat, no service light or anything indicating the clutch was overheating. Do I need to tell you all how dangerous the overheating issue can be in traffic with no warning, stalling out, won"T start again until it cools down" this is a serious defect. I am brokenhearted and extremely disappointed with being told by the dealership that Fiat usa will not repair/fix this issue and, to tell owners it is a consequence of a new engine, although I am close to 10K miles. That is absurd, please help me and other Fiat 500 L owners rectify this matter and prevent other consumers from having this headache in the future.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #10

Feb 282015


  • 20,500 miles
In May 2014 my 2014 Fiat 500L was brought to ziegler dealership for a safety recall concerning the automatic transaxle gear shift module and they flashed the esm (recall on NHTSA website). In January 2015 we noticed a burning smell under the engine. If we put car into reverse and gas pedal pushed, car hesitated 1-2 seconds before the car would start moving. Car lurched forward several times on road at a dead stop. Rough shifting on roads. Check transmission and engine warning light illuminated in early Feb 2015 and we brought it back to ziegler. They determined it needed a new transmission control module. Only 4 modules in the entire us, and all were spoken for (4 other Fiat in for the exact same problem). Ziegler contacted the manufacturer to get an "upgraded" transmission module, not the one originally designed for the car. After being told it would be 1 1/2 months to get the unit, it showed up mid February. I confirmed that we got this "upgraded" unit and dealer said yes. Took possession of my car on 2/13/15. This past week, we again had a burning smell in the engine, encountered car lurching while car was in drive and foot securely on the brake. Slow engine reaction when hitting gas when putting car into reverse, rough shifting. Was planning on calling dealer on Monday 3/2, however on Saturday 2/28/15 the car was involved in a driver side T-bone crash as the car would not move when gas pedal was pushed. Car totalled by insurance company. My daughter could have been killed because the car did not move when gas pedal was pressed. Fiat is now fireselling these 2014 models and are not offering this "dual clutch" transmission in 2015 models. They know about these transmission issues but their "fix" is still putting lives in jeopardy. If you own this car, get rid of it asap!

- Arlington Hts, IL, USA

problem #9

Feb 032015


  • 1,800 miles
In stop and go traffic the car started jerking and was hesitant to move forward. Smoke was emitted and came into the car with a strong odor. Dealer diagnosed as an overheated clutch (this is the euro ddct, an automated manual transmission). The clutch/transmission temperature warning light did not come on before or during the issue. When the car cooled down, it was able to be driven again but was jerky when shifting. Dealer did a "relearn" on the clutch and advised all software is up to date. Also that transmission should be placed in neutral at stops and shifted manually in stop and go driving (neither of which are specified in owner's manual).

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #8

Dec 292014


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2014 Fiat 500. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 5 mph, there was an abnormal noise and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V103000 (power train); however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 9,000.

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #7

Dec 272014


  • 9,000 miles
Cold weather problem. 29 degf outside on occurrence. Shifter will not move from "park" position. This has cleared up before after letting vehicle warm up. It is still in this condition presently. I rocked vehicle forward and back, checked fuses, let it warm up to 39 deg F outside with the vehicle running for 20 minutes. Still stuck in park. Last winter the shift lever would move into position, but the transmission would not engage until after the vehicle warmed up. The Fiat dealership did a firmware flash update which cleared that up. Now this. This is a 2014 Fiat 500L I have seen other reports of the same problem on Fiat owner blogs indicating this is a "common" problem which needs to be addressed. One blog suggested it may be voltage related.

- Hobbs, NM, USA

problem #6

May 232014

500 4-cyl

  • 19,278 miles
Intermittent no crank no start, when turning the key ti to start the car the engine does not engage on the first try. You can hear the clicking of the starter and all electronics power up but engine does not engage and start, similar to not having enough compression in the engine. As time passes the more frequent the issue becomes. 5/23/14 1st visit to service department, updated powertrain module. Returned car to service department on 5/29/14 for same no start issue, software update and reprogrammed instrument cluster module software. 6/9/14 car did not stat, return to service department 6/13/14, internal circuit/software failure replaced and programmed new powertrain control module. 7/3/14 went to pick up car from service department and car did not start. Back in shop and was told needed an update that has not been released to pick up car and deal with no starting issues until update is ready. Left the car at dealership saying not acceptable to pick up if not fixed. Still working on trying to get it fixed.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #5

Feb 202014


  • 6,400 miles
Does not shift into gear. Vehicle came to a complete stop while driving, very dangerous being on the expressway with family. After several attempts vehicle began to shift again. Repeated problems occur sporadic throughout the week.

- Donna, TX, USA

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