OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. — The 2016 Jeep Renegade is no track car. So why are hundreds and hundreds of Renegades lining a 2-mile-long oval test track here?
They are being withheld from dealers because of nagging software issues, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed last week.
Dealers report, though, that the sales launch of the subcompact SUV is going smoothly.
The first Jeeps to be imported into the United States are suffering software issues similar to those that plagued the 2013 launch of the Jeep Cherokee, Marchionne said.
A source at FCA later clarified, however, that unlike with the Cherokee, the Renegade’s issues do not involve its nine-speed automatic transmission.
“Welcome to software,” Marchionne told reporters last week, calling the Renegade issues “very similar to what happened” with the Cherokee. He declined to identify the Renegade’s problem.
“It’s a combination of attributes of that vehicle that is making my life horrible,” Marchionne said.
The exact number of Renegades being withheld nationwide is unknown. The FCA source said that most of the affected vehicles are being held at the track of the former Dana Technical Resource Park outside Toledo in Michigan.
Viewed from the air, the parked Renegades line more than half of the track, with many more parked elsewhere on the grounds.
The source said the company believes it is in possession of all the impacted vehicles.