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Jeep Cherokee Still Suffering From A Six-Year-Old Problem

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Why hasn't this been fixed?

If you're the owner of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee then you're probably quite familiar with its transmission woes. The ZF nine-speed automatic transmission had multiple problems from the get-go specifically with rough shifts, stalling, dropping into neutral randomly, and various other safety concerns. FCA has since issued 11 software upgrades but problems remain. Jeep has now issued yet another recall for nearly 83,000 2014 model year Jeep Cherokees equipped with the optional 3.2-liter V6 engine.

The problem, once again, is a transmission clutch defect that may shift vehicles to neutral. An additional 17,530 vehicles in markets outside of the US, specifically Canada, Mexico, and Europe, are also part of the recall. The good news is that FCA has not received any reports of injuries or fatalities from this latest transmission issue.

Because the automaker is still working on a fix for the defect, it won't send out official owner notifications until that fix is good to go, which will reportedly be early next month. The first recall regarding the Cherokee's gearbox goes back years. The reason? Unexpected shifts into neutral. This time around, FCA claims a valve can stick and prevent a clutch from disengaging. As a result, this prompts the transmission to shift into neutral. Even before the Cherokee hit the market back in 2013 as a 2014 model FCA experiencing headaches with this gearbox.

The Cherokee's launch was actually delayed several weeks in order to fix transmission calibration problems. Obviously they were never solved.

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Basically, this is a classic case of launching an underdeveloped product. The new for 2014 Cherokee was a huge deal for Jeep, not only in terms of sales but also image. Only a few years prior, Jeep's parent company Chrysler filed for bankruptcy and was later merged with Fiat to become Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. As a replacement for the aging and underwhelming Liberty, the reborn Cherokee came with great expectations. It's a shame its transmission has yet to meet them.