Huge Transmission Recall Impacts Over 500,000 Cars

Transmission manufacturer ZF has issued a recall of its nine-speed automatic transmission. This recall affects approximately 505,000 cars, many of which are on U.S. roads. This particular transmission has the unfavorable habit of unexpectedly shifting into neutral during driving. This is due to a faulty crimp in the wiring harness being attached to a sensor cluster. The sensor was designed to control shift pattern and quality, according to ZF. For more than two years, thousands of warranty claims have been issued for the problem. The majority of the cars sold with this problem were made by Fiat Chrysler.

According to driver reports, the problem has extended beyond the shift to neutral and is now causing rough shifts, hesitation to downshift, acceleration surges, and other very dangerous "autonomous" behavior. Some drivers even reported being ran over by their own vehicles after putting them into park. When asked about ZF's responsibility to fix the matter compared to the auto manufacturers, company spokesman Bryan Johnson said “In this instance, ZF provided the necessary documentation to NHTSA to address a specific issue. All other concerns and filings need to be addressed by our customers. It is ZF’s policy to refrain from speaking on their behalf.”

Is your car in the list? Well among the list of vehicles included in the recall are: the 2014–2016 Jeep Cherokee, 2015–2016 Jeep Renegade, Chrysler 200, and Ram ProMaster City; 2016 Fiat 500X; 2014–2017 Range Rover Evoque and 2015–2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport; upper trims of the 2015–2016 Honda Pilot, and six-cylinder versions of the 2015–2017 Acura TLX.

More than 600 complaints have been filed to date regarding the Cherokee's transmission problems with another 130 complaints about the Chrysler 200. This recall caught global coverage after the death of actor Anton Yelchin, presumably caused when his Jeep slipped into neutral after being parked, running him over. The second part of this recall applies to the software behind the system which impacts 811,000 vehicles and is being handled by FCA.


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