Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM vehicles are getting shaken up, and not in a good way.
Fiat Chrysler anticipated that, in September 2013, it would release a new 9-speed transmission that had the fuel efficiency of a manual transmission and the easy use of an automatic one. However, faults in the 9-speed transmission caused its release to be pushed back repeatedly, with Fiat Chrysler repeatedly fixing and recalibrating this transmission so that it would work as intended.
A transmission should start, stop, speed up and slow down when the driver intends for the vehicle to do so. In addition, the transmission should live up to the promises that the automaker advertises.
However, multiple class action lawsuits say that Fiat Chrysler’s ZF 9HP transmission cannot function as intended. One of those suits says that Fiat Chrysler rushed the transmission to market, despite knowing that the transmission cannot live up to the promises the automaker made.
What’s wrong with the ZF 9HP transmission?
According to one class action lawsuit, Razen v. FCA, Fiat Chrysler knew that the ZF 9HP transmission was plagued with problems that could make some FCA vehicles unsafe to drive.
The lawsuit alleges that vehicles with this 9-speed transmission experience defects such as rough, delayed or sudden shifting, failure to shift, grinding or loud noises during shifting, harsh engagement of gears, sudden or harsh acceleration and deceleration, sudden loss of power, premature transmission wear and transmission failure.
Other alleged transmission defects, such as delayed acceleration, abrupt forward propulsion and sudden loss of power, can make it difficult or unsafe for drivers to change lanes, make turns, merge into traffic, or accelerate from stops or onto freeways. Drivers attempting to do any of these with a faulty 9HP transmission may face an increased risk of a crash.
Another lawsuit, Moran v. FCA, alleges that the 9HP transmission can cause sudden loss of power in some Chrysler vehicles, along with other allegations of additional defects.
Razen v. FCA attributes these alleged defects to the transmission control module and its software. Both lawsuits cite several technical service bulletins (TSBs) that instruct dealers to reprogram or update the module.
What vehicles are affected by the FCA transmission defect?
Razen v. FCA represents owners and lessees of 2016–Present FCA vehicles equipped with ZF 9HP automatic transmissions. Fiat Chrysler’s subsidiaries in the United States include Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM.
Moran v. FCA represents owners and lessees of 2017–Present Chrysler Pacifica vehicles equipped with 3.6-liter V6 engines and 9-speed automatic transmissions, which include the ZF 9HP automatic transmissions referenced in Razen v. FCA.
If you do not know what transmission your vehicle has, locate your owner’s manual in your glove box or contact your local FCA dealership. If you have the ZF 9HP transmission that experiences any of the defects listed in the lawsuit, you may have a defective vehicle on your hands.
What does this lawsuit mean for me?
If you are an owner or a lessee of a 2016–Present FCA vehicle with a ZF 9HP transmission, you may be automatically included in one or more class action lawsuits. In particular, owners and lessees of 2017–Present Chrysler Pacifica vehicles may be included in at least one class action suit.
At least one lawsuit alleges that FCA knowingly sold a faulty product to consumers, and that consumers had little way of knowing about the faults in the ZF 9HP transmission before buying the faulty vehicles.
Those represented by one or more class action lawsuits may opt out and take an individual lemon law case against Fiat Chrysler. If you are included in at least one lawsuit, you may need to opt out before a certain deadline to retain your individual right to pursue a California lemon law claim.
Can I still pursue a California lemon law claim?
If you have successfully opted out of one or more class action lawsuits, you may pursue a California lemon law claim against Fiat Chrysler.
The California Lemon Law states that your vehicle is considered defective if there is a defect that affects the vehicle’s use, safety or value, and that an authorized dealership or repair facility cannot fix the recurring problems with a reasonable number of attempts within the warranty period. The number considered “reasonable” is determined on a case-by-case basis.
The California Lemon Law allows California residents who own or lease defective vehicles to take legal action against auto manufacturers. As long as you have opted out of the class action lawsuit, and as long as the statute of limitations hasn’t run out for you, you can pursue a California lemon law claim.
How can Knight Law Group’s lemon law attorneys help me?
If you are affected by this vehicle defect and you are ready to pursue a claim, our California lemon law attorneys can help you get the legal remedies you deserve.
Under the California Lemon Law, you may be eligible for cash compensation, a vehicle replacement or a California lemon law buyback. However, you should not pursue a lemon law claim alone. Our lemon law attorneys can answer any questions you may have about the lemon law process and get you the outcome that you deserve.
If you have any questions about the FCA transmission defect or your rights under the California Lemon Law, fill out the contact form below or call us at 877-222-2222 for a free consultation in as little as five minutes.
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