Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCA US LLC, said on Friday it is recalling 4.8 million U.S.-market vehicles over a defect in their Powertrain Control Modules that could prevent drivers from deactivating cruise control and warned owners not to use the function until they get software upgrades.
The upgrade addresses 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 company said.
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 US said 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.
“Notwithstanding the extraordinary circumstances that must exist before a customer would experience a problem, we are taking this action because we are fully committed to vehicle safety,” says Mark Chernoby, Chief Technical Compliance Officer and Head of Vehicle Safety & Regulatory Compliance – NAFTA.
“We have a remedy and a widespread network of engaged dealers who are preparing to deliver service,” Chernoby adds. “We urge customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices.”
The remedy will be provided free of charge.FCA US will begin alerting affected customers as early as next week so they may schedule service appointments.
The Company advises affected customers to avoid using cruise control until their vehicles are equipped with the upgraded software. The recall, which is limited to vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions and gasoline-powered engines, involves:
- 2015-17 Chrysler 200 sedan
- 2014-18 Chrysler 300 sedan
- 2017-18 Chrysler Pacifica minivan
- 2015-18 Dodge Challenger coupe
- 2014-18 Dodge Charger sedan
- 2014-18 Dodge Journey CUV
- 2014-18 Dodge Durango SUV
- 2014-18 Jeep Cherokee SUV
- 2014-18 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV
- 2018 Jeep Wrangler
- 2014-19 Ram 1500 pickup
- 2014-18 Ram 2500 pickup
- 2014-18 Ram 3500 pickup
- 2014-18 Ram 3500 cab chassis
- 2014-18 Ram 4500/5500 cab chassis
Customers with concerns may contact their dealers or call the FCA US Recall Information Center at 866-220-6747.
Additional vehicles are being recalled in Canada, Mexico and certain markets outside the NAFTA region. Some markets outside the U.S. and Canada are also recalling certain Fiat Fremont CUVs, a platform-mate of the Dodge Journey, FCA US said.
Affected customers will be contacted accordingly. As in the U.S., customers driving the above vehicles are advised to avoid using cruise-control, FCA US said.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,NHTSA, said on Friday it “strongly encourages vehicle owners to follow a warning” to stop using cruise control on the recalled vehicles until repaired.
NHTSA said drivers could overpower the system by forcefully applying the brakes until the vehicle stopped. Fiat Chrysler also said the vehicle could be stopped by shifting into neutral and braking.
Fiat Chrysler shares fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading in New York on the recall.