Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its Jeep brand might be having a case of déjà-vu, as the third largest automaker in the US and the world’s seventh biggest is battling another software glitch related to the nine-speed automatic transmission.
The hot selling Jeep Cherokee was delivered later than expected to dealerships because it had a flaw pertaining to the newly developed nine-speed transmission, impacting sales of the model and rattling both customers and dealerships. Chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne told the media there’s a problem and hinted it has to do with the automaker’s nine-speed transmission sourced from ZF. “I’m having a very bad engineering day,” reportedly commented Marchionne, during an event on Tuesday, according to Automotive News. “It’s a combination of attributes of that vehicle that is making my life horrible.” The official stance is there’s no software glitch ensnaring the subcompact sport utility vehicle. But Marchionne said the problems were similar to those plaguing the year before the new Cherokee. The model is being built in Italy and has been hitting dealerships in the US since March, with at least 5,100 units sold in April.
The nine-speed automatic is used to deliver power from the 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder engine that outputs 180 horsepower. The model that uses the 1.4-liter Multi-Air turbo four-cylinder can deliver 160 horsepower and 184 foot pounds of torque and is mated to a six speed manual transmission. So far, two owners have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for issues pertaining to the transmission of the model, and Marchionne pledged to have the flaw fixed by the middle of June.