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VALibertarian
02-12-2014, 05:00 PM
There seems to be a consistent and severe issue with the 500L's euro-transmission. The blinking shifter assembly is just the tip of the iceberg of these issues. In my case, the blinking transmission led to the car being stuck in gear while going down the road -- I could not shift up or down, even manually. Additionally, owners are stuck in park frequently (that happened to me as well while stranded on the side of the road with an infant in the back).

Even Car & Driver experienced the issue during their recent review.

I also experienced the same issue with the 500L loaner car.

I've dealt with the dealership, Fiat USA and even FiatCares on this forum and they all seem to show a lack of concern about the severity of this issue.

Five complaints have been filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and there are also two safety bulletins that only address the "blinking."

If you are experiencing transmission issues with the 500L, I would encourage you to file a complaint today. While it may not seem like a big deal to deal with your car being stuck in park in your driveway, imagine if that happens on the side of a busy road or in traffic -- or you are stuck in gear while driving.

After your file the complaint, read through the other complaints that have been filed so you know what to expect if this issue continues to be ignored by Fiat.

Here's the link: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml

Trystane
02-12-2014, 05:51 PM
I've experienced the flashing shifter multiple times since buying my Fiat 500L but I've never once experienced a gear problem with it. I have to say that usually when it's cold enough to cause the shifter to flash I typically let the car warm up for 5-10 min before doing anything. By this time the flashing has stopped and the gear colors are solid.

jamesreza80
02-12-2014, 09:08 PM
My wife and I also had numerous issues with my 500L as well.

My wife has had several issues with the P, R, N, D gear shifts blinking every morning. One time I was backing out of my driveway to go to work (had the car on R) and then all of a sudden a loud beaping noise and my gear was locked. Couldn't shift it to P or D. Waited awhile then put it on P and had to restart. Finally after waiting a couple of minutes I was able to shift gears. This happened to me and my wife at least 5 times so far. Informed my dealership/service manager and he couldn't recreate the problem. Said that with the blinking lights we just had to warm up the car and wait till it goes away. Video taped it once and I had to wait 5 plus minutes before the flashing lights went away. It wasn't even that cold outside. We live in Los Angeles, and the temps are not below 50 degrees here.

As for the gear shifting, brought it in the dealership and they said that they had to replace my entire transmission. They had my car there for over 2 weeks. Finally was able to get a loaner for the last 6 days they had my car. 10 days later I was driving on the freeway going 65-70 miles, and then all of a sudden a loud beaping noise again but this time with a big exclamation point on my screen. Couldn't accelerate or shift gears. Gears were locked. Went form 65-70 miles to 15-20 miles really quickly. Luckily, I was able to switch lanes and no one was hit me from behind. Was able to move all the way to the side and called AAA to tow my car. Called my dealer the very next morning and they said to bring the car in. Had it towed to my dealership but they couldn't do anything. FIAT corp wouldn't let them open up the car so they had to tow it to Riverside (6 days later). Been without my car since January 27th.

Called Fiat Corp immediately and did a claim. They said to call back 5 days later, which I did. They said that they were investigating my situation and to call back another 5 days, which I did. Then they told me to not call them but they will call me with an update. Spoke to the manager at my dealership but he couldn't really help. He said that I had to talk to Fiat Corp.

Just really frustrated that a new car is having all of these issues and that no one is really telling me what's wrong with my car or when we will get it back. Already replaced the transmission and now a transmission issue again?!? I'm just glad no one hit me or that my wife was driving the car when the gear locked and there was no acceleration.

VALibertarian
02-12-2014, 10:56 PM
James, that's a horrible experience. Good call on recording everything on video.

You should explore lemon laws in your state. I'll have 14 days left before they kick in here in VA. I fully expect a few weeks more of this nightmare and then I can purchase a reliable and safe vehicle for my wife. My wife loved this car, it was her choice and she is wildly disappointed. There will be no more Fiats sold in my family in the future, that's for certain.

Doohickie
02-12-2014, 11:25 PM
I have no inside information, but I can guarantee you Fiat isn't ignoring this issue. They are probably working long hours trying to figure out the solution. That said, there is clearly something systematically wrong with this transmission. My guess is that a sensor not on the transmission, or perhaps it is the transmission control module. These transmissions are controlled by software, and my guess is that a failure is being detected (perhaps falsely) and the TCM is invoking inappropriate failure modes of operation (the flashing, the lockups, etc.) My bet is that a team of engineers are busting their butts trying to identify the root causes of these issues.

VALibertarian
02-13-2014, 12:31 AM
I have no inside information, but I can guarantee you Fiat isn't ignoring this issue. They are probably working long hours trying to figure out the solution. That said, there is clearly something systematically wrong with this transmission. My guess is that a sensor not on the transmission, or perhaps it is the transmission control module. These transmissions are controlled by software, and my guess is that a failure is being detected (perhaps falsely) and the TCM is invoking inappropriate failure modes of operation (the flashing, the lockups, etc.) My bet is that a team of engineers are busting their butts trying to identify the root causes of these issues.

I sincerely hope you're correct. Given that we had the same issues with two different brand new cars, I agree that it's a systematic problem. I also agree that it's a software issue. When we were stuck on the side of the road, after 10 minutes with the car off I could feel something disengage and then all of the sudden I could start the car.

This has been a known issue (there are two bulletins with the NHTSA) and Fiat should not be allowing new cars to be sold without the software flash in place -- that's assuming the new software does indeed work.

Doohickie
02-13-2014, 01:00 AM
This has been a known issue (there are two bulletins with the NHTSA) and Fiat should not be allowing new cars to be sold without the software flash in place -- that's assuming the new software does indeed work.

