Fiat Chrysler Recalls 4.8 Million Vehicles for Runaway Acceleration Caused by Cruise Control Software

AutoInformed.com on ongoing safety problems at FCA

Don’t touch that Cruise Control switch – the software has a mind of its own.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is telling drivers not to use cruise control on 4.8 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles because the software of the cruise may direct it to stay engaged against the driver’s intent.

When this serious electronic safety defect happens, drivers may be able to stop the vehicle by depressing the brake pedal. The vehicle can then be placed into park once stopped. Drivers may also: 1) shift the transmission to neutral, 2) forcefully apply the manual brake, and 3) place the vehicle in park once stopped.

This appears to be a re-run or sequel of Chrysler’s long-running horror movie on safety. (See AutoInformed/com on: NHTSA Whacks Chrysler with Record $105m Safety Penalty, Hack Attack! FCA Recalls 1.4m Vehicles Because Outsiders Can Take Control Remotely by Exploiting the Software, US DOT Fines Fiat Chrysler $70 Million more, NHTSA Blasts FCA Recalls – Big Fines, Maybe Criminal Charges Coming for Italian Automaker? Litigation Ongoing.)

Chrysler blithely notes in a statement buried on its media site that the recall is caused by “an unlikely sequence of events that would compromise cruise-control functionality. In response to driving conditions such as varying road grades, cruise-control systems automatically initiate acceleration, as needed, to help vehicles maintain driver-selected speeds.

“In certain vehicles, if such an acceleration were to occur simultaneously with a short-circuit in a specific electrical network, a driver could be unable to cancel cruise-control. However, if this sequence of events were to occur, cruise-control acceleration can be overpowered by the vehicle’s brakes.

“The vehicle may also be stopped by shifting it into neutral and braking accordingly. Regardless of the mitigation strategy, the vehicle may be placed in park once it has stopped, at which point cruise-control is cancelled.

FCA claims it is unaware of any related injuries or accidents involving the affected vehicles, which span six model-years and account for more than 200 billion travel miles. FCA and Fiat vehicles are also being recalled in Canada and Mexico and other non-NAFTA countries.

Vehicle owners should contact FCA at (866) 220-6747 for additional information concerning this recall. Report potential safety issues to NHTSA by calling (888) 327-4236 or submitting a complaint online at NHTSA.gov. Affected models, as currently identified by FCA, are:

  • Dodge Journey MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Dodge Durango MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Dodge Challenger MY 2015-2018 2-Door
  • Dodge Charger MY 2014-2018 4-Door
  • Ram 3500 MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 3500 Cab Chassis MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 3500 Less Than 10,000 Pound Cab Chassis MY 2016-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 2500 MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 1500 MY 2014-2019 Pickup Truck
  • Jeep Wrangler MY 2018 SUV
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Jeep Cherokee MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Chrysler 300 MY 2014-2018 4-Door
  • Chrysler Pacifica MY 2017-2018 Van
  • Chrysler 200 MY 2015-2017 4-Door

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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