If you’re the owner of a Jeep Cherokee, Chrysler 200, Jeep Renegade, or RAM ProMaster that rolled off the assembly line during 2014 or 2015 and is equipped with a 9-speed transmission, you may have recently been surprised by a letter informing you of a transmission recall. German transmission manufacturer ZF is recalling this transmission due to a defect that can cause it to randomly shift into neutral while you’re driving, potentially causing a crash. What should you do to maintain your safety while keeping your still-new vehicle in good running condition? Read on to learn more about how this may affect you, as well as what you’ll need to do if you’ve been notified your vehicle is subject to a transmission recall.
How can these transmission issues affect the way your vehicle operates?
The 9-speed automatic transmission common in Jeep Cherokees and other Fiat-Chrysler vehicles has been the target of a number of criticisms — from complaints of dangerously slow downshifting when quick acceleration is needed, to random acceleration surges and shifts into neutral. Although these problems can seem fairly minor while you’re traveling down an isolated road, an inability to control your speed (or even the gear you’re in) while turning or merging into traffic could lead to a potentially serious accident. On the other end of the spectrum, transmission hiccups while taking your vehicle off-roading could put you and your passengers in danger, especially if your transmission gives up on a trail far from civilization.
Many consumers, even those who haven’t experienced the random shifts into neutral firsthand, have complained of rough-feeling shifting and other annoyances that can interfere with your enjoyment of the driving experience. As a result, the news of a recall may be somewhat welcome for drivers if it means an end to this rough handling and unpredictable shifting. If you are experiencing problems with your automatic transmission and want to find out if your repair is cover by a recall, you can have it checked out at your local transmission repair shop.
What should you do if you receive notice that your vehicle’s transmission has been recalled?
Once you’ve gotten confirmation that your transmission repair is covered by the recall, you have a few options. First, you’ll want to contact your area dealership to determine whether they have the software patch necessary to restore your transmission to like-new condition. If there isn’t a Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) dealership within close commuting distance, you may want to call the service hotline at FCA itself for detailed instructions on how to proceed. Unlike many automotive recalls, this ZF transmission recall won’t require any replacement parts, ensuring that your fix will be much quicker and less disruptive than most other types of recall work.
If your vehicle has recently had an issue that put your life in danger or led to an accident, you may also want to call the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 to report your problem. Issues can also be documented online at www.safecar.gov. While this after-the-fact reporting won’t necessarily help you, the more reports on a certain problem, the more likely it is the manufacturer will take action. Additionally, if you’ve had issues with your automatic transmission that are not covered under a recall, contact My Transmission Experts for a free quote, and let us help you get your car running safely again.