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Consumer Lemon Law

Jeep Transmission Problems and Recalls: What to Expect in 2024

Jeep transmission problems reported

Jeep transmission problems and recalls plagued the brand in 2023 as owners frustrated with their vehicles not working properly, either leaned on the California Lemon Law for help or took a Jeep Buyback offer. 

Now in 2024, can owners start trusting the brand again or will it be much of the same as in 2023? 

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Consumer Lemon Law

Jeep Transmission Problems: A Timeline

Jeep transmission problems have been a thorn in Jeep’s side for many years. Owners who have been dealing with Jeep Cherokee rollaway risks, clutch plates overheating, or the transmission kicking when shifting into gear have had to lean on the Lemon Law or Jeep Buyback program. 

Below is a quick timeline of the last 9 years of Jeep recalls because of transmission issues. 

2015 Jeep Cherokee transmission recall

2015

Jeep Cherokee

Complaints include: Kicking when shifting gears, car jerking in motion when initally shifting into Drive.
2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee NHTSA Recall

2016

Jeep Grand Cherokee Rollaway Risk

Potential engine stall because of crankshaft position sensor tone wheel not working properly cause engine stall.
2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited NHTSA Recall

2017

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

ABS and Traction Control lights come on and vehicle starts losing speed. The powertrain control module may have a faulty regulator chip that will stall or not start.
2018-JEEP-COMPASS-SUV-NHTSA-RECALLS

2018

Jeep Compass

Powertrain control module faulty regulated chip provoques stall or no start. Reported suspension problems with lower control arm seperation due to incorrect weld.
2019 Jeep Cherokee NHTSA recall

2019

Jeep Cherokee 2WD

Jeep Cherokee vehicles with a 2.4L engine has an improper transmission calibration that will cause the vehicle to stall. another recall was issued for the steering rack gear might fail causing loss of steering control.
2021 Jeep Cherokee NHTSA Recall

2020

Jeep Cherokee 4WD

Steering rack gear could break causing a look of steering control and causing a crash.
2021-JEEP-CHEROKEE-NHTSA-RECALL

2021

Jeep Cherokee

Transmission oil cooler hose was not correctly cured causing fluid to leak. Also front control arms may fracture while driving.
2022-JEEP-GLADIATOR-NHTSA-RECALL

2022

Jeep Gladiator 4WD

Clutch compontents tend to overheat increasing the risk of a fire or components breaking causing loss of drive and increasing a crash risk.
2023 Worst Cars and their recalls

2023

Jeep Gladiator 4WD

Clutch overheating problems continue as the clutch plate can overheat, causing breakage. This problem ultimately causes loss of control and possible crash.

What is the Most Common Jeep Transmission Failure?

The most common Jeep transmission failure stems from the ZF 9-speed Automatic Transmission. Many Jeep forums state that because of contract constraints with the manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen AG, service centers could only do superficial fixes since the design structure could not be changed until 2016. 

The main complaints range from rough downshifting, 1-2 upshifts are rough when the transmission is cold. Many owners reported that when the transmission was reprogrammed it fixed the issue in the short term but the problem would come back. 

Jeep transmission problems

How Reliable Are Jeep Transmissions?

Jeep transmissions are a crap-shoot. With the number of Jeep recalls issued by the NHTSA over the past 10 years being transmission/clutch related, it makes future owners rethink buying a Jeep. 

Many claim that depending on the engine/transmission pairing you could go worry-free but the transmission problem does not stem from just rough-up shifting or downshifting, but from transmission oil leaks from a faulty hose not being cured correctly before being installed, or clutch plates overheating causing parts around it to fail. 

There are so many different variants to the problem that purchasing a Jeep becomes high-risk. 

Why Do Jeeps Have a Bad Reputation?

Performance issues with Jeep have been hit-and-miss over the last 10 years. While many loyal Jeep owners have accepted that a faulty transmission could be an issue, they have learned to resell the vehicle before hitting the 100K mile mark where the transmission has a high risk of having to be rebuilt or replaced. 

Many Jeep Wrangler owners have reported transmission issues as early as 18K miles, with gear grinding as the main problem. 

The 2016 Jeep Cherokee Lattitude defect is the service shifter error message where all the gear lights light up red and then lose power. 

The inconsistency of these transmission problems is what makes buying a Jeep a game of Russian roulette. 

Jeep transmission issues, lights on dashboard

What is The Jeep Class Action Lawsuit Transmission?

The Granillo,et al. v. FCA lawsuit was filed under the grounds that the manufacturer knew about the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee, and 2015 Jeep renegade defective ZF 9HP automatic transmissions yet still went to market.

The classic symptoms were reported from rough shifting, loud noises while shifting, and transmissions jumping or shaking. 

The class action suit offers owners a cash payment up to $2000 or a trade-in voucher of up to $4000 for a new Fiat-Crystler vehicle. 

Many law experts advise clients to pursue a Lemon Law claim instead since the dollar amount offered in the suit does not cover most of the expenses of replacing the transmission or the time the car was not able to be in use. 

Our Thoughts on The Jeep Transmission Problems

In our opinion, jeep transmission problems have been improving but not at an acceptable pace.

If we were in the market to purchase a 2014 Jeep or newer, an extended manufacturer warranty would be a “must” since there are clear indicators that the higher mileage on these transmissions means big problems and an expensive fix. 

From current owners sharing their experiences on the top Jeep forums, it looks like anywhere from $6000 to $7000 fix.

Our gut tells us it’s a pass or we would have to be ready to have a Lemon Law attorney on call once the defects start appearing. 

Jeep Transmission Problems FAQs

Many Jeep Cherokee owners report issues such as rough shifting, transmission failure without warning, power loss while driving, and the transmission shifting into neutral unexpectedly. These problems can be costly to fix and may pose safety hazards.

Signs of transmission problems in Jeep vehicles include oil leaks, poor engine performance, trouble accelerating, poor response times, hard shifting, shaking or shuddering, stalling, overheating, and delayed shifting. Identifying these signs early can help prevent further damage and costly repairs.

A vehicle can also qualify if it’s been in the shop for over 30 days cumulatively for repairs.

Transmission problems in Jeeps are often caused by issues such as erratic shifting, slipping, delayed shifting, and no shifting, which can be attributed to low transmission fluid levels, faulty transmission control modules, or mechanical failures within the transmission system. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to warning signs can help mitigate these issues.

Owners experiencing transmission issues with their Jeep Cherokees can try troubleshooting steps such as checking for transmission fluid leaks, ensuring proper transmission fluid levels, inspecting the transmission control module, and addressing any mechanical issues promptly. Seeking professional assistance from certified technicians is recommended for comprehensive diagnosis and repair.

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