Next Jeep Wrangler won’t go all-aluminum

Willie Grace | 5/26/2015, 9:41 a.m.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said some new Jeep Renegade subcompact crossovers are being withheld from dealers because of software ...
The next Jeep Wrangler won't go all-aluminum, but its doors, hood and other panels could be made of the lightweight metal.

MEANWHILE, SOME JEEP RENEGADES WITHHELD OVER SOFTWARE TROUBLE

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said some new Jeep Renegade subcompact crossovers are being withheld from dealers because of software problems.

Marchionne said the Renegade’s quality issues are similar to those that plagued the 2013 debut of the Jeep Cherokee. He spoke late Tuesday after receiving an industry leader of the year award from the SAE Foundation.

The Cherokee’s 2013 launch was delayed several months because of the software controlling its nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system. The Renegade has an identical nine-speed automatic but a different all-wheel-drive system than the Cherokee.

A source at FCA clarified Thursday that the software causing the problem did not involve the Renegade’s transmission. The source would not identify the nature of the software issue.

“I’m having a very bad engineering day,” Marchionne said. “It’s a combination of attributes of that vehicle that is making my life horrible.”

The Renegade went on sale in mid-March. In April, Jeep sold 4,214 Renegades, more than the more-established Jeep Compass.

He said the software issues are being addressed, and predicted that any Renegades being held would be released by mid-June at the latest.

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