I've worked in the auto industry and other transport related industries for 30 years, and I can tell you that the decision that is easy for you to make is a lot more complicated than it appears at first blush.

n00dle
02-13-2014, 02:15 AM
I feel bad for those having issues with their 500L, most if not all appear to be with 500L's equipped with the Dual Clutch Auto Trans and it's issues. With 9,000 miles on the clock I haven't had any issues or had to visit the dealership for anything with my 500L 6spd manual. I hope FIAT finds out and resolves the issue. This does not bode well for prospective customers for the car or brand at all.

bryanintowson
02-13-2014, 10:31 AM
Yikes.

Stacey Willard
03-04-2014, 09:55 AM
I have also experience many issues this winter with flashing gear shift lights and engine lights. They applied a "fix" to my car that did work better but then on another cold morning the gear shifter lights started flashing again , but no engine light this time. The new problem I experienced after the software fix was that when the gears were flashing, there was a several second delay in the transmission shifting. For example, I was backing up, put it in drive and when I pushed the gear it went in reverse (even showed R on the dash but didn't notice it until aftewards) even though the car was in D. When I put it in Neutral and then to drive, same thing happened. I pushed on the gas and the engine just revved and dash still showed Neutral even though it was in the drive position. Dealership told me to bring it in right away because it was now a dangerous situation if it's not shifting into the right gear right away. I am now going on my 3rd week of the car being in the shop. I am about to invoke the lemon law (30 days total in the shop in the first year or 18k miles) for Ohio.

The service manager said there is a fix, but it needs to go through government regulations before they will send it out to the dealerships to apply the update.

A week after I got it, there was a part that was broken in the shifter assembly and Fiat Corp was on top of it and even reimbursed me some car payments. I have contacted that same person but haven't heard back anything.

Does anyone know when the regular automatic is coming? If I get the lemon law and they offer to replace, I want the regular automatic transmission and not the dual clutch one. Otherwise I may be looking at a different brand of car if they buy it back from me.

jerwgar
05-14-2014, 04:50 AM
Fiat stalled with me for over two months, had to replace my tranny too and took two months. Wrote a letter for lemon law, you have to write them with issues and wait 40 days for response in WA, even though I spent over two months with them stalling, and they got back to me the next week with offer to replace, lifetime warranty, or repurchase.



My wife and I also had numerous issues with my 500L as well.

My wife has had several issues with the P, R, N, D gear shifts blinking every morning. One time I was backing out of my driveway to go to work (had the car on R) and then all of a sudden a loud beaping noise and my gear was locked. Couldn't shift it to P or D. Waited awhile then put it on P and had to restart. Finally after waiting a couple of minutes I was able to shift gears. This happened to me and my wife at least 5 times so far. Informed my dealership/service manager and he couldn't recreate the problem. Said that with the blinking lights we just had to warm up the car and wait till it goes away. Video taped it once and I had to wait 5 plus minutes before the flashing lights went away. It wasn't even that cold outside. We live in Los Angeles, and the temps are not below 50 degrees here.

As for the gear shifting, brought it in the dealership and they said that they had to replace my entire transmission. They had my car there for over 2 weeks. Finally was able to get a loaner for the last 6 days they had my car. 10 days later I was driving on the freeway going 65-70 miles, and then all of a sudden a loud beaping noise again but this time with a big exclamation point on my screen. Couldn't accelerate or shift gears. Gears were locked. Went form 65-70 miles to 15-20 miles really quickly. Luckily, I was able to switch lanes and no one was hit me from behind. Was able to move all the way to the side and called AAA to tow my car. Called my dealer the very next morning and they said to bring the car in. Had it towed to my dealership but they couldn't do anything. FIAT corp wouldn't let them open up the car so they had to tow it to Riverside (6 days later). Been without my car since January 27th.

Called Fiat Corp immediately and did a claim. They said to call back 5 days later, which I did. They said that they were investigating my situation and to call back another 5 days, which I did. Then they told me to not call them but they will call me with an update. Spoke to the manager at my dealership but he couldn't really help. He said that I had to talk to Fiat Corp.

Just really frustrated that a new car is having all of these issues and that no one is really telling me what's wrong with my car or when we will get it back. Already replaced the transmission and now a transmission issue again?!? I'm just glad no one hit me or that my wife was driving the car when the gear locked and there was no acceleration.

OneMomSaysItAll
05-27-2014, 02:50 PM
Fiat stalled with me for over two months, had to replace my tranny too and took two months. Wrote a letter for lemon law, you have to write them with issues and wait 40 days for response in WA, even though I spent over two months with them stalling, and they got back to me the next week with offer to replace, lifetime warranty, or repurchase.

I just started the process of returning my car to FIAT. I love the car but it just can't do stop and go traffic. The Studio has known this since day one with these transmissions yet they song and dance you until you've taken the car home and then it's made the buyer's problem. I should have known when it was quirky on the test drive and they said "This is just how these dual clutch transmissions perform. It will get smoother." A brand new car should be right on the first drive, or it shouldn't be sold.

Bought in January 2014, driven less than 4000 miles, 1000 of those back and forth to the Studio to try and repair. The recall has been done, they've replaced the clutches, fly wheels, shift module, brake rotors, pads. Last straw was yesterday in line to get back across the boarder from a day trip to Mexico. Clutch starts smoking, smelling, car starts shuddering. What does the book say? "Don't use neutral. Pull over, turn the car off and let the clutch cool down." Well, sure, just try that when the border crossing line is already at the 2 hour wait mark. It took us 5 hours!!!!

Service Manager at the Studio told me he's very sorry and wishes he had better news to tell me but the transmissions just do not perform during extended stop/start driving situations. WHAT?! He's just NOW saying this to me?! Stop/Start traffic is the American way in just about every daily driving situation. He then proceeded to tell me he will also put a "Star Case" note in my file and he really hopes corporate can help me out soon.

Effectively, the Studio is done with me. FIAT Cares says it's been turned over to a Care Analyst Team and it will be 5 days before they take a look and "decide" what they want me to do. They did tell me "It should be fine for you to drive the car as long as you don't do any stop/start, low gear driving."

