Nine Speeds Of Grey: What's Really Going On With Cherokee Transmissions?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

As the plot thickens in Toledo and un-shipped Cherokees start to pile up in the storage lots, there’s a new conspiracy theory being passed around to explain Chrysler’s problems.

We received this email earlier today, and while we can’t vouch for the writer or the contents, what if he’s right?

I was going to send to TTAC Staff… but I heard [from] a few Chrysler engineers that part of the 9 speed launch issue at Toledo was being drawn out to lower the VEBA price if the shares got into court proceedings by end of the year.

Now, this really sounds less likely than the reality that Chrysler and their supplier just FUBARed it by running simulations instead of real world testing until it was too late, which I have also heard. But, this rumor is more fun and don’t forget Machiavelli was Italian and wore a sweater vest!

Well, that may be a rumor too.

But, with the price being a couple BILLION dollars different that’s still less than a few months hit on a late launch.

BTW, these guys… were sure the issue was going to be fixed before their UF Chrysler 200 launch in March/April… even though they use the same engines and FWD part of the 9 speed. Classic, just classic.

So. Crazy conspiracy theory or on the level? To me it fails part of the test for this sort of thing, which is that it requires the connivance of too many people. I want to believe that there is a secret Star Chamber making long-term tactical decisions to ensure the future success of Chrysler, but if such a group exists, surely they were formed extremely recently. At least after the 2.7-liter V-6. Unless that was part of the conspiracy too.

In fact, you can easily argue that anybody powerful enough to create the scenario above would also be powerful enough to keep me from writing an arti

Join the conversation
4 of 106 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 18, 2013

    I'd love to hear a Chrysler insider on this because I believe the 3.3 was used in longitudinal (LH Gen 1) and transvers (minivans) configurations. Seems like the engine that should not be named was redundant from the start.

  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Oct 19, 2013

    Pay Toyota to use their 4, 5, and 6 speed transmissions and be done with it.

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 21, 2013

      @chaparral I see your point about competitive advantages but would people really care if the transmission were sourced from Toyota? Heck I would think that might actually help sell it.

  • Jeff S Years ago Kentucky issued a license plate with a horse running with the words "Unbridled Spirit." The religious right objected and did not want the plate because they believed it encouraged people to go to the race track and bet on horses. Anyone who knows anything about Kentucky knows its famous for raising horses and yes there is Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run but horses in themselves are not sinful. It got so bad that the state issued a blank sticker to put over the horse and the logo. Kentucky also issued a plate for those who were offended stating "In God We Trust." The latest KY plate has no logo and nothing. I always picked the horse because I thought horses were something to be proud of and associated with Kentucky.
  • Old Scold As a Marylander, I got those plates assigned to me when I purchased my car in 2016, 4 years after the so-called anniversary. I figured they were using up NOS, and it never occurred to me to check out the URL. I still don't care. It's a stupid issue, but I have my tag number memorized should I need it.
  • Hpycamper I drive a car with automatic braking and have nothing good to say about it. It has activated going around corners on mountain roads when the hillside is close to the road, when lawn sprinklers turned on and sprayed the car, and driving past cars on the shoulder that are making right turns. Luckily these phantom brake activations have not caused a wreck. The systems are just too dumb.
  • SCE to AUX How long until that $90k yields a profit for my grandchildren?
  • Ajla I do wonder what the legacy of the Alpha Camaro will be. It was higher performing than the Zeta but lacks the pop culture imprinting of that gen or the earlier F-body. And somehow it managed to be less comfortable than the Zeta. I guess it depends if this is really the last traditional Camaro.