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Chrysler Recalls 400,000 Cars

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On: Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 4:17PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Chrysler Recalls 400,000 Cars

There aren’t too many people who can argue that technology isn’t a good thing. The world has become smaller, the ease of connecting to people and information takes seconds where it used to take years, and people are living longer lives thanks to advances in so many areas. This progress has also helped our automobiles become better transportation devices. No longer do we have to stand outside and hand-crank our Model T and hope the snapback doesn’t break our shoulder. We also don’t have to suffer though painfully slow or rickety rides on wooden wheels. The advent of the transmission helped alleviate some of those problems, and gave cars significantly longer ranges, and with more gears, shifting became easier and fuel economy got better. 

But, the price of advancing is that occasionally all those steps forward come with a step or two backwards. In order to learn with advances in technology, there are always setbacks. One such setback comes from Chrysler and their 9-speed automatic transmission. The big car company has issued a voluntary recall that will serve to bring back 2014–2015 Jeep Cherokees, 2015 Jeep Renegades, 2015 RAM Promaster, and 2016 Fiat 500X equipped with the transmission in question. The total number of cars recalled is a whopping 412,981 in all.

It seems that this tranny has sensor clusters that don’t have enough crimps in the wiring harness. Without the requisite number of crimps, the transmission may randomly decide to shift into neutral without warning or reason. As you can imagine, if you are driving down the highway and your new car just jumps into neutral, it is going to cause significant problems. The immediate loss of acceleration without any brake light warning could cause traffic behind you to collide with your rear end. If there is an emergency and you need to accelerate suddenly, and your transmission chooses that instant to shift into neutral, you may be in for a serious crash.

Chrysler has said it will bring in the cars in question and fix the transmission software so those unexpected shifts don’t happen. The only problem is that the update is not yet available. Owners should have been contacted by mail late last month; Chrysler said it will notify owners this month when the fix becomes available. The fix to the transmission will be done free of charge of course. Owners may contact Chrysler with questions at 1-800-853-1403.

Report Receipt Date: JUL 12, 2016

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V529000

Component(s): POWER TRAIN

Potential Number of Units Affected: 412,981

Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and 2015 Chrysler 200, Jeep Renegade, RAM ProMaster, and 2016 Fiat 500X vehicles equipped with 9-speed automatic transmissions. The transmission sensor clusters may have insufficient crimps in the transmission wire harness, and as a result, the transmission may unexpectedly shift to neutral. On August 29, 2016 Chrysler added the 2016 Fiat 500X vehicles to this recall.

If the vehicle unexpectedly shifts to neutral, there is an increased risk of a crash.

Chrysler will notify owners, dealers will update the transmission software to prevent the transmission from shifting into neutral due to a faulty crimp, free of charge. The remedy is currently unavailable. Interim notices were mailed to owners on August 24, 2016. Owners will receive a second notice when the remedy becomes available in September 2016. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is S55.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


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