NGEN
05-27-2014, 08:44 PM
Wow I am sorry to hear so many having problems with their 500L! We have the 6spd manual and haven't had any issues with about 9000 miles. Our only issue has been the driver door latch sticking, causing the door handle to pop out of place. Part took 5 weeks to get. 6spd definitely seems like the way to go on these "L's". Hope things work out with everyone that are having problems.

evbruno
05-28-2014, 02:10 AM
Please keep us updated on the progress and outcome.

bryanintowson
05-28-2014, 08:29 AM
Yikes! Send it back to Serbia!

Fiat500USA
05-28-2014, 11:11 AM
I was reading through the users guide and saw this warning message that gets displayed on the dashboard: TRANS. GETTING HOT PRESS BRAKE

The recommendation then is:

The transmission driving clutch is overheating, usually
due to repeated launches in stop-and-go traffic. Pull
over and allow the transmission to cool in NEUTRAL
until “TRANS. COOL READY TO DRIVE” is displayed

There is definitely a technique driving these cars in stop and go traffic, much like a conventional manual transmission. It seems popping the car in neutral whenever traffic is crawling for an extended period of time is a good idea. In heavy stop and go traffic the trans behaves more like a manual transmission, which it basically is, than an auto trans. It's more of a hands on driving experience than a "set it and forget it" conventional auto. There is a conventional automatic that will be coming soon.

bryanintowson
05-28-2014, 04:25 PM
I test drove one last year, and the dealer said *nothing* about not driving it like an automatic. In fact, he said to drive it like an auto. Methinks Chrysler needs to do some training.

Fiat500USA
05-28-2014, 05:05 PM
I test drove one last year, and the dealer said *nothing* about not driving it like an automatic. In fact, he said to drive it like an auto. Methinks Chrysler needs to do some training.

Agreed. In my experience, most salespeople rarely know the mechanicals of how things work. They'll know option packages, features and availability and things like that, but technical details are not a priority. Then again, most buyers don't want to know about these technical details either.

Chrysler should put out a manual with hints or pointers on how to get the most out of the transmission so people can enjoy using their car. These DDCTs, whether made by Ford or Fiat, etc., are just different animals than most people are used to in this country. Like the Duologic MTA, they are very European transmissions and have these different characteristics that require an adjustment on how you drive. At this point it's hard to say if they'll ever play in this country. There is a lot of money invested in them, so we may be going through the growing pains of adapting to the them. I'm sure the technology will also become better as it matures. I bet the first automatics had some weird things going on with them, too. We'll see what happens over the next few years.

nickle
05-30-2014, 04:56 PM
I just started the process of returning my car to FIAT. I love the car but it just can't do stop and go traffic. The Studio has known this since day one with these transmissions yet they song and dance you until you've taken the car home and then it's made the buyer's problem. I should have known when it was quirky on the test drive and they said "This is just how these dual clutch transmissions perform. It will get smoother." A brand new car should be right on the first drive, or it shouldn't be sold.

Bought in January 2014, driven less than 4000 miles, 1000 of those back and forth to the Studio to try and repair. The recall has been done, they've replaced the clutches, fly wheels, shift module, brake rotors, pads. Last straw was yesterday in line to get back across the boarder from a day trip to Mexico. Clutch starts smoking, smelling, car starts shuddering. What does the book say? "Don't use neutral. Pull over, turn the car off and let the clutch cool down." Well, sure, just try that when the border crossing line is already at the 2 hour wait mark. It took us 5 hours!!!!

Service Manager at the Studio told me he's very sorry and wishes he had better news to tell me but the transmissions just do not perform during extended stop/start driving situations. WHAT?! He's just NOW saying this to me?! Stop/Start traffic is the American way in just about every daily driving situation. He then proceeded to tell me he will also put a "Star Case" note in my file and he really hopes corporate can help me out soon.

Effectively, the Studio is done with me. FIAT Cares says it's been turned over to a Care Analyst Team and it will be 5 days before they take a look and "decide" what they want me to do. They did tell me "It should be fine for you to drive the car as long as you don't do any stop/start, low gear driving."

As a Fiat aficionado and salesperson I need to disagree with the comment in bold . Issues arise in different areas based upon different climates. In central Canada we are having some cold weather issues I am sure that California is not having an issue with (joust bumpers anyone?!). No one can be expected to know all of the problems of a car, especially one that is so new. I have not yet heard of a problem from any of my Studios customers in regards to transmissions over-heating. That being said, we are just getting into our warm weather now so it may appear, but I had not heard of this until I came onto the forums. I pass this information onto my customers. FCA is a company that does train their staff, and we are told not to give the ol 'song and dance' in regards to problems. I am a new salesperson, so maybe some of the older guys are stuck in their old ways but we BS as little as possible. I tell people about the transmission recall, the parasitic drain on the battery, etc as I find customers appreciate the honesty and the fact that the company is constantly working to right any wrongs and make a better product. Sorry to hear about all the issues there have been. It is a new car, in a new market and the kinks are being worked out as the company expands.

bryanintowson
05-30-2014, 07:40 PM
I'd buy my next FIAT from you, nickle if it didn't mean a drive across the continent and crossing an international border. :P

peppydee
08-10-2014, 11:06 AM
How disappointing to read about these very troubling issues with the dual clutch tranny. My 81 year old Dad has been driving his 500L for almost a year now with just shy of 20,000 miles on the clock. We have had absolutely no issues with the car (I'm knocking on wood as I write this). We have complied with all software updates and the recall. We love the 500L, but if we were having the same problems listed here about the dual clutch tranny, I would be getting him out of the car ASAP. No one should have to tolerate these types of serious new car issues. I don't think Dad has ever been in stop and go traffic, but I will be explaining to him how he show put it in neutral when stopped in such traffic situations. I hope Fiat Corp takes positive steps to eliminate these issues for both current and perspective owners. I think I will be very hesitant to recommend the car to anyone even though we haven't had issues. Fiat and Marchionne can't afford to risk establishing a negative reputation so early in its return to the USA.

