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I'm really hoping that Honda ditches this transmission in the Touring and Elite models for 2017.

After more than two years, thousands of warranty claims, and hundreds of owner complaints, transmission supplier ZF is finally issuing a recall to fix its nine-speed automatic.


The transmission can unexpectedly shift into neutral while driving due to an improper crimp on a wiring harness attached to the sensor cluster, which controls the “shift pattern and quality,” according to ZF. The manufacturing defect results in high electrical resistance that causes the transmission to shift into neutral. So far, ZF says this problem affects 505,000 cars in the United States, the majority of them sold by Fiat Chrysler. A software update will either prevent the random shift to neutral or give the driver “adequate warning” before the transmission does so anyway.


ZF is not recommending automakers make any physical repairs to the affected cars despite making a crimping change to its production line starting in July 2014. Reviewing the database on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, we found at least 895 owners complaining not just of sudden shifts to neutral but acceleration surges, rough shifts, hesitation to downshift, and even vehicles that rolled away in neutral or engaged drive after the owners claimed they had selected park. At least 10 related injuries have been reported to NHTSA, three of which involved drivers who claimed they were run over as they got out of their cars after selecting park.
When asked if it would fix these other reported problems, ZF deferred to the automakers.
“In this instance, ZF provided the necessary documentation to NHTSA to address a specific issue,” company spokesman Bryan Johnson said. “All other concerns and filings need to be addressed by our customers. It is ZF’s policy to refrain from speaking on their behalf.”


Current vehicles equipped with the ZF 9HP transmission include the 2014–2016 Jeep Cherokee, 2015–2016 Jeep Renegade, Chrysler 200, and Ram ProMaster City; 2016 Fiat 500X; 2014–2017 Range Rover Evoque and 2015–2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport; upper trims of the 2015–2016 Honda Pilot, and six-cylinder versions of the 2015–2017 Acura TLX. Other than FCA, no other automakers have issued a recall, and FCA is not recalling the 2016 models, at least not yet.


Problems with the ZF transmission surfaced first on the redesigned Jeep Cherokee in May 2014, months after FCA delayed the new vehicle’s launch by several weeks to recalibrate the transmission software. At that time, a dozen owners reported vehicles shifting into neutral and poor shift quality. By February 2015—when FCA recalled nearly 78,000 Chrysler 200 sedans for apparently unrelated electrical problems that caused the same transmission to shift into neutral—more than 120 transmission complaints were registered with NHTSA on the 2014 Cherokee. A second recall involving the Chrysler 200 this past May cited faulty parking pawls and rods within the transmission for causing rollaways. Nearly 4000 warranty claims have been submitted to FCA through June 30 of this year, according to the automaker.


To date, there are at least 661 complaints regarding the Cherokee’s transmission problems and more than 130 complaints on the Chrysler 200. Of the 10 total injuries reported to NHTSA related to this transmission, nine injuries have occurred in FCA models. FCA dealers—as well as Honda and Land Rover dealers—have continued to update the transmission software and replace entire transmissions to no avail, according to complaints.


FCA is only recalling models up to the 2015 model year (412,855 in total), despite at least 16 more owner complaints on 2016 models. Another 10 complaints on 2016 Honda Pilot and Acura TLX models have also been logged.


ZF and FCA are also under fire—including a NHTSA investigation into the death of actor Anton Yelchin—for the design of an eight-speed automatic shifter on several late-model Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge models. FCA has begun to recall the 811,000 cars to apply a software update to those models.
ZF Recalls Nine-Speed Automatic for Random Drops into Neutral, Only Involves Software Update - News - Car and Driver | Car and Driver Blog
 

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This is why I sold my 2016.. Loved the car but was afraid of it and thought id better trade while I could.. I traded for a Lexus car not an SUV..
 

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I wonder if it's going to be a different software update than the TSB one that Honda put out earlier.
 

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How can we check if our cars are recalled for this issue?
The news is so new, but for recalls, it should eventually make its way into honda's owners website. At least that's my hope. Also, some type of mail should be sent by Honda as well.
 

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Wonder if Pilot will be affected... Article says ZF made a manufacturing change to address the crimping issue back in 2014.

Or maybe the software update will be prophylactic regardless of the condition of the connector crimp.
 

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I said from the beginning that I wasn't a fan of the ZF 9-spd in the Pilot (on paper). It was the whole reason I didn't get a Pilot (as I wanted a Touring or Elite model). A test drive of the Elite confirmed my dislike of the 9-spd (and all of the technologies that come along with it). Now this... I realize this doesn't include Honda vehicles (yet) but it's not a stretch to say that the makers of a half-million defective transmissions could have made others that are also not-quite-right...

Either way, I'm sure I'll get replies about how great the 9-spd is and how people couldn't be happier. That's good! I don't like to see people unhappy -- especially about a vehicle purchase... just not for me!
 

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I said from the beginning that I wasn't a fan of the ZF 9-spd in the Pilot (on paper). It was the whole reason I didn't get a Pilot (as I wanted a Touring or Elite model). A test drive of the Elite confirmed my dislike of the 9-spd (and all of the technologies that come along with it). Now this... I realize this doesn't include Honda vehicles (yet) but it's not a stretch to say that the makers of a half-million defective transmissions could have made others that are also not-quite-right...

