There’s a lot of news swirling around about Fiat-Chrysler’s (FCA) electronic gear shifter (and none of it’s good).
The government says the shifter “appears to violate several basic design guidelines for vehicle controls.” They go on to say it isn’t consistent or easy to use.
Electronic Gear Shifter Complaints
The shifter is installed in 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers, 2012-2014 Chrysler 300s and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been happening:
08/25/2015: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation after multiple rollaway incidents were reported in 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
02/08/2016: NHTSA upgraded the investigation to include the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, which both use the same (odd) new gear shifter design.
04/22/2016: Even though the shifters work as designed, the design stinks. FCA finally announced a recall to add additional warnings and, in some cases, automatically stop the vehicle from moving in certain situations. The government closed their investigation.
06/21/2016: Star Trek actor, Anton Yelchin, was killed by his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee after it rolled backwards and pinned Yelchin after he exited the vehicle.
06/28/2016: Not only have the complaints kept rolling in, but Yelchin’s death combined with the glacial speed of the recall have owners concerned and frustrated.
[ZF North America Recalls Transmission Sensors→]
08/07/2016: ZF North America is recalling 505,000 transmission sensors that were included in transmissions sold to multiple automakers, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.