SeaDawg
08-10-2014, 07:38 PM
There is a conventional automatic that will be coming soon.


Why am I getting this feeling it will be a heavily modified Aisin 6 speed kissing cousin to the recently introduced Abarth 'automatic'.

kehartman
10-24-2014, 12:05 PM
So here we go, we "upgraded" from our nice little 2013 500 Lounge to a 2014 500L Lounge because we needed more room. We thought we were making the right choice, after all, we loved our little 500. Three weeks into our 500L experience, this past Wednesday (Oct. 22, 2014), my wife was caught in stop-and-go bumper to bumper traffic on the expressway on her way to school. Suddenly, and without warning, the car emitted an awful smell, the engine cut off, and smoke billowed out from the hood. She was unable to get it restarted, no sound, nothing. She called me understandably upset, we just bought this new car and it just DIED on the highway?!?!

We had it towed back to the dealer and of course after sitting there overnight, they were able to restart the car and the service tech indicated that no codes were registered which would indicate anything had gone wrong. We know what the issue is, and it clearly points to the transmission overheating. The service techs said there was a service bulletin regarding overheating transmissions and their "fix" was to tell us to "remember to tap the brake when stuck in traffic to let the transmission know it is in idle" or "put the car into manual mode to keep the transmission from attempting to move between gears while you are slowly moving in traffic". Unacceptable response, not a fix in my book.

The car is an automatic, we opted to get the automatic so we would not have to be in a manual mode when sitting in traffic. I understand this is a DCT (Dual Dry Clutch Transmission); however, our VW never had this issue - granted it was a Wet-DCT. At this point we have refused to pick up the car from the dealer as their explanation and remedy is unacceptable. This is clearly a defect and the forums and other review sites are chock-full of this same issue being retold over and over with no resolution in sight.

Yes, the car had the recall fixes applied, the module replaced and was flashed, but it is obviously not a fix for what appears to be a potentially dangerous flaw in design. If the transmission cannot regulate its temperature, and the only way it can "correct" itself is to shut down with no warning (remember, the warning lights, bells and whistles that were supposed to warn of it overheating did not occur - hence no codes to report either). Imagine driving 65 mph on a major highway and having your engine cut off? Or what if you are taking a road trip like many others on this site alone have tried and were only thwarted by a faulty transmission stuck hundreds of miles from home, or on the side of the highway somewhere.

We contacted FiatCares and opened a ticket - they said they would followup with the dealer and they tried but the dealer did not answer their calls. As of the writing of this post we have not received an update from the dealer or FiatCares. I'm beginning to think that Fiat is trying as hard as they can to ignore this problem until their next line of cars comes out. They included a standard auto transmission in the 2015 500Ls, I guess they figured that was the fix with so many complaints with the DCT. I want a resolution to this now, or as someone said earlier - Lemon Law and Lawsuit are in the future if there is no acceptable fix. I guarantee that there is an accident on the horizon, better for Fiat to get ahead of this now than suffer for it later when the court of public opinion will sink their efforts to regain consumer confidence.

Fiat500USA
10-24-2014, 04:09 PM
Sorry to hear you're having a problem. Unlike the VW which uses a wet clutch, the Fiat uses a dry clutch which has certain advantages over the wet type. The flip side to this technology is these types of transmissions require different driving techniques and practices to get the most out of them. The DDCT is essentially two manual transmissions along with two conventional clutches that can shift for themselves if desired. Everything works great until you come to heavy stop and go traffic.

Just like when driving a manual transmission, there are certain techniques that if employed make driving a lot easier in these stop and go conditions. It sounds like some of these were mentioned by the dealer after the fact. Driving a DDCT equipped car requires a little more effort than a conventional automatic, and someone with knowledge of how to drive a manual trans car should be able to adapt to this new technology. For those who aren't familiar there will probably be a learning curve, similar to learning to drive a stick shift car, only a lot easier. As it comes as a surprise to many people, the dealers should do a better job at explaining how the trans works and how to drive the car before the purchase. Assuming nothing is wrong with the car, the DDCT is a definitely a different animal than most are used to. Its drive characteristics would probably not be considered defects, but just how the technology works.

You may want to try the techniques discussed to see if it something that can be gotten used to, or if it too aggravating maybe you can work out a deal with the Studio on a conventional auto 500L. Good luck and I hope it works out.

blackabarth13
10-25-2014, 10:11 PM
The people that design and build these computer controlled dry clutch manual transmission know the limitations of the unit. How could a trans be designed and tested and not know the limitations of driving in heavy traffic. The repercussions of using it in the second vehicle offered in US going to hurt sales and Fiat reputation more. The bean counters win again and over ruled the engineers (IMO) but it could cause Fiat to be still born. Should have known these problems with the availability of data from the Dart. Put the 9speed auto in the L and brag about it.
Sorry to hear you're having a problem. Unlike the VW which uses a wet clutch, the Fiat uses a dry clutch which has certain advantages over the wet type. The flip side to this technology is these types of transmissions require different driving techniques and practices to get the most out of them. The DDCT is essentially two manual transmissions along with two conventional clutches that can shift for themselves if desired. Everything works great until you come to heavy stop and go traffic.

Just like when driving a manual transmission, there are certain techniques that if employed make driving a lot easier in these stop and go conditions. It sounds like some of these were mentioned by the dealer after the fact. Driving a DDCT equipped car requires a little more effort than a conventional automatic, and someone with knowledge of how to drive a manual trans car should be able to adapt to this new technology. For those who aren't familiar there will probably be a learning curve, similar to learning to drive a stick shift car, only a lot easier. As it comes as a surprise to many people, the dealers should do a better job at explaining how the trans works and how to drive the car before the purchase. Assuming nothing is wrong with the car, the DDCT is a definitely a different animal than most are used to. Its drive characteristics would probably not be considered defects, but just how the technology works.

