Jeep owners say the 9-speed transmissions are defective, but Chrysler argues there are no defects.

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Jeep 9-Speed Transmission Problems Land in Court
Jeep owners say the 9-speed transmissions are defective, but Chrysler argues there are no defects.

— Jeep 9-speed transmission problems allegedly exist in 2016-present Jeep models and cause safety dangers to owners, lessees and others on the roads.

The plaintiffs who filed the class action lawsuit claim the alleged transmission problems include “delayed acceleration, abrupt forward propulsion and sudden loss of power, which present a safety hazard because they severely affect the driver’s ability to control the car’s speed, acceleration, and deceleration.”

The Jeep 9-speed transmission class action lawsuit was filed by these Jeep owners.

  • Joseph Milisits — Pennsylvania — 2018 Jeep Renegade
  • Howard Shreve — Texas — 2017 Jeep Renegade
  • Mark Weber — Connecticut — 2019 Jeep Cherokee
  • Jennifer Hurst — Florida — 2016 Jeep Cherokee
  • Brian Razen — Florida — 2017 Jeep Renegade
  • Seana Del Rosario — Hawai’i — 2016 Jeep Renegade
  • Jessica Landgrebe — Minnesota — 2017 Jeep Cherokee
  • Lisa Cummings — New York — 2016 Jeep Cherokee
  • Dan Martinez — New York  — 2019 Jeep Cherokee
  • Michael Muller — New York — 2016 Jeep Renegade
  • Aleathia Braun — Texas — 2017 Jeep Cherokee
  • Gary Rousseau — Florida — 2016 Jeep Cherokee
  • Marsha Pigg — Texas — 2017 Jeep Renegade
  • Amy Long — Virginia — 2017 Jeep Cherokee

According to the lawsuit, the alleged 9-speed transmission problems are caused by the transmission control modules and the module software.

The lawsuit alleges the transmission problems make it difficult to change lanes, make turns, merge into traffic and accelerate in several driving conditions. And the plaintiffs also claim Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) knew about the transmission problems but concealed the information from customers and the public.

According to the class action, the Jeep owners claim if they would have known about the alleged transmission issues, they wouldn't have purchased the vehicles or they would have paid less for them.

Motion to Dismiss the Jeep 9-Speed Transmission Lawsuit

Chrysler argues the allegations are "clearly deficient” because they “describe the defect only in terms of an assortment of subjective vehicle symptoms” and “rely on generalities” that do not explain “how [the Class Vehicles] are defective.”

However, Judge Matthew F. Leitman disagreed with the automaker and says the plaintiffs did identify the parts of the vehicles they believe are defective, which are the 9-speed transmissions. The judge also found the plaintiffs plausibly allege the transmission problems are caused by the modules and their software.

FCA also argues express warranty claims should be dismissed because the warranty doesn't cover design defects, but the judge ruled the plaintiffs plausibly allege the transmission problems "could arise from either a design defect or a defect in manufacturing and/or materials."

The automaker also says it didn't breach any express warranties because the plaintiffs admit FCA “either provided a free repair or could not replicate any issue [that required a repair].”

Chrysler argues if dealers could find no problems, the vehicles logically couldn't be repaired. But the judge says FCA promised in the express warranty that it would repair the vehicles, and the automaker failed to live up to that promise.

As for implied warranty claims, FCA says they all fail, especially breach of implied warranty claims under the laws of New York, Florida and Connecticut which allegedly fail due to a lack of privity.

The judge says he agrees with FCA the breach of implied warranty claim under Connecticut law should be dismissed, but the rest of the implied warranty claims can continue.

FCA next argues the court should dismiss the fraud-based claims, which include both common-law fraud claims and “claims for violation of consumer fraud statutes enacted in the states where they purchased their vehicles.”

The fraud-based claims include alleged affirmative misrepresentations and alleged fraudulent omissions about the Jeep vehicles.

According to the judge, the plaintiffs fail to allege viable claims based on any affirmative misrepresentations FCA is alleged to have made about the Jeep vehicles.

Fraudulent omissions claims should allegedly also be dismissed because the plaintiffs fail to plead Chrysler had knowledge of the alleged transmission defects.

FCA says most of the technical service bulletins the plaintiffs cite relate only to model year 2015 and earlier vehicles which no plaintiff owns.

"Allegations regarding these earlier model years 'cannot support the notion that FCA [] was aware of the purported defect in model year 2016 through 2019 vehicles.'” — Chrysler

But the judge found the plaintiffs plausibly alleged the same 9-speed transmissions FCA first installed in model year 2014 vehicles are the same transmissions installed in the Jeep vehicles named in the class action lawsuit.

The Jeep 9-speed transmission lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan: Milisits, et al., v. FCA US LLC.

The plaintiffs are represented by the Miller Law Firm, and Berger Montague PC.


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