2014 Fiat 500L transmission problems: overheats in traffic

Overheats In Traffic

2014 Fiat 500L

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Fiat dealer.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
16,900 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. told it was part of the design of the car (2 reports)
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2014 Fiat 500L transmission problems

transmission problem

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2014 Fiat 500L Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 282015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles


Early September/15- My car started overheating in stop and go traffic a month ago. The FIAT technician advised it was a known problem of dual dry clutch and to start coming to complete stops in "rolling" traffic and put in neutral in between pulling forward.

Sept 24/15 - In the morning, the car would not come out of park in my driveway - they flat bedded the cart away and said they performed a software update to correct (Sept 28)

Sept 29 /15- After 20 minutes of driving from "cold" in stop and go traffic - the car was smelling of 'clutch burn' . i was driving as instructed. From a complete stop - the car would not move forward and then a computerized message was displayed "Put car in "N" and then put in "R" or "D" " …I did that and EVERYTHING went dead. I could not start the car - totally dewar - no response or turn over of engine. I was blocking a major intersection. It took about 10-15 minutes for the transmission to cool down and for me to be able to start it.

Oct 5/15 - the dealer can not replicate the problem and will be launching a campaign with Chrysler tomorrow.

The fact that there is a programmed error message and mitigation means Chrysler is aware of the overheating and has put in a temporary "fail safe" to prevent what? A fire?

I've read the FIAT Technical Service Bulletin for the March/2014 recall and the symptoms are very much the same however my VIN is not in the batch. I believe it is VERY much the same or if not similar to that particular recall notice. It indicates that the software update MAY also require the shift-module replacements due to hardware and software compatibility.

Let's see what my dear FIAT friends at the dealership come up with.

This car is undrivable as it is unpredictable and very unsafe - I could have been t-boned in that intersection or stranded somewhere. A lawsuit is in good order here.


- Julie W., Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #3

Oct 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

My wife 2014 Fiat L is very good car Except for the Design Flaw with the dual clutch transmission. Her car left her stranded on the road when she was in stop and go traffic and her transmission over heated and quit working. Fiat stated it's a Design Characteristic and when your in stop and go traffic or at a drive thru you are to put your car in neutral to avoid this. Now how crazy is this? If they would disclose this when your buying the vehicle no one in their right mind would. They do not want to take care of her on this matter. They completely refused. Do Not Purchase this vehicle. I am working on a lawsuit.

- vidrine, Keller, TX, US

problem #2

Sep 222014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles

absolutely horrific customer service. horrible experience. will spread the word about FIAT.

- Wanda S., water mill, NY, US

problem #1

Apr 092014

500L Lounge V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles

I've had to pull over 4 times now. Living in the bay area in outside sales traffic is a part of my everyday life. This car has a major flaw. The clutch overheats in traffic. I was told to put my car in neutral during traffic. "Hello" I have an automatic... When the clutch begins to overheat an awful smell comes about and the signal on the dash board shows up afterwards. Taking it to the dealer is a waste of time cause they can't do anything about it because supposedly it's a part of the design. After the fourth time the clutch overheated I was in SF traffic for an hour and once I was in moving traffic my car's RPM would go up to 4000-5000 and struggle to get into drive pressing on the gas and jerk to get into a gear. I took my car to the FIAT dealership in Berkeley and it's been there for two days and they said they still have not had a chance to look into because they are so busy...

It does not feel safe putting my car in neutral in traffic and mentally I'm driving an automatic I may incidentally put it in reverse... what the hell is going on here. It's less than a year... and I'm supposed to accept this because it's not a problem but a part of the design! By the way, my car is the primary transportation of driving my kids around and I'm not sure it's safe because when the clutch keeps overheating what is it doing to the car or what can it cause- fire, no brakes... crash etc. This is really terrible so my overall experience with FIAT is 1 out of 10. I would never recommend anyone to purchase a FIAT 500L instead pay the extra $ and get a COOPER if your bound to be in traffic. You get what you pay for...

- mayang.bruce, Hercules, CA, US

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