Jeeps, Other Vehicles with ZF 9HP Automatic Transmissions Class Action

When FCA US, LLC released its first vehicles equipped with a ZF 9HP nine-speed automatic transmission, it touted it as a “leading-edge solution to … mileage and emissions objectives.” However, even prior to its release, the complaint alleges, the transmission was “plagued with problems.” It claims that “FCA knowingly rushed a product to market that was defective and has been unable to repair” the vehicles equipped with the transmission.

The class for this action is all individuals living in the US, including its territories, who bought or leased any FCA vehicle in model year 2016 or later that was equipped with ZF 9HP automatic transmission. A Florida Subclass has also been defined for those who bought or leased the vehicles in Florida.

The complaint claims that “[o]n information and belief,” the vehicles equipped with this transmission include the following, and perhaps others:

  • 2016-2019 Jeep Cherokee
  • 2016-2019 Jeep Renegade
  • 2016-2018 Chrysler 200
  • 2016-2019 Promaster City

According to the complaint, “The ZF 9HP automatic transmission was supposed to serve as a significant technological advancement from previously employed six-speed automatic transmission[s], due to its unique 9.8 ratio spread and computer-controlled shifting, which were designed together to allow for better performance and fuel economy, while maintaining the ease of use of a traditional automatic transmission.”

But problems were evident early on, delaying its release. The complaint quotes “insiders” as saying it was “not shifting as smoothly as intended” and the company’s CEO as saying that the transmission did not have “mature” software at the time of release.

The complaint quotes an automotive journalist as describing operation of its software in this way: “The 9HP’s software … responds by cutting power initially, then diving as far down the gear-ladder as it can, engaging the dog clutches and then reinstating your throttle command. The result is a somewhat odd delay between the pedal on the floor and the car taking off like a bat out of hell.”

According to the complaint, the system has defects, which cause “rough, delayed or sudden shifting or failure to shift; grinding or other loud noises during shifting; harsh engagement of gears; sudden or harsh accelerations/decelerations; sudden loss of power; premature transmission wear; and transmission failure.”

These things “cause unsafe conditions,” the complaint contends, including “delayed acceleration, abrupt forward propulsion and sudden loss of power, which present a safety hazard because they severely affect the driver’s ability to control the car’s speed, acceleration, and deceleration” which “may make it difficult to safely change lanes, make turns, merge into traffic, accelerate from stop light/sign, and accelerate onto highways/freeways.”

FCA has issued technical service bulletins and software updates, but the complaint says it has not notified owners or lessees that the transmissions are defective. The complaint alleges that “[i]nstead of repairing the defects in the ZF 9HP Automatic Transmission, FCA either refused to acknowledge the defects’ existence or performed repairs that simply masked the defects.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Automobile

Most Recent Case Event

Jeeps, Other Vehicles with ZF 9HP Automatic Transmissions Complaint

August 14, 2020

When FCA US, LLC released its first vehicles equipped with a ZF 9HP nine-speed automatic transmission, it touted it as a “leading-edge solution to … mileage and emissions objectives.” However, even prior to its release, the complaint alleges, the transmission was “plagued with problems.” It claims that “FCA knowingly rushed a product to market that was defective and has been unable to repair” the vehicles equipped with the transmission.

Jeeps, Other Vehicles with ZF 9HP Automatic Transmissions Complaint

Case Event History

Jeeps, Other Vehicles with ZF 9HP Automatic Transmissions Complaint

August 14, 2020

When FCA US, LLC released its first vehicles equipped with a ZF 9HP nine-speed automatic transmission, it touted it as a “leading-edge solution to … mileage and emissions objectives.” However, even prior to its release, the complaint alleges, the transmission was “plagued with problems.” It claims that “FCA knowingly rushed a product to market that was defective and has been unable to repair” the vehicles equipped with the transmission.

Jeeps, Other Vehicles with ZF 9HP Automatic Transmissions Complaint
Tags: Defective Automobile, Transmission