It seems that the software problems with the nine-speed automatic gearbox in the Jeep Cherokee continue to mount. The programming already caused multiple development delays and even postponed the Cherokee's market launch by roughly two months. Now, Jeep has issued another recalibration to hopefully assuage unhappy drivers.

According to Automotive News, this reflash for the allegedly jerky transmission covers over 100,000 Cherokees built before May 5, but it's not technically a recall. If owners are having problems and complain to the dealer, they get the new software. Otherwise, they continue with the current version. New vehicles on dealer lots also receive the latest revision to the programming. It takes only around five minutes to install, but technicians need to take the Cherokee on a test drive to adapt the gearbox to the changes.

The Cherokee's transmission software has been problematic practically since the beginning. The Jeep plant in Toledo, OH, briefly idled its second-shift workers last year to take care of the issue. Since the launch issues for the crossover, demand has been strong. Jeep added another 1,000 temporary workers to the Toledo factory to keep up, and sales were on par with the Wrangler in just its first two months.

The ZF nine-speed is also found in the Chrysler 200, but it isn't affected by this recalibration. According to Chrysler spokesperson Kathy Graham about the upgrade, the 200 "already has it."


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  • 118 Comments
      lostboyz
      • 6 Months Ago
      Crazy to think people thought this wouldn't sell on looks alone, even with some hiccups with the trans and bad press, they have sold over 100,000 of them in less than a year.
        Ed
        • 6 Months Ago
        @lostboyz
        It performs well. Motor Trend said in thier review: The Cherokee can compete head to head with any of the modern small crossovers on the road. Off-road, it will bury them.
      Love Great Danes
      • 6 Months Ago
      what would be really cool is flashing software to a car remotely through its satellite antenna. Park your car outside where there are no obstacles overhead and "hit an update" button. No dealership, no sitting in a waiting room with crappy daytime television on. Done at your convenience.
      helloac
      • 6 Months Ago
      I don't think this is a big deal. So a car company wants to make sure a car is performing at its best for its owners... what a concept!
      Jim Mangold
      • 6 Months Ago
      Chrysler still makes junk. after my caravan I got rid of that fell apart at 70000 miles and the liberty with the non working windows, ford pinto exploding gas tank. rusted rear sway arms and a few other recalls. I will never buy another one of their products after being faithful for 30 years . liberty goes bye bye next year . if it holds together .
        kagroyalo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim Mangold
        Well Jim, these transmissions are made by ZF. A respected manufacturer for Jaguar, Audi, Bently, Also it is a software issue, while an inconvenience it is stated NOWHERE that harm is being done. And as far as Chrysler making junk my '98 Durango has 330,000 miles and runs like a top. So go buy your Honda or Toyota because nothing ever goes wrong, give me a break
      thatguy88
      • 6 Months Ago
      Who friggin' needs 9 speeds anyway? The 7th & 8th gear are reached practically never in just about every test drive/road test article I've read. Seriously, a 7 speed would've sufficed just fine. No need to "reinvent the wheel" when the wheel has hit a peak.
        Devon
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thatguy88
        My Cherokee shifts into 7th gear by 48mph and 8th gear by 63mph. It does this to achieve close to 30mpg with the V6. It appears that you may not understand how this transmission works.
          superlightv12
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Devon
          Yes but you could get 40 mpg in a 3 speed Fiero, that is if the suspension didn't fall off in those 40 miles.
        Devon
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thatguy88
        My Cherokee shifts into 7th gear by 48mph and 8th gear by 63mph. It does this to achieve close to 30mpg with the V6. It appears that you may not understand how this transmission works.
        Devon
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thatguy88
        My Cherokee shifts into 7th gear by 48mph and 8th gear by 63mph. It does this to achieve close to 30mpg with the V6. It appears that you may not understand how this transmission works.
      fuzzyfish6
      • 6 Months Ago
      "It seems that the software problems with the nine-speed automatic gearbox in the Jeep Cherokee continue to mount." I don't get it, our electronics (phones, TVs, computers, video game consoles, etc) always have updates and patches to improve their function or provide bug fixes. People always look forward to these updates, yet on a car it's "software problems continuing to mount"? This shows that the manufacturer is doing things to improve their products at an ongoing basis. This is a good thing!
        Jesus!
        • 6 Months Ago
        @fuzzyfish6
        Except on my iPhone etc, I can do it from the comfort of my own home. I don't see that happening with a vehicle.
      bK
      • 6 Months Ago
      It seems like the people who bought the cherokee, paid to be beta testers.
      Bill Burke
      • 6 Months Ago
      Jeep has no mechanical problems with the transmissions just the software per say. What exists is a brand new and very complex transmission and four wheel drive system that is undergoing an updated and improved shifting logic. Jeep wants a quality product and is willing to reflash the existing computer systems to get it just right. Reflashing automobile computers is a regular event for many vehicles, especially for emission improvements. This very minor adjustment just demonstrates that Jeep is willing to go the extra mile for their customers. They should be applauded.
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        Sounds more like they released the product before it was ready and used the consumer as a guinea pig to fine tune their calibration.
        clquake
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        They released a product without testing it first. Reflashing is NOT a regular event. Jeep isn't going the extra mile, they're trying to avoid buying back each one under lemon laws.
          superlightv12
          • 6 Months Ago
          @clquake
          Trying to buy time so that the transmissions grenade after the warranty is out, like they do on so many of their products.
          Bill Burke
          • 6 Months Ago
          @clquake
          Everyone knows Jeeps are bullet proof and reliable for decades. Highest resale value is no accident but a result of consumer confidence and real life experience. The Cherokee generally carries a higher standard that Jeep is making every effort to meet and exceed. Given a choice, especially in the used vehicle market, you should always choose a Jeep. No Jeep wanna be's for me.
        clquake
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        They released a product without testing it first. Reflashing is NOT a regular event. Jeep isn't going the extra mile, they're trying to avoid buying back each one under lemon laws.
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bill Burke
        Sounds more like they released the product before it was ready and used the consumer as a guinea pig to fine tune their calibration.
      Go2Fast
      • 6 Months Ago
      I have a solution - manual transmission.
      mary.keana
      • 6 Months Ago
      Autoblog, did you report the recent Hyundai Tuscon recall?
        Aaron N
        • 6 Months Ago
        @mary.keana
        Are you really still posting on here with your multiple names? Wow, looks like I need to just stay away from this site since they like to ban people who actually contribute to this website rather than troll like crazy.
          yonomo200
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Aaron N
          OMMFG give me a ******* break aaronmaryzoom you ******* ****!
          mary.keana
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Aaron N
          Yonomo, you have not used this account in a long time.
          mary.keana
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Aaron N
          Yonomo, you have not used this account in a long time.
      Avinash Machado
      • 6 Months Ago
      Chrysler reliability needs to improve.
      Matt44
      • 6 Months Ago
      They've sold 100000 of these? I am impressed. I've seen them all over the place but I didn't think it was that many.
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