— Chrysler transmission problems have caused a class action lawsuit that alleges ZF 9HP 9-speed transmissions are defective, were rushed to the market and cannot be properly repaired.
The plaintiff says the Chrysler transmission problems cause rough, delayed or sudden shifting that eventually leads to transmission failures in these vehicles.
- 2016-2019 Jeep Cherokee
- 2016-2019 Jeep Renegade
- 2016-2018 Chrysler 200
- 2016-2019 ProMaster City
Customers also claim the 9-speed transmissions fail to shift, grind gears, cause loud noises during shifting and experience harsh engagement of gears.
According to the class action lawsuit, the ZF 9HP automatic transmission was supposed to be an improvement over 6-speed transmissions because of its "unique 9.8 ratio spread and computer-controlled shifting which were designed together to allow for better performance and fuel economy, while maintaining the ease of use of a traditional automatic transmission."
But the plaintiff claims the transmissions were plagued with problems before the vehicles were ever sold. The class action alleges glitches in the 9-speed transmission software was causing problems in 2013 that caused shifting that wasn't smooth as intended.
Other alleged Chrysler transmission problems include harsh accelerations and decelerations, sudden loses of power and premature wearing of transmission components. The primary cause of the transmission problems is allegedly the transmission control modules which cause serious safety concerns while driving.
Florida plaintiff Brian Razen purchased a new 2017 Jeep Renegade in February 2018, but in December 2018 the Jeep allegedly experienced hard shifting at slow speeds. And the Jeep had more problems the same month while driving 20 mph on the highway when the engine shut off.
The plaintiff says he coasted to the side of the road and found the oil was a quart low even though the oil was changed a month before. In January 2019, the plaintiff took the Jeep to the dealership when the Renegade had nearly 43,000 miles on the odometer.
He says he told dealer technicians about the engine shutting off and also told them the Jeep had been jerking, bucking and lurching with sudden or harsh acceleration. The oil was changed and the plaintiff says he was told to drive the vehicle 3,000 miles and return to the dealer because the oil change was part of an oil consumption test.
The plaintiff took the Jeep back to the dealer after driving for 3,000 miles and told technicans two quarts of oil had been used in 3,000 miles.
He says he also told the dealership the Renegade "had experienced rough, delayed, or sudden shifting, failure to shift, harsh engagement of gears, sudden or harsh accelerations, jerking; bucking, lurching and sudden loss of power."
Razen says it felt like he was being kicked in the spine every time the Jeep shifted gears. The dealer technician inspected the Renegade and allegedly found excessive oil was used.
The dealership also performed a “compression and leak down test” and told the plaintiff the engine block needed to be replaced, a job that took 10 days before the plaintiff was able to drive the Jeep. But the lawsuit alleges the same day he picked up his vehicle, the Jeep lurched, bucked and jerked, causing the plaintiff to again contact the dealership.
He allegedly continued to have the same transmission problems with the Renegade during a 30-day period he was told to drive the Jeep so the transmission could relearn his driving habits.
More dealer visits occurred as the transmission software was updated, but the class action says the vehicle continues to lurch and jerk.
According to the lawsuit, the 9-speed transmission problems require expensive repairs and sometimes replacement of the transmission.
Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) has issued technical service bulletins (TSBs) and three transmission software updates, actions the lawsuit alleges proves the automaker knows about the alleged transmission problems.
But even with the repairs, customers say their vehicles still suffer from transmission problems.
The Chrysler transmission class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida: Razen, et al., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiff is represented by Stephen J. Bagge, P.A., and Berger Montague PC.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from owners of the FCA vehicles named in the transmission lawsuit.