Yes, this dates back to 2013
There can be consequences for rushing new vehicles to market in order to meet deadlines. Especially when they may have been unrealistic in the first place. New vehicle development is critical and engineers must properly get the job done. Unfortunately, that didn't happen back in 2013 when Fiat Chrysler (FCA) launched new vehicles equipped with its then-new ZF nine-speed automatic transmission. Exactly one year ago, we reported that early fifth-generation Jeep Cherokees were still suffering from multiple transmission-related problems, such as rough shifts, stalling, and dropping randomly into neutral.
At the time, FCA had issued 11 software upgrades to remedy the situation, but none fully resolved the problems. There was a recall for over 80,000 2014 model year Cherokees. And now an owner of a 2017 Jeep Renegade purchased new in early 2018 has filed a class-action lawsuit against the automaker claiming the same transmission is defective.
According to Car Complaints, this Renegade owner claims he suffered a number of problems after less than a year of ownership. One situation involved driving only 20 mph on the highway (presumably on an exit ramp) when the engine suddenly shut off. He was able to coast to the side of the road but only to discover the oil was a quart low even though it had been changed only a month prior. One month after the highway incident, he took the Renegade to his Jeep dealership and, at the time, had about 43,000 miles on its odometer.
After explaining everything that happened, including the jerking, bucking, and lurching while driving, technicians only changed the oil (again) and was told to drive an additional 3,000 miles and then return to the dealer. Why? Because the oil change was part of an oil consumption test.
The owner/plaintiff did as instructed and during that test period two quarts of oil were consumed. Technicians then concluded the Renegade's engine block had to be replaced, but this also failed to solve anything. Long story short, the dealer failed to properly identify and fix the transmission problem despite performing additional software updates. The plaintiff has been stuck with a potentially dangerous vehicle ever since, and he's not alone.
Aside from the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade, the problem has also afflicted the 2016-2018 Chrysler 200 and 2016-2019 Ram ProMaster City. The report didn't specifically state whether the plaintiff's lawsuit calls for FCA to repurchase the affected vehicles or offer some other form of compensation, but what's clear is that a seven-year-old problem has yet to be resolved.