Jeep Just Can't Get the Cherokee to Work Right

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Once again, the nine-speed transmission is the cause.

If anyone recalls, the new Jeep Cherokee's initial launch was delayed by several weeks last fall for one big reason: its transmission. That new nine-speed automatic gearbox was just so new Chrysler simply couldn't get its software settings right. Many actually applauded Chrysler for taking the time to work out the bugs before sales commenced. However, one of the biggest criticisms of the new Cherokee remains the harsh shifting nine-speed.

Earlier this month, Chrysler issued a service notice for 100,000 Cherokees to receive yet another software fix. Fortunately, not all Cherokees require the recalibration, but any customers who've had problems regarding the operation of the transmission will have the fix covered under warranty. Because it is an electronic transmission, the nine-speed actually learns the driving habits of the main driver. It then adapts the shift patterns accordingly. All told, this is the third time Chrysler has had to deal with this issue since October. But still, it had better get this problem fixed permanently; the all-new Chrysler 200 is equipped with the exact same gearbox.

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