This issue is related to an improper crimp on the transmission wiring harness. Rather than a physical fix, ZF is issuing a software update to remedy the problem. The company doesn't recommend dealers attempt to fix the crimp. Although the transmission can be found in a number of models by various manufacturers, currently only those from FCA are being recalled.
This is the second recall in less than a year related to a ZF transmission shifting into neutral. FCA recently recalled more than a million vehicles worldwide because of a poorly designed shifter for ZF's 8HP eight-speed automatic. That issue may have resulted in the death of actor Anton Yelchin in June. Although there are no deaths related to this new recall, NHTSA reports that the issue has resulted in at least 10 injuries.
Issues with the transmission have been known for years. A number of software updates have attempted to address various problems, making us wonder if there could be a fundamental hardware issue as the complaints span across a number of automakers.
Vehicles equipped with the 9HP include 2014 and newer versions of the V6 Acura TLX, Chrysler 200, Fiat 500X, upper-level Honda Pilots, Jeep Cherokee and Renegade, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, and Ram ProMaster City. Only FCA is issuing a recall and only on 2014 and 2015 models.