ZF-9 Speed Transmission Problems Continue to Plague Jeep, Fiat, Land Rover, Honda, and Acura Drivers

October 18, 2017
By: Robert Silverman

The ZF 9-speed transmission, created to increase vehicle performance level and fuel efficiency on the road, has continued to be problematic for certain Jeep, Chrysler, Acura, Fiat. Land Rover and Honda drivers. Our firm has handled over 1,000 claims dealing with the struggling performance of the ZF 9-speed transmission.

Drivers with the defective ZF 9-speed transmission are complaining about hard or odd shifting points, sudden shut downs and a sluggish accelerating reaction. As a result, many are starting to notice a deficiency in the ZF 9-speed transmission.

Jeep Problems listed six transmission woes consumers should know about their 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee.   And, it’s not just the Jeep Cherokees experiencing these problems with the defective ZF 9-speed transmission. 2015-2016 Jeep Renegade, 2015-2016 Chrysler 200, 2016 Fiat 500X, 2014-2017 Range Rover Evoque, 2015-2017 Land Rover Discovery, 2015-2016 Honda Pilot and 2015-2017 Acura TLX are also affected according to Car & Driver.

1-800-LEMON-LAW founding partner, Bob Silverman spoke with several news stations regarding the ZF 9-speed transmission. In June 2016, he conveyed to WTAE Pittsburgh that he has heard from thousands of consumers that the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokees are unsafe to operate.

In March 2017, Silverman informed News 12 New Jersey that Fiat Chryslers have done “multiple recalls” and “transmission replacements” to resolve the problem but have yet to find a solution.

Another public report focused on defective ZF 9-speed transmissions by NBC 5 Chicago featured a family driving a 2015 Jeep Cherokee and experiencing a stutter effect in the middle of a busy intersection. The featured consumers felt that operating the vehicle with a child inside was “too dangerous.”

If you own or lease any of the cars listed above and are experiencing a troubling transmission, we do offer a solution. Take your car back to the dealer immediately and be very specific going over every problem you are encountering with the service adviser.

Make sure you receive repair invoices for each visit, with mile-in and mile-out data, dates, your complaint, and their repairs.

If you’ve had repetitive visits to the dealer addressing your ZF 9-speed transmission problems, and/or your vehicle has been in the shop an extended period of time, please email us or call, 1 800 LEMON LAW (1 800 536 6652).

You can learn more  about PA, NJ, and NY lemon laws on our state lemon law pages.

You could be entitled to a repurchase, new vehicle, or significant monetary compensation under State or Federal law. And best of all, help is 100% cost-free.

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28 Responses to “ZF-9 Speed Transmission Problems Continue to Plague Jeep, Fiat, Land Rover, Honda, and Acura Drivers”

  1. #1 Eric Clock says:

    Experiencing the same problem with a jeep cherokee 9 spd transmission, they claim to have fixed it now twice and still doing it. Chrysler has given me the run around and so has the dealership. Car is set to come out of warranty in under 2000 miles and i feel they’re dragging their ass, so to speak, in the hopes it’s out of the warranty eventually and they don’t have to fix it. Any help or adivce you can provide would be appreciated.

    • State: Indiana
  2. #2 Richard Cain says:

    2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited with 9 speed ZF transmission. Having hard shifts…hesitation…safety concerns
    Phone 864-981-2155

    • State: S C
  3. #3 Nigel Sellars says:

    Not sure Canadian law give me the same rights as in the US.
    However I have have a 2015 Jeep Cherokee that has had 2 drive shafts (main front to back), one completely new transmission, one new hydraulic control manifold (transmission), one new transmission wiring harness, and both front lower ball joints replaced.
    The vehicle is 3years and 3 months old with 90000kms on the clock.
    Any advise would be much appreciated.


    • State: Ontario
  4. #4 LemonLaw says:

    @Richard: Please visit https://www.lemonlaw.com/lemon-law-firm.html to find a lemon law firm in your state who may be able to help.