You may want to try the techniques discussed to see if it something that can be gotten used to, or if it too aggravating maybe you can work out a deal with the Studio on a conventional auto 500L. Good luck and I hope it works out.

huminbrd
12-14-2014, 05:54 PM
VaLibertarian, thank you for your postings regarding "Complaints with NHTSA on 500L Transmission"! I read one other one that you posted regarding the transmission stuck on 2nd gear with no less than your newborn in the car with you. Cant get any scarier than that!! Your post about this 2nd gear problem is the only one I came across and it is exactly what I experienced 2 weeks ago. I pulled over twice and restarted the car but it would not budge. I drove it about 6 miles before arriving at the dealer. They got to it about 20 minutes later, checked it out for about an hour and came back to tell me nothing was wrong with it now. So since it did not show the same problem they sent me on my way with a look of "I must be out of my mind". They also told me they had not heard of this problem on any other fiat they have sold or serviced. How could this be???
I purchased the car in March 2014, it has 11k miles. I have taken it in for all recalls, including the software upgrade on the transmission. I live in NC and it was about 45 degrees that morning. Not as cold as other mornings before and after the incident.
Just wondering if this happened to you again and what did they finally do to correct it? I am also VERY afraid of this happening on the highway with my daughter on board.

Tweak
12-15-2014, 12:52 AM
VaLibertarian, thank you for your postings regarding "Complaints with NHTSA on 500L Transmission"! I read one other one that you posted regarding the transmission stuck on 2nd gear with no less than your newborn in the car with you. Cant get any scarier than that!! Your post about this 2nd gear problem is the only one I came across and it is exactly what I experienced 2 weeks ago. I pulled over twice and restarted the car but it would not budge. I drove it about 6 miles before arriving at the dealer. They got to it about 20 minutes later, checked it out for about an hour and came back to tell me nothing was wrong with it now. So since it did not show the same problem they sent me on my way with a look of "I must be out of my mind". They also told me they had not heard of this problem on any other fiat they have sold or serviced. How could this be???
I purchased the car in March 2014, it has 11k miles. I have taken it in for all recalls, including the software upgrade on the transmission. I live in NC and it was about 45 degrees that morning. Not as cold as other mornings before and after the incident.
Just wondering if this happened to you again and what did they finally do to correct it? I am also VERY afraid of this happening on the highway with my daughter on board.

Welcome to the forum. NC...likely bought from Hendrick in Cary like me! Maybe one day when I am up that way (roughly 60 miles away) we will run into one another. (It happens, had lunch with a friend/forum member that happened to be there same day just last month).

DDT
12-15-2014, 10:42 AM
VaLibertarian, thank you for your postings regarding "Complaints with NHTSA on 500L Transmission"! I read one other one that you posted regarding the transmission stuck on 2nd gear with no less than your newborn in the car with you. Cant get any scarier than that!! Your post about this 2nd gear problem is the only one I came across and it is exactly what I experienced 2 weeks ago. I pulled over twice and restarted the car but it would not budge. I drove it about 6 miles before arriving at the dealer. They got to it about 20 minutes later, checked it out for about an hour and came back to tell me nothing was wrong with it now. So since it did not show the same problem they sent me on my way with a look of "I must be out of my mind". They also told me they had not heard of this problem on any other fiat they have sold or serviced. How could this be???
I purchased the car in March 2014, it has 11k miles. I have taken it in for all recalls, including the software upgrade on the transmission. I live in NC and it was about 45 degrees that morning. Not as cold as other mornings before and after the incident.
Just wondering if this happened to you again and what did they finally do to correct it? I am also VERY afraid of this happening on the highway with my daughter on board.

I had the same problem with my 2014 500L Easy. It has been at the dealers since 24/Nov. I have posted my experience on the other forum. Google "500L Shifting Issues". You should be able to find it. Better yet I will PM you the link.

I bought my FIAT at Stateline on 12/April 2014. I'm in western North Carolina.

huminbrd
12-15-2014, 07:56 PM
Welcome to the forum. NC...likely bought from Hendrick in Cary like me! Maybe one day when I am up that way (roughly 60 miles away) we will run into one another. (It happens, had lunch with a friend/forum member that happened to be there same day just last month).

Tweak!! How wonderful to know I am not alone with my Fiat issues in NC. Yes, Hendrick in Cary. I love my fiat (named her SKY) and I absolutely love my salesperson and would purchase from her again in a heart beat, but I'm a nervous wreck now, after reading all the transmission issues others are having and that I already experienced.
My specific issue was the gear being stuck on 2nd as I described above, but I am now worried that its just a matter of time..... Have you experienced this? What would you recommend as far as how the dealer dealt with it? According to the Hendrick mechanic, they had never heard of this issues or any other transmission problems. Was I fed a bunch of B*LL??
I don't think she does well in colder weather, under 50. After experiencing some jerking and what felt like stalling since the weather cooled, I have been warming her up for about 10 minutes each morning, and so far so good. Thanks for your help!

huminbrd
12-15-2014, 08:04 PM
I had the same problem with my 2014 500L Easy. It has been at the dealers since 24/Nov. I have posted my experience on the other forum. Google "500L Shifting Issues". You should be able to find it. Better yet I will PM you the link.

I bought my FIAT at Stateline on 12/April 2014. I'm in western North Carolina.

DDT, Thank you for responding to my post. We purchased our Fiats about the same time. Very curious about what others have been experiencing. I will be looking into your other post. Knowledge is Power and I appreciate the information.

DDT
12-15-2014, 08:39 PM
Huminbrd,

You don't have a sky blue 500L do you? Whilst in Charlotte today we saw ,for the first time , another 500L on the road. It did have SC plates, so I guess that it was not you. I asked the driver, at the stop light, if she had had any problems with her car. Her reply was, "Funny you should as kthat. Last week the transmission started smoking and smelt really bad". I told her that mine was stuck in 2nd gear, like yours, then the light turned green and after getting honked at from the car behind, the conversation ended.


