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The mystery of the 2016 nine-speeds

by David Zatz on

Almost as an aside, we read that FCA had resolved “outstanding issues” with its nine-speed automatics for 2016.

The state of the art transmissions have an outstanding gear range and reaction time, with many innovations for efficiency; but automakers using them have reportedly had problems.  This is not unusual for a completely new transmission; Land Rover and FCA were the first two customers for the nine-speed automatics.

Sergio Marchionne said last September that “There were some things that were built in …. that proved to be, in hindsight, unwise…” and said there would be changes for the 2016 cars, based on ZF and FCA’s combined work.

FCA US told Allpar:

We have continually improved responsiveness and shift-smoothness based on customer feedback since introducing the transmission in the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. For 2016 model year, FCA used new powertrain calibration development tools to further refine all our transmission/engine combinations. …
We have introduced several powertrain software and hardware refinements since the nine-speed transmission was first introduced and some updates can be applied to vehicles that were built/sold earlier. Customers should check with their local dealerships to determine if any updates are appropriate for their specific vehicle.
Spokesman Eric Mayne added, “We will take care of our customers.”

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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