    • #5 Heather Brown says:

      I bought a Jeep Renegade 2015 and ever since I bought the transmission had problems. When it first did the hard shifts and almost like a stalling they said it need to be flushed. The next the same thing a flush. The third time it was supposedly a system upgrade and now the transmission is overheating. I have already put in a lot of monthly payments on this car and have four more years I don’t think this is right.


      • State: Pa
    • #6 Kimmy Frazier says:

      OMG!!!! Im in Indiana also and this EXACT same thing is happening to me. I thought I was the only one who thought that this was their solution, to give you the “software” update fix and continue to do that or blame it on something else. Say they didn’t find anything wrong etc…until your warranty is gone. Why? Because they do NOT have a fix for this issue. My Jeep almost Killed me the day before YESTERDAY at a busy intersection when I pushed on the gas and it didn’t move for 5 seconds. Yesterday I took it to the dealership TWICE. I am so sick of this death trap.

      • State: INDIANA
    • #7 Mark white says:

      2016 jeep Cherokee trailhawk. Second transmission in a year with only 5000 between transmissions. In the shop as I write this. My wife went to park and the transmission just quit and went into what I assume was neutral. She almost rolled down hill into a lake because she couldn’t set parking brake. Had to sit on the hill holding brakes for half an hour until help could arrive to connect vehicle to winch To keep it in place so she could exit the vehicle. We are done with this vehicle and jeeps non response to the issue.

      • State: Wa
    • #8 Billy says:

      Have they fixed the problems with the 9 speed transmission? Why would they still use them in 2018/2019 models if they had so many issues? Seems like a horrible decision

      • State: Wisconsin
    • #9 jonathan wehle says:

      My 2018 Cherokee will not shift into 9th gear ever. And sometimes won’t go into 8th at high speed.

      • State: AL
    • #10 Charlie says:

      I agree with Bill, and I am wondering the same thing… I own a 2018 with this transmission, seems perfectly fine but we need transparency on this topic related to the new models, Jeep Please speak up. thank you Charlie

      • State: AZ
    • #11 Lynne says:

      We have a 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD. It also has a 9 speed transmission and if my googling is accurate it is manufactured by ZF. We have made numerous stops in at the service department, left the vehicle overnight, left it for about a week and everytime the service departments stance is they ‘can’t replicate or duplicate the problem’. We have gone through arbitration with Acura and were initially offered $3k to sign an agreement stating we would not move forward with the issue. We declined and the arbitrator agreed with Acura that the car was ‘performing as designed’. I guess our problem now is to prove that they have a faulty design and they knew about it. I don’t want this car anymore, it’s incredibly aggravating to buy a brand new car that is supposed to be luxury and have issue after annoying issue. It slips through gears, it jerks from 1st to second when the engine is cold. The navigation is often times unresponsive, their stance on that is our phones are interfering with the electronics through bluetooth. Balogna. The rear tailgate hydrolics had to be replaced and a key fob had to be replaced in the first 6 months. This is not a luxury experience but it sure is a luxury price.

      • State: CA
    • #12 Jim says:

      Regarding not shifting into 9th gear; that only happens at 85+ MPH by design. 2014-2016 models have issues. 2017+ have been much better.

      • State: IL
    • #13 Stephen says:

      I have to admit I am the only one to blame for purchasing my 2017 cherokee latitude….I first purchased the honda hr-v and the driver”seat gave me excruciating back pain…so I immediately took it back to the honda dealer an got a new honda accord sedan
      It was too large a car…after driving it about 50 miles I went backto trade it in on a cr-v..but would only get me 18 K trade-in..
      So I went to the chysler jeep dealer and eventually traded my accord in and took a 6K bath..I took the cherokke out for a spin around the block and at that time the transmission seemed to operate normally..I now have bout 600 miles on it.and it wants to act up not being able to fine the right gear to be in around 40 mph.it is absolutely discusting..jeep has been playing with this transmission since 2014 and had had thousands of
      complaints all kinds of complaints not only transmissions..You would think they would be more customer oriented and get it fixed 100% or buy back program…My car has too many ” blind spots” …And has a horrible re-sale value ..so I guess I am stuck…I have 29 K in a 18 K vehicle…