Either way, I'm sure I'll get replies about how great the 9-spd is and how people couldn't be happier. That's good! I don't like to see people unhappy -- especially about a vehicle purchase... just not for me!
Yes, you are brilliant Leonard for not purchasing a Pilot based on your transmission discerment. But those of us who did (buy one) well ... We R enjoying the heck out of a fantastic vehicle and super glad we picked it (at least anchor3n1 is/does for one) ... :eek:
 

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Mine's got nearly 19,000 miles on it now and has been excellent. It's even better since the tranny update. Before it had a bit of surging in the lower gears when driving around town, but the update smoothed that out completely. If mine is one of those that is included in the recall, I'll count myself fortunate that there was a possible issue & ZF is stepping up to the plate to fix it.

It's a crimp on an electrical connection folks. It's not that big of a deal & it's going to be fixed. The ZF 9 is a marvelous piece of mechanical engineering. It will be OK, people...
 

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I wonder what this means for those of us with a 2016 touring pilot? I assume there'll be an official recall in the near future.
 

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Yes, you are brilliant Leonard for not purchasing a Pilot based on your transmission discerment. But those of us who did (buy one) well ... We R enjoying the heck out of a fantastic vehicle and super glad we picked it (at least anchor3n1 is/does for one) ... :eek:
Well, I exaggerated a bit. The transmission isn't the *WHOLE* reason... If you read any of my other posts on here, they contradict the "entirety" aspect of my previous statement. For that possible confusion, I apologize. To be clear: The crappy 9 speed transmission is ONE OF THE MANY reasons I avoided the '16 Pilot. My test drive with it surely turned me away from the Elite and/or Touring model that I had my sights set on... but there are further issues and complaints all over this section of the forum that I would cite as reasons for not pulling the trigger.

As I mentioned, I'm very glad that you are enjoying the heck out of the Pilot. I wouldn't call it "fantastic" because it's obviously not solely based on the number of issues being reported. I will not and would never want to prevent you from enjoying the heck out of your Pilot if you do not pretend that threads like this very one that you are posting in don't exist to point out problems owners are having (or, in this case, problems suppliers who make parts for the Pilot are having with their similar products).

The problem is, you come into a thread that would be categorized as a "problem thread" or a "problem report" (i.e. problem with a similar product of the supplier of a major component in the vehicle) and perhaps you don't have accurate expectations... When you click on a "problem" thread in here, you should expect to see people saying "yes, I have that problem too" or even "I hate this thing it's a piece of junk" Possibly even "I want to sell this asap" or "I'm so glad I didn't buy one of those". You don't need to agree with those people -- you can continue to "enjoy the heck" out of your Pilot... but don't expect every "problem" thread to be full of replies like that from Yoda -- consisting of the classic anecdotal... "if it didn't happen to me, it's probably not an issue" examples and doing a lot of downplaying, minimizing, excusing, etc...

These problems are real. And as long as Rocky continues to allow threads in here that report issues/problems/complaints, you'll continue to hear opinions that may differ from yours. Don't let it keep you from enjoying the heck out of your Pilot!


Actually it is a big deal..
I would agree that anything that could render the vehicle unsafe or inoperable is a big deal... The '16 Pilot may not be included in the recall being discussed specifically here, but the overall gist is that a transmission that slips into Neutral could pose a safety risk and the problem with the 9-speed on the Pilots that people are reporting (what is it, the transmission cooler part breaking?) is rendering Pilots inoperable. Given the over-half-million units impacted by this particular recall..... Yes, it is a big deal...
 

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Nah

Actually it is a big deal..
Not for anchor3n1. He knows that should there be an issue, Honda will take good care of it just like it did with the Tanaka air bag issue (anchor3n1 has a CRV. Honda provided a free loaner till the airbag was replaced which took 3 months till the parts came in to the dealer).

In the meantime:

anchor3n1 is gunna DRIVE IT LIKE HE STOLE as he usually does!
 

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Poorman is still going to drive it the same way as well.....14 months and over 19K on her/his (she lets me drive it every now and then) 2016 Touring AWD Pilot and still happy....just a week or so ago while she was in the hospital I drove it a ton.......work, hospital, home ect.....loved the heck out of it.

This is a forum, so we have to remember the "needs of the few, out weigh the needs of the many".

I will still say, I LOVE the radio....no issues at all.....let that soak in :)
 

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You realize that the 500,000 vehicles includes the following?

"Without warning, the transmission can shift into neutral at any speed or gear because of an insufficient crimp on a wiring harness attached to the sensor cluster. Models affected include the 2014-16 Jeep Cherokee, 2015-16 Jeep Renegade, 2015-17 Chrysler 200, 2015-16 RAM ProMaster City, 2016 Fiat 500X, 2014-17 Range Rover Evoque, 2015-17 Land Rover Discovery, 2015-17 Acura TLX (V6) and certain trims of the 2015-16 Honda Pilot."

For a wire crimp issue in the wiring harness..

So far, 600 vehicles have reported the issue..

Pretty long odds on having the issue, but at least it's being fixed.

Recalls do not mean that everyone will have the issue, it is recognized that it is an issue and needs to be repaired before it has a chance of happening.

At least it is not fuel clips on the fuel injection rails.. Those are interesting ones to get.
 
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