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Bugs Persist in Jeep Cherokee Nine-Speed, New Software Update Issued

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/2/2015 Kelly Pleskot
2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is preparing another update to fix persistent problems with its new nine-speed transmission. Starting this month, Fiat will notify owners of 2014-15 Jeep Cherokee SUVs and 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans that a new software update is available to refine the transmission.

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Despite previous fixes issued by the automaker, consumers have been complaining about hard shifts and sudden lunging. Some complaints, filed on NHTSA's SaferCar.gov, note that the check engine lights activate or the transmission disengages unexpectedly.

Problems with the nine-speed transmission began even before the Cherokee launched for the 2014 model year. Last-minute changes to the powertrain forced a three-month delay in bringing out the Cherokee, which finally arrived to market in late 2013. Jeep apparently test-drove each vehicle after the model rolled off the assembly line to make sure the nine-speed was up to par.

Despite the Cherokee's careful rollout, Fiat Chrysler has been working hard to iron out all the kinks. The automaker issued a software reflash for the Cherokee just last year. On our long-term Cherokee Trailhawk, we noticed that this update made a considerable difference in the transmission's ability to shift smoothly, but we did note it could use yet another revision to make things just right.

The new software recalibration is available at dealerships now by request, reports Automotive News. All Cherokees are eligible for the update, as well as Chrysler 200 models equipped with 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder engines. Hopefully the automaker can perfect the nine-speed's software before it rolls out in a slew of new vehicles, including the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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