BTW, about the Hendrick in Cary dealership, I did go to their website and checked to see if the had a manual Trekking which they did. When I entered my 500L Easy information, it has all options in the Premier package, to see trade in allowance, I was FLOORED! The KBB allowance came back at $12K. What a joke. That's $11K less than sticker in April 2014. Now I am getting emails and calls from the sales people there. I told them my story and told them that I would trade my " LEMON " for a manual Trekking, sure no problem, but I am not paying one red cent more.

Did you see the link that I PM'd to you? There you will see other people's problems with their 500L.

huminbrd
12-15-2014, 10:35 PM
DDT,
Yes, my "SKY" is really a blue Chiaro(its a huminbrd thing, I give all my cars a name). I did check out the other post. I am exhausted from taking all this in. After picking myself off the ground, I had just enough energy to respond. Take a look at it and let me know what you think. The only other thing I left out that has been happening from day one when I drove it off the lot, that I did not include, is the awful "rotten egg" smell from the exhaust. It sometimes even creeps inside the car as I'm driving. I know its not me, many folks have mentioned it.

This is so, so sad. I really do love my SKY and have enjoyed driving her around town and have also taken a couple of road trips with her, she behaved very well both times. Its why I cant help but wonder if she is sensitive to colder temperatures like what we had the morning the 2nd gear got stuck. Most of the issues I have experienced started soon after things started to chill here.
The folks at Hendricks are great. I wouldn't do business with anyone else but the one female in sales that works there. I took a friend who has in his lifetime purchased easily over $1 million worth of vehicles, and even he had to agree that it was the best/smoothest transaction he had ever been involved in. I did get a great deal. But now it seems it was too good to be true ;-(

Tweak
12-15-2014, 10:55 PM
I have a2013 Abarth and have no issues yet with shifter/clutch/trans. I did have an oil leak that Hendrick fixed. Sadly they left some things loose under the hood and either the body shop or the mechanics left to screws out so my front fender liners were damaged. I told Hendrick and they took care of replacing them at their expense but again it left without screws. I went to a local tire shop were I know them and just used their lift to put a couple screws I had in place. Most of the people I knew are now gone but a few remain. I hope you have a better experience and the issues are resolve quickly with your ride. Maybe I will remember to drop a line next time I am up that way. When it warms up I will usually run up there once a month for Cars & Coffee.

DDT
12-15-2014, 10:56 PM
Huminbrd,

I don't think that it is the temperature as it has not really been cold here. When mine failed on 22/Nov. it was a rather mild day. Also BiBi, on the other forum lives in Quebec and he has not had any problems. Has car was manufactured in March or April 2013, where mine was manufactured in July/2013. Here is something to consider, have you had any problems with the car starting? Like a weak battery issue? The day mine failed, it didn't start on the first crank. I had been having that dying battery behaviour for a few weeks previous. Just something to think about.

huminbrd
12-16-2014, 06:17 PM
Tweak,
It's hard to believe they left out some screws on a repair job, TWICE! I wont forget that next time I need to drop her off. The last time I stopped by Hendricks for the 2nd gear issue, I did not see the guy that's helped me in the past. He was great, African American gentleman, maybe late 50's, that's been with them for over 20 years. Maybe he retired.
I have the feeling that taking care of these issues wont be an easy task. Scary that some have had to leave their cars for weeks waiting on repairs or parts. Cars & Coffee, is that the event off Kildaire Farms? I've heard but never been. But sure, I could definitely pick your brain about the Fiat.

Tweak
12-16-2014, 09:02 PM
Tweak,
It's hard to believe they left out some screws on a repair job, TWICE! I wont forget that next time I need to drop her off. The last time I stopped by Hendricks for the 2nd gear issue, I did not see the guy that's helped me in the past. He was great, African American gentleman, maybe late 50's, that's been with them for over 20 years. Maybe he retired.
I have the feeling that taking care of these issues wont be an easy task. Scary that some have had to leave their cars for weeks waiting on repairs or parts. Cars & Coffee, is that the event off Kildaire Farms? I've heard but never been. But sure, I could definitely pick your brain about the Fiat.

Believe me I was shocked as well to find them missing for the second time!

I think I know the guy you are talking about. I usually ask to speak with Rick Casino (think that is the spelling), he is the service manager so always a good idea to get in with him. He will usually talk with you and put you with someone. I had to wait 3 weeks for paint repair on the front bumper and oil leak repair. One of my buddies that was a salesman there has a 500T and he waited I think for over a month...maybe a few months. On the forums there has been talk of months waiting for parts so it can take awhile sometimes.

C&C is now on Grove Barton Road, it was on Kildaire but as I understand the 1st Sat of each month C&C got cancelled and the 3rd Sat at Grove Barton is active. Check Facebook for more details is my best advice. Hit me up and I will help when and where I can. ;)

DDT
12-21-2014, 09:57 AM
Tweak,
It's hard to believe they left out some screws on a repair job, TWICE! I wont forget that next time I need to drop her off. The last time I stopped by Hendricks for the 2nd gear issue, I did not see the guy that's helped me in the past. He was great, African American gentleman, maybe late 50's, that's been with them for over 20 years. Maybe he retired.
I have the feeling that taking care of these issues wont be an easy task. Scary that some have had to leave their cars for weeks waiting on repairs or parts. Cars & Coffee, is that the event off Kildaire Farms? I've heard but never been. But sure, I could definitely pick your brain about the Fiat.

Hi huminbrd,

Here is something, below, that may be of use for you with regard to Lemon Laws in North Carolina. Since I live in NC, but bought my car in SC, the dealership tells me that SC law applies. In the end I may just file a complaint in both states.


Most states have a lemon law that gives consumers justice if they bought or leased a new vehicle with serious defects. In North Carolina, manufacturers must warranty their new vehicles for at least 12 months or 12,000 miles from delivery. North Carolina's Lemon Law, officially known as the New Motor Vehicles Warranties Act, does not cover used vehicles.

