First of all, you only have a four-speed transmission. What was the symptom that caused you to noticed it was stuck in one gear? The way it is supposed to work, if the Transmission Computer detects a problem, it defaults to second gear and stays there until you turn the ignition switch off and restart the engine. Engine speed will be real high when it stays in second gear, but that's only meant as "limp" mode to allow you to drive slowly to a repair shop, definitely not at highway speed.
As a general rule, if it starts out in second gear as soon as you start the engine and shift to drive, it's likely sensor-related. That can also occur while you're cruising at a steady speed on the highway. Sensors would not be considered a warranty item although if you've only had the car a few days, some dealers will still fix it for you. Often you must pay half the cost and they will cover the other half.
If the problem occurs during or right after an up-shift, it's more likely due to slippage in one of the clutch packs. That would be covered under the warranty. The clue to identifying that is by connecting the Chrysler DRB3 scanner, or any aftermarket scanner that can access the Transmission Computer and reading the "clutch volume index", (CVI). That is a set of four numbers corresponding to the volume of fluid it takes to apply each clutch pack. An experienced transmission specialist will be able to tell from those numbers how much wear has taken place and whether it's time for a rebuild.
Once it has gone to limp mode, there will be at least one diagnostic fault code stored in the computer. Those codes will get you to the circuit or system with the problem that needs to be diagnosed. The Check Engine light should turn on too.
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 AT 4:08 AM