FCA And ZF Will Recall Nine-Speed Automatic Gearbox

Gear selector in Chrysler 200 with nine-speed automatic 12 photos
Photo: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and ZF have announced a recall for the nine-speed automatic transmission developed by the German supplier.
The unit is named 9HP by ZF, and this recall action targets a potential malfunction that could occur in some vehicles. According to the documents filed by ZF, the gearbox might unexpectedly shift into neutral.

The makers of the automatic gearbox say this could happen because of a crimp in the wiring harness, which is not as it was supposed to be.

Instead of a mechanical fix, which would include the replacement of the wiring harness for the transmission, ZF has decided to issue a software fix for these nine-speed units. Furthermore, dealers have been recommended not to attempt to repair the crimp, as they could do more damage than good.

In the USA alone, approximately 505,000 vehicles were sold with transmissions that will have to be recalled, and much more like them have been traded on other markets. It is worth noting that other automakers have sold cars equipped with ZF’s nine-speed automatic gearbox, but only the models made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be recalled for this matter.

According to the description of the problem, there is nothing wrong with the transmission itself, but with the way the wiring harness has been fitted to some cars that feature this gearbox.

The reason behind selecting a software fix instead of a mechanical repair has not been explained by the representatives of either company, even though having your car shift to Neutral without any warning is a concern for any driver. On the same logic enunciated in the previous phrase, customers have a right to know what caused the wiring harness’ “improper” crimp.

Only model year 2014 and MY2015 vehicles are affected by this recall campaign. No fatalities, injuries, or accidents have been reported as linked to this potential problem. The affected models are the Chrysler 200, Jeep Renegade, Jeep Cherokee, and the Ram Promaster.

We must note that cars like the Acura TLX, Fiat 500X, Honda Pilot, Land Rover Discover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque are also available with the nine-speed automatic gearbox from ZF. Apparently, these will not be recalled with the FCA models mentioned above, and they might not have to be repaired.

This recall action is separate to the other service campaign started by FCA that also targets automatic gearboxes built by ZF. The latter is focused on the ZF 8HP unit with a “monostable” gear selector, which might be confusing to use.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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