A lemon is a seriously defective car, van, motorcycle, or pickup truck where the defect cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of attempts, usually 4 attempts or more. It also applies to vehicles that have been out of service for at least 20 days within 12 months of the motor vehicle delivery date. According to the law, the manufacturer must replace the vehicle or refund the customer's money, a choice made by the consumer.

What's defined as seriously defective? A defect ("nonconformity") is one or more conditions that substantially impairs the value of the motor vehicle to the consumer. It's not limited to just operations of the car. If there are serious problems with the heat, air conditioning, or paint, they might substantially impair the vehicle's value to the consumer. The car can still be considered a lemon.

For more info go here -> http://www.ncdoj.gov/Consumer/Automobiles/Lemon-Law.aspx

As you may already know the trade-in value of these cars have dropped significantly. I requested a Trade-in appraisal from your dealership in Cary. I got back a value that was more than $11,000 lower than sticker price in April 2014 when I bought the car.

DDT
12-22-2014, 03:38 PM
For any who may be interested about the scope of the transmission recall from FIAT Chrysler here is a link to one of several related documents at the NHTSA website -> http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM451257/RCDNN-14V103-8162P.pdf

In essence the document states the the transmission problems affect vehicle manufactured between 5/April 2013 and 22/January 2014.

My vehicle was manufactured on July/2013, well within the range of defective products. However my car also had the recall applied, according to the Studio, on 11/April 2014. The day before I took possession of it. Yet it still failed at less than 5,000 miles. This is concerning.

The car has been in the Studio since 24/Nov/2014 where it was diagnosed to have had a communication problem of the microprocessor that controls the transmission.

Below is an excerpt from the link above, which is actually a letter from Chrysler to the NHTSA.

573.6(c)(4): Percentage of Affected Vehicles
100% (estimated)

Defect or Noncompliance
Some Fiat 5OOL vehicles may experience a loss of communication from the Gear Shift Module (GSM) to the transmission which may result in an inability to get the vehicle out of park and/or the transmission does not receive, or is slow to receive, the intended gear selection in certain temperature conditions. The root cause is wide build tolerances within the Supervisor Microcontroller (SMC) internal to the Gear Shift Module, allowing temperature to affect the data transfer rates. When the data transfer rate of the SMC becomes desynchronized with the Main Microcontroller (MMC), the GSM resets and signals to the transmission may be delayed.ct or Noncompliance

Some Fiat 5OOL vehicles may experience a loss of communication from the Gear Shift Module (GSM) to the transmission which may result in an inability to get the vehicle out of park and/or the transmission does not receive, or is slow to receive, the intended gear selection in certain temperature conditions. The root cause is wide build tolerances within the Supervisor Microcontroller (SMC) internal to the Gear Shift Module, allowing temperature to affect the data transfer rates. When the data transfer rate of the SMC becomes desynchronized with the Main Microcontroller (MMC), the GSM resets and signals to the transmission may be delayed.


The letter states that the failure occurs under certain temperature conditions, which they do not define. The day mine failed it was a clear sunny day with an outside temperature of + 12C (54F). Certainly not a temperature extreme by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, the GSM replacement and firmware update were already done on 11/April.

The recall information is below, there is another recall for the airbags as well.
Report Receipt Date: MAR 04, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V103000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN

All Products Associated with this Recall

Vehicle MakeModelModel Year(s)
FIAT500L2014




Details

9 Associated Documents


Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC

SUMMARY:
Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2014 Fiat 500L vehicles manufactured April 5, 2013, through January 22, 2014. In certain temperatures, moving the transmission shift lever may have a delayed effect or no effect on selecting a transmission gear.

CONSEQUENCE:
If there is no effect, the vehicle might not shift out of the Park position. If there is a delayed effect, the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash.

REMEDY:
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the shifter module or update the shifter software, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on March 31, 2014. Owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number associated with this recall is P06.NOTES:

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.

Fiat500USA
12-22-2014, 05:37 PM
This may have additional information: Fiat 500L Transmission Recall (http://www.fiat500usa.com/2014/03/fiat-500l-transmission-recall.html)

khaggerty
05-01-2015, 10:39 AM
Was in a drive through last night for about 15 minutes, car was hot and started to smell. Our 2014 500L has approx. 12,000 miles. Waited about 15 minutes, then drove to the gas station and back and still smelling but not as bad.
Called FIAT and they told me that because of the euro transmission, if you are stopped with your foot on the brake for a long period of time, then to put the car in neutral and tap on the gas. They say the clutch keeps on going and that was what the smell was.
I am not totally convinced now that I have read all the posts here.

Trunkout
05-01-2015, 10:43 AM
you should NEVER sit in gear, braked, in an auto for more than a traffic light.
I thought this was common knowledge.
when you can put in neutral, do it!

DDT
05-01-2015, 05:22 PM
They are correct. You should put it in neutral if you are going to be idling for more than the stop at a traffic light

Scarecrow23
05-01-2015, 06:02 PM
or Park :)

Tweak
05-01-2015, 09:38 PM
Was in a drive through last night for about 15 minutes, car was hot and started to smell. Our 2014 500L has approx. 12,000 miles. Waited about 15 minutes, then drove to the gas station and back and still smelling but not as bad.
Called FIAT and they told me that because of the euro transmission, if you are stopped with your foot on the brake for a long period of time, then to put the car in neutral and tap on the gas. They say the clutch keeps on going and that was what the smell was.
I am not totally convinced now that I have read all the posts here.

Welcome to the forum.

The advice given is good but let me add if you are under 12K GET TO THE DEALER ASAP!!! The clutch carries a 1yr/12K mile warranty and you might be covered...not sure what the "approx." you mentioned is actually...hopefully less than 12k!!!

