Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 4.8 million vehicles this morning due to issues with cruise control. In 15 models, there is a potential for drivers to be unable to cancel cruise control when an electrical short-circuit occurs at the same time cruise control is accelerated.
If this occurs, there is a potential for the driver to lose control of the vehicle. However, the function can be overpowered if the driver continuously applies the brakes, or shifts the car into neutral and brings it to a halt.
Fiat Chrysler will be alerting customers to give them information on how they can update their software. The affected cars are still safe to drive, but drivers should avoid using cruise control until their car has been updated.
Dave Sullivan, the manager of product analysis at automotive market research group AutoPacific, says this isn't so out of the ordinary -- automotive recalls happen every week.
"We should be relieved that companies are making these recalls. They're not making any money on these products. I think it's noteworthy that they're doing the right thing and offering the repairs to be made for consumers.
Nonetheless, he urges drivers to take the recall seriously.
"It's not something to worry about, but it is something you need to be aware of and also not forget about. I think that it is a very hard thing when you look at the numbers and the data. Consumers tend to forget about recalls," Sullivan says.
Fiat Chrysler discovered the issue during vehicle testing. No related injuries or accidents have officially been reported. The log of a March 2018 accident seems to describe circumstances that may have been related to the glitch; however, further investigation of the incident revealed dead rodents and their nest in the driver's side front fender of the affected car, atop some damaged wiring. The root cause of the accident is still unknown, but it may have to do with the critters instead.
The affected models include:
• 2015-17 Chrysler 200 sedan
• 2014-18 Chrysler 300 sedan
• 2014-18 Dodge Charger sedan
• 2014-18 Dodge Durango SUV
• 2014-18 Dodge Journey crossover
• 2014-18 Jeep Cherokee SUV
• 2014-18 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV
• 2014-18 Ram 2500 pickup
• 2014-18 Ram 3500 cab chassis
• 2014-18 Ram 3500 pickup
• 2014-18 Ram 4500/5500 cab chassis
• 2014-19 Ram 1500 pickup
• 2015-18 Dodge Challenger coupe
• 2017-18 Chrysler Pacifica minivan
• 2018 Jeep Wrangler