Jeep to Recalibrate Cherokee's 9-Speed Gearbox Software Again

Chrysler nine-speed automatic transmission 1 photo
Photo: Chrysler
According to a recent technical service bulletin, Chrysler informs that dealers have to perform a software reprogram on more than 100,000 Jeep Cherokee SUVs equipped with the new nine-speed gearbox.
Built before May 5th, 2014, the affected vehicles that are currently in dealer inventory will be joined by any owner complaining of shifting issues. As expected, customers won't be charged anything for the software reflash.

This new TSB represents the second time Chrysler wants to retweak the software operating the complex yet compact nine-speed gearbox developed by ZF. In addition to the reflash, dealers are instructed to take the 2014 model year Cherokee SUVs out for a 100-minute drive to ensure the car is shifting adequately.

Since the SUV went on sale last October, nearly half of the 30 consumer complaints filed by angry customers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that the nine-speed transmission isn't performing as expected. Just like most other electronically managed gearboxes, this unit is able to learn the driving habits of the driver and adapt the shift patterns to suit his or her driving style.

A very worrying thing is that the second Chrysler model to utilise the nine-speed automatic, the all-new 200 sedan, is also prone to the aforementioned software glitch. However, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters at a recent press event in Michigan that "there are always teething issues with every transmission I've ever built, and I mean that literally. It will get better six months from now, trust me."
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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