2014 Fiat 500L Trekking...ugh such trouble!

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Thread: 2014 Fiat 500L Trekking...ugh such trouble!

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    2014 Fiat 500L Trekking...ugh such trouble!

    Hi! So I am frustrated and just feel the need to share.
    I bought my "great" used 2014 Fiat 500L at the end of Sept 2016. I drive it as an automatic. And since then, I've had a few things go amiss...such as, after filling up with gas, leaving the gas station I pulled into traffic and the car turned itself off. Right as oncoming traffic almost smacked into me! Quickly turned off the car, started it back up and got out of the way just in time!
    Several other times I have tried reversing out of parallel parking, and when I put it into Drive to pull out...although it clearly says Drive...it continues to back up and takes a couple of times and even sometimes I've had to put it into Park then Drive to make it go.
    Sometimes the lights go on the dash and then go off...lightening bolt here, engine light there...but they go off right away or if I restart the car.
    Then a week and a half ago, I heard a sound, and knew something was amiss. Take the car home and my husband hears nothing when he takes it out so whatever. But 2 days later the metal on metal sound is so bad that I can't go any further.
    The Fiat place tells me it is a wheel bearing and takes 3 days to fix it. But although I tell them about the other stuff, they said nothing is wrong with the transmission or anything else. And they tell me I must have been on a hill or shifting too quickly from parallel parking and it's therefore me...not the car for the other problems. And I double checked that the recalls had been performed under the previous owner and they had. So OK. I drive away and all seems well!
    So now it is 5 days later...first I parked again, but had to put the car into Park to put it properly into Drive. Again. THEN I'm out in rush hour traffic and the Transmission light goes on the dash, then the Check Engine light goes on. And I'm in Drive but start to go backwards! So I try driving 2x but don't want to hit the car behind me and park and put my flashers on...call all involved...get a tow...and Fiat now says oh well we did all we could last time without ripping apart your transmission and nothing indicated a problem. We also may have to keep your car now and drive it around until the same problems happen for us so we can figure it out.
    I feel so sad. This is my first major purchase and I feel like I bought a lemon.
    Thanks for reading. The car has 50,100 KM on it and only 5,000Km are mine...I don't want to keep something as I watch the warranty wear out and everything will have to come out of my pocket. What would you do next?

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  3. #2
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    Hello Donna. I'm sorry you're having to go through this. You want to be able to trust your car, esp. that it will accelerate on your command. Some forum contributors have experienced similar issues. I have a 2014 500L as well, and on a couple of occasions I've been caught out with no power. I've speculated as to the cause, and you can find my posts on the DDCT's behavior along with those of many others using the search function. Here is something that might give you an idea of where to start looking- it's a cut and paste from the 500USA's website concerning a recall on the "Gear Shift Modele" (GSM), and it sounds like it could be a possible culprit in your case.

    "Fiat will voluntarily be recalling approximately 19,500 Fiat 500L models equipped with the dual dry clutch automatic transmissions to upgrade their transmission software and/or replace the Gear Shift Module. It was determined that some Fiat 500L models may experience a loss of communication from the Gear Shift Module (GSM) to the transmission which may result in the transmission remaining in an undesired gear range or the park position and/or delayed shifting in certain temperature conditions.

    Issue
    The cause of this issue is the GSM, manufactured Ficosa International, S.A.of Spain. Wide build tolerances within the Supervisor Microcontroller (SMC) inside the Gear Shift Module can allow 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. This can result in an inability to get the vehicle out of park and/or the transmission not receiving, or there is a delay to receive, the intended gear selection.

    Remedy
    To fix the problem, Fiat will replace the GSM or reflash vehicles with updated GSM software as necessary. "

    Good luck and and keep us posted as to what your studio is able to determine.

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    Senior Member Mr. Fusion's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry to hear this. As much as I like the 500L and enjoy using the DDCT, if anyone were to ask me I would definitely recommend against buying a 2014 500L used. Just going with a 2015-or-later eliminates a whole slew of potential problems with the transmission. Who wants to worry about that stuff?! (I say "potential" because I have not personally had any negative experiences, knock on wood.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Fusion View Post
    I'm really sorry to hear this. As much as I like the 500L and enjoy using the DDCT, if anyone were to ask me I would definitely recommend against buying a 2014 500L used. Just going with a 2015-or-later eliminates a whole slew of potential problems with the transmission. Who wants to worry about that stuff?! (I say "potential" because I have not personally had any negative experiences, knock on wood.)
    I can second that, Mr. Fusion. I've come to terms with the occasional hiccup on the DDCT, and it really doesn't seem to be a problem for me any more. That said, it doesn't sound like any of us could come to terms with what Donna (the OP) has had to deal with.

    Primarily because of the DDCT, I purchased an FCA extended warranty. Not sure what a new DDCT would cost were it to fail, but my guess is you would probably be making a poor decision, economically speaking, to go the replacement route if you had to pay out of pocket.

    At least one person here on this forum at some point suggested that Fiat ought to retrofit all 2014 500L's with the Aisin that is available on the 2015 and later models, but I think that would be very unlikely. Fiat continues to offer the transmission in other markets for both the 500L and the 500X. My hope is that if you got a good'un, it always will be, as long as you treat it well.

    I plan to drive our 500L until it dies, as trade in value is very poor. It's been a great car for us- my wife and I both really love it.

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    Senior Member DeSoulo's Avatar
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    Welcome Donna W, so sorry to hear about all those issues you are having. Here is a link to a member who had a similar problem with the SmartDrive.

    Recurring problems with my 2014 tranny that might have been finally fixed

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    Thank you for all the advice everyone. I passed on the smart drive info to my mechanic and fingers crossed he listens and checks it out! My car already has the updates that the other comments mentioned so it's not those. They still have my car and it's not acting up at all, so they run their errands in it and drive it around town every day in hopes of "breaking it" so they can fix it for me. At least they gave me a loaner, but it's been almost 3 weeks...

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    Senior Member bryanintowson's Avatar
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    Hang in there! We are all here for you.

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    My daughter 2014 had to have it's 500L transmission replace. The car left her stranded 300 miles from the nearest dealership. Stuck at a out of state, dealership for 3 weeks waiting for a new one. She bought the car so cheap $7k under sticker. That car had so many electrical Gremlins too. It really didn't hurt her trading it in for a new Jeep, same FCA dealership.

    Last edited by smark; 02-21-2017 at 10:36 AM.

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    So here's updated news on my Fiat 500L. So it finally acted up for the mechanics after 4 weeks at the dealership. So they replaced the battery as it was weak, the smart drive unit module because I mentioned it from here, and the transmission module for the gears. And after getting it back for less than one week...it did it again. just stopped responding to the gas pedal being pushed and just stopped as I was half way turned through a stop sign with a car coming toward me. Stupid car is going to get me hurt! So back in I took it and I have a lovely loaner car, but they have no idea what is wrong with my car or if it is even fixable. I'm going to have to try to trade it in and get something else. It will make me out of pocket $8000 of a down payment...and that's only if I can get my whole loan payed off...but the trade in is so bad that I fear I will be out another $4000! Seriously folks I haven't even had it 6 months...and in the shop for a month and a half with no end in sight. And now I'm afraid to drive it.

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    Donna, you need to file that car with the Lemon Law.

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