Casuallie
04-06-2016, 12:08 AM
We have had the exact same issue with our 2014 500L. We bought it new in March of 2015 and loved it. In March of this year, 12 months,13000 miles, the transmission did exactly as you said- overheated, burning smell and locked up. I bought every additional warranty available as well. It was towed to the dealer who said nothing was wrong, Fiat told them there was nothing to do. They then tried to explain how a dry clutch worked and why this happened and noted that it could happen again. ( it did just this past weekend). It was very obvious that they didn't know what they were talking about. This car is dangerous for the passengers and the auto public. "Pulling over" on a crowded interstate to let the transmission cool is assinine. Avoid long lines in school traffic or drive throughs is unavoidable. Putting the transmission in neutral or park while at a stop sign is just asking for an accident. And how clutch disks slipping against each other so much as to cause the heat and smell I have experienced has not caused premature wear and accelerated failure is impossible. I have a case opened with fiat as well. We have been playing phone tag for several days. This transmission went 13000 miles with no issue. It's failed twice in 7 weeks. I cannot trust it to safely transportation my family. When we had the first issue with the transmission I told my dealer I wanted to trade up a year(2015 has a different mission) he offered me 1/2 the purchase price as trade in value. Ridiculous !! I see a class action suit soon or even worse , a wrongful death lawsuit. Furthermore, the owners manual has one small, vague, and insignificant paragraph about overheating transmissions. There is nothing remotely emphasizing any type of special driving instructions. Neither were we told at the dealership anything about driving differently. I will wait a few days and see if I hear from fiat. If not or if they don't offer full trade allowance, my name may be at the top of the class action suit.

FiatCares
04-06-2016, 03:40 PM
We have had the exact same issue with our 2014 500L. We bought it new in March of 2015 and loved it. In March of this year, 12 months,13000 miles, the transmission did exactly as you said- overheated, burning smell and locked up. I bought every additional warranty available as well. It was towed to the dealer who said nothing was wrong, Fiat told them there was nothing to do. They then tried to explain how a dry clutch worked and why this happened and noted that it could happen again. ( it did just this past weekend). It was very obvious that they didn't know what they were talking about. This car is dangerous for the passengers and the auto public. "Pulling over" on a crowded interstate to let the transmission cool is assinine. Avoid long lines in school traffic or drive throughs is unavoidable. Putting the transmission in neutral or park while at a stop sign is just asking for an accident. And how clutch disks slipping against each other so much as to cause the heat and smell I have experienced has not caused premature wear and accelerated failure is impossible. I have a case opened with fiat as well. We have been playing phone tag for several days. This transmission went 13000 miles with no issue. It's failed twice in 7 weeks. I cannot trust it to safely transportation my family. When we had the first issue with the transmission I told my dealer I wanted to trade up a year(2015 has a different mission) he offered me 1/2 the purchase price as trade in value. Ridiculous !! I see a class action suit soon or even worse , a wrongful death lawsuit. Furthermore, the owners manual has one small, vague, and insignificant paragraph about overheating transmissions. There is nothing remotely emphasizing any type of special driving instructions. Neither were we told at the dealership anything about driving differently. I will wait a few days and see if I hear from fiat. If not or if they don't offer full trade allowance, my name may be at the top of the class action suit.

Thanks for reaching out. If you’re in need of further assistance, please DM me your VIN, phone number and servicing dealer. Thanks – Kevin T, Social Connect Team

Iheartwombats
06-01-2016, 05:50 PM
Add me to the list :( I got stuck in traffic Saturday, began having transmission issues. Same issues, delay in shifting, very hard to go from park to reverse, 1st to 2nd, rough shifting remaining gears. Called about recall, my car was manufactured 4/2014 so is not included. How is it possible that so many people are having this exact same issue, but are not covered by the recall? I'm about to cry, 4000 miles over the warranty. I am ashamed of how much I once loved and talked up my Fiat, and for how many people I have referred to the brand. I feel duped. The internet is hot with complaints about this, this is very disappointing.

MJAB
06-01-2016, 07:04 PM
The gearbox control of Fiat 500L for NAFTA (there is not dual clutch Fiat 500L in Europe) with dual clutch was tuned to act as "traditional" automatic transmission. In my opinion very big error, too much active creeping going on.
It is closer to a manual gearbox than to an automatic with torque converter and so should be, if possible, driven.
How does the gearbox knows that the driver is trying to use active creeping or is simply stopped? behind the brake pedal there is a switch that internally has two swithes, one is for activating brake rear lights, the other gives the signal that car is stopped. After n seconds, if the brake signal is still active, the clutch is automatically disengaged.
If the switch is defective or, as it happens with some switches, the foot pressure is two light, it could happen that be no brake signal going to gearbox control system => clutch continuining to slip since in "active creeping" mode.
Another "dangerous" situation is driving too slow for too long time, since to make car go slow the clutch is put in slip mode, just like trying to go very slow with a manual gearbox.
So in a stop and go traffic situation is better to let the front car gain some space and than go, like when driving a car with a manual gearbox.
The clutch is a dry clutch, so the risk of overheating is higher.

If the clutch overheated and made smell than, just like a manual gearbox clutch, the clutch itself could be no more had the proper performances.

In the last year most FCA cars (and Suzuki) are now offered with the dual clutch gearbox in Europe, so it is more likely that new software will arrive to improve existing NAFTA cars.

FiatCares
06-02-2016, 04:46 PM
Add me to the list :( I got stuck in traffic Saturday, began having transmission issues. Same issues, delay in shifting, very hard to go from park to reverse, 1st to 2nd, rough shifting remaining gears. Called about recall, my car was manufactured 4/2014 so is not included. How is it possible that so many people are having this exact same issue, but are not covered by the recall? I'm about to cry, 4000 miles over the warranty. I am ashamed of how much I once loved and talked up my Fiat, and for how many people I have referred to the brand. I feel duped. The internet is hot with complaints about this, this is very disappointing.

Have you had the opportunity of visiting your local FIAT Studio for diagnosis and repair? – Kevin T, Social Connect Team

superchan7
06-16-2016, 02:18 PM
IMO Fiat made a big mistake in programming automatic creep into their DCT transmissions.

This provided comfort to NA consumers accustomed to torque converter transmissions, at the expense of clutch life.

Any transmission with a clutch should NOT creep or be made to creep.