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Jeep Electronic Gear Shifter Complaints

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:

NHTSA Investigates Roll Away Dangers→

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.

NHTSA Upgrades Investigation→

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.

FCA Recalls 1.1 Million for Rollaway Risk→

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.

Actor’s Death Sparks More Outrage→

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.

Complaints Keep Rolling In→

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→][6]

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.

Story Timeline

Jeep Electronic Gear Shifter Complaints in the news

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

This is the ultimate don't take any chances scenario. Whether you think your car is involved or not, there are a few things you can do to make sure. And trust me, you want to be sure.

“Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.”

It starts with finding your vehicle indentification number (VIN). There are a few ways to do this – find the tag on the lower driver-side corner of the windshield (best read from the outside). Or grab your vehicle registration or insurance documents. It will be there, scouts honor.

Take your VIN and punch it into NHTSA's VIN lookup tool.

Recall Lookup Tool

My Vehicle Has Been Recalled But I'm Still Waiting

You're not alone. With up to 70 million affected cars (in the US alone) spread out over most major manufacturers there's a huge queue to wait for parts.

Other suppliers are stepping in to increase assembly capacity but there's still a wait for many owners. Make sure to call your local service dealership often to check, but please don't get mad at them if they say there's still a wait – they are just as frustrated as the rest of us.

I'm Concerned About Driving

There are a few options, none of them particularily good ones (sorry).

  • If the recall on your car involves only the front passenger-side airbag, don’t let anyone sit in that seat
  • Minimize your driving (I know this isn't a realistic option for most)
  • Call your local service dealer or automaker and ask about rental options