      • State: AZ
    • #14 Donald Rutherford jr says:

      I purchased 2017 Chrysler Pacifica 6/22/16 because 2014 dodge caravan trans. shifting problems same as 9 speed problems was told by salesman 9speed is upgrade from dodge trans. and will not have this problem ( ya right ) at 7000 miles or so hard shifting, sluggish,dragging feeling problems started. Took back to the dealer they could not find anything wrong. Every oil change I told them and no codes test drive couldn’t find problem. Until now they drove it at last oil change and it did it to the mechanic on the test drive they did a flashed tcm and performed quick learn 181905FY and said it’s fixed. Well 50 miles later same problems are back happening 7 times since have appointment 7/24/18 and I did lodge a complaint with Chrysler about this this is the only problem I have with this van.

      • State: Florida
    • #15 Dean says:

      This whole situation is a sad reflection on Jeep. I have a 2014 Cherokee Lattitude, just left the dealer for the 3rd time, they have no fix (front axles have been changed, and the software flashed). They told me not to bring it back!
      My first Jeep customer service rep from Jeep cares was rude and dismissive. They are a disaster. I sold mine today and took at 5k hit.

      • State: Tn
    • #16 Roberto says:

      I have a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Limited 3.6L. Transmissions issues since the day we drove it off the lot. Full transmission replaced in January 2018 and having same issues. Dealerships continue to do PCM updates and say “it drives as designed”. What a bunch of bull! I HATE this vehicle!

      • State: Texas
    • #17 LYNDA says:

      I don’t know anything about all these complaints ~ all I DO know is that I rented a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Latitude from Enterprise for a month in 2016, and it ran beautifully well the whole time, like a dream .. and I got almost 50 miles per gallon the whole time, which sold me on the benefits of the 9-speed transmission. Could I have really been so fortunate to get the only great-performing 2015 9-speed Jeep around? I think not. Sorry for any folks with genuine troubles, but your sad stories aren’t all-encompassing for all Jeeps. I think there may be “more to this story” of woes.

      • State: FLORIDA
    • #18 martin says:

      tengo una cherokee 2015 y tiene el mismo problema golpes realmente feos en la caja zf

      • State: el salvador, centro america
    • #19 Steve Feldman says:

      Having the same issue with my 2018 GMC Terrain. When I went back to the dealership, they said that their is nothing they can do.

      • State: IL
    • #20 Carla Hammond says:

      I purchased a 2017 Acura, MDX, SH-AWD, with a ZF-9, automatic transmission. From the moment I drove it away from the dealership, I began experiencing problems with rough shifting, especially in low gears. I returned the vehicle to the dealership on multiple occasions and was told they could not duplicate the problem. After the fourth of fifth time at the dealership, the actually agreed the transmission was shifting harshly. I thought, wow, finally, the problem will be addressed. Then they quickly said the harsh, rough shifting nature of the transmission is characteristic of the 9-speed ZF-9 transmission. They refused to acknowledge or repair the problem. I contacted a well-known attorney for help. They promptly filed a law suit, to which Acura replied, there is no problem with the transmission. The attorney agreed and dropped the suit. Did they really think Acura or any auto manufacturer for that matter, is going to admit they produced and sold a defective vehicle? Of course not. Bottom line is, if you purchased a vehicle with a faulty, defective, underperforming ZF-9 transmission, you should cut your losses and sell it. No one will accept liability and no one will go the distance to help you.

      • State: Maryland
    • #21 LemonLaw says:

      @Carla: We sent you an email. Please give Michael Sacks a call at 800 536 6652 ext. 131.

      • #22 Linda says:

        I bought a new 2015 Jeep Cherokee in September of 2015 it started having transmission problems at about 6 months since then it has been in the shop nine times for the same thing and every time I get it back it’s worse than it was before now it’s just dying and going into neutral in the middle of an intersection these things are death traps and Chrysler should be made to do something about it and although I have talked with Chrysler on several occasions I get no help at all this is the worst experience I’ve ever had in my life and will never ever buy another Chrysler product

        • State: Mo
      • #23 Martin Meaders says:

        We own a 2014 Jeep Cherokee we purchased in January 2014. It was manufactured in August 2013 and not allowed to be sold until December then came lucky me. We have complained and had the tranny reprogrammed. Yesterday I complained to a dealer and requested he document it but I doubt he did. Our car has not blown up or shutdown but shifts hard, hesitates, and will not maintain highway speeds. If you set the speed at 70 it will lose down to fifty five- then you apply the gas and it hesitates then lunges breaking your neck. Today I pulled out and it did nothing and almost caused me to get hit. I found this site while looking for transmission replacement costs. Not worth trading. I have a Ram 2500 and a Chrysler 300 that are great but will look elsewhere next time. FYI only.

        • State: Georgia
      • #24 Wayne j Scrimshaw says:

        My transmission sounds like I am running with my brake pads worn down to the steel. It only makes this sound under 35 kph. I thought at first was brakes but I replaced all rotors and pads and now the noise is getting worse everyday from the 9 speed tranny. Vehicle is 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited. It seems to run well except for this very loud and annoying transmission noise

        • State: ON
      • #25 Tim Lee says:

        I have a 2016 Chrysler 200c AWD. I have problems with very abrupt shifts from 4th to 5th gear. Dealer programmed a transmission update. Still have same issue at only 20,000 miles.

        • State: IL.
      • #26 Jim Lawlor says:

        We have a 2014 Lattitude that shifts very hard in the lower gears, especially when the car is cold. Taking it in for service.

        • State: NC
      • #27 Jack Cordes says:

        Recently have purchased a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Braun Entervan that has the 9 speed transmission. Had only 416 dealer miles on it when purchased. From the time I started driving it, I have found the transmission does not shift into high gear when I accelerate to over 60 mph. Above 60 on the freeway it stays close to 2000 engine rpm and won’t shift to the higher gear that would drop rpm to around 1500+ where it should be at that speed. If I then drop in speed below 60 say to around 55 the rpm drops to the lower value about 500 rpm less and is now basically in the high gear. Now if I gradually speed up to greater than 60 it stays in the correct higher gear as long as I don’t try speeding up by depressing the accelerator to cause the transmission to shift to the next lower gear in getting to the higher speed. If I do that it stays in that next lower gear at speeds above 60. It’s obvious that this is no good for freeway speed driving, and if you stay above 60 in the lower gear the gas mileage drops accordingly. It appears from some of the other stories presented that this problem along with other stated problems may not be able to be remedied by any dealers technical staff. Also, if I try to quickly speed up after it is in the highest gear let’s say above 60, I have to nearly press the accelerator all the way in it’s travel nearly to the floor. At that point it shifts to too low of a gear for that speed instead of an intermediate gear like it should have. Are these several described problems another few to add to a defective transmission design? My previous 2016 Town and Country with 6 speed transmission never had this problem or any others. Several other 2017 Dodge Grand Caravans with 6 speed transmission were ok, too, that I had occasion to drive shifting just like my 2016 Town and Country.

        • State: Ohio
      • #28 Laurentiu says:

        I have the same issue (very abrupt shifting from 4th ro 5th) on my European 1.6 i dtec Honda CRV 9 speed, still did not go to the service thinking it is normal.due to the “special” design of the gearbox…, I am curious how did you solve it?
        I plane to visit service soon.

        • State: Europe

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