Fiat Chrysler re­calls cars