There's a problem with the wiring harness that's causing the issue.
Automotive supplier ZF will recall 505,000 nine-speed automatic gearboxes that can shift into neutral without warning. According to the company’s report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem is due to "insufficient crimps” in the wiring harness for the Transmission Control Sensor Clusters. The component helps control the shift pattern, and the affected parts have production dates between May 1, 2013, and July 15, 2014.
ZF received the first report of this issue in July 2004 when a supplier reported a single failure during transmission testing. At the end of 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles told the supplier about an increased number of field reports about this problem. ZF analyzed the issue and began developing upgraded software.
The fault specifically affects the company’s model 9HP48 or 948TE gearboxes. These transmissions appear vehicles from Honda, FCA, and Land Rover, including recent models like the latest Chrysler Pacifica.
As the product’s supplier, ZF will first contact the automakers with these transmission in their vehicles. The companies will then issue separate recalls about the problem, they’ll also contact owners. Dealers will install updated software that will “prevent the transmission from shifting into neutral due to a faulty crimp.”
2017 Chrysler Pacifica priced from $28,595
RECALL Subject : Transmission may Unexpectedly Shift to Neutral
Report Receipt Date: JUL 25, 2016
NHTSA Campaign Number: 16E065000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
Potential Number of Units Affected: 505,000
All Products Associated with this Recall
Equipment Brand Name Part No. or Model No.Production Dates
ZF ELECTRONIC SYSTEM SSENSOR CLUSTER 05/01/2013 - 07/15/2014
Manufacturer: ZF North America, Inc.
ZF North America, Inc. (ZF) is recalling certain Transmission Control Sensor Clusters manufactured May 1, 2013, to July 15, 2014. These transmission sensor clusters, used in 9-speed automatic transmissions, may have insufficient crimps in the transmission wire harness, and as a result, the transmission may unexpectedly shift to neutral.
If the vehicle unexpectedly shifts to neutral, there is an increased risk of a crash.
ZF will notify the vehicle manufacturers that purchased the affected transmissions. Those manufacturers will file recalls and their dealers will update the transmission software to prevent the transmission from shifting into neutral due to a faulty crimp, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact ZF customer service at 1-734-416-6200.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.