Since it was introduced in the 2014 model year, the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee’s transmission has had its share of known, widespread issues. Notably, a class action was filed related to the 2014-15 model years after customers complained of faulty shifter and shifting issues. Indeed, this problem received much media attention as it was alleged to have been a potential cause for the accident and tragic death of the actor Anton Yelchin.
The ZF 9HP is a nine-speed automatic transmission built by ZF Friedrichshafen AG subsidiary ZF transmissions in South Carolina. While it was designed to improve fuel consumption compared to a six speed automatic transmission, consumers started having problems with it from its launch date. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee was the world’s first passenger vehicle to contain the new transmission, but problems with the transmission were a reported basis for the launch delay of the 2014 Cherokee and the underlying basis for technical service bulletins designed to address the known problem after the vehicle had begun being distributed.
While FCA US, LLC states that the issues have since been resolved and model years after 2015 do not experience the same concerns, many customers who have purchased 2016 and later model years apparently disagree. A quick online search related to Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee transmission problems reveals that owners across the country have reported ongoing transmission issues in their 2016 and newer Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles.
Websites such as www.carcomplaints.com and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s websites, www.nhtsa.gov and www.safercar.gov, reveal hundreds of consumer complaints for abnormal transmission problems such as harsh shifting, improper shifting, etc. for 2016-current model year Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles.
FCA US, LLC has published several Technical Service Bulletins (“TSBs”) over the years in these vehicles related to repair procedures which include software updates for the Powertrain Control Module affecting the transmission. The fact that these TSBs exist and have been published by FCA US, LLC indicates that it is well aware of these ongoing transmission problems in these vehicles.
Indeed, transmission replacements can be one of the most costly repairs to a motor vehicle. One report indicates that a transmission replacement for these vehicles would cost $7,500 on average to repair out of warranty. With every day these vehicles get closer to the end of their warranty periods and if such a problem remains unfixed in such a vehicle the owner has rather costly repair expenses to unfortunately look forward to.
Good News for Californians
Californians who own one of these vehicles and have taken it in several times to the dealer for warranty repairs for abnormal shifting and/or transmission issues can hire an attorney that’s experienced in Lemon Law. A Lemon Law attorney works to assist California consumers under California’s Lemon Law to determine if there’s a lemon law case, and can assist at no cost as the law indicates that the manufacturer shall pay your attorney on your behalf!