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The actual FCA “shifter fix”

by David Zatz on

FCA is recalling over a million cars, mostly Chargers and 300s, with some Jeep Grand Cherokees thrown in. All have the eight-speed automatic and a ZF shifter that springs back into a neutral position after shifting.


Many customers have complained about the feel and operation of this shifter (including some in the forums), but the recall is only designed to stop people from leave their car in gear or Neutral when it is running, by intent, forgetfulness, or because they only thought they had gone into Park.

Sergio Marchionne said FCA will update the software so the transmission would go into Park when the driver’s door was opened. He added, “I don’t ever remember a planetary transmission that automatically switched into Park … I used to have to open the door to back up the car, because I couldn’t see anything from a very cheap car that I used to drive when I was a young man.”

The recall will not change the behavior of the shifter.   FCA  US previously said it would “enhance the warnings and transmission-shift strategy.” The company dropped this shifter in 2015 on cars, and in 2016 on the Grand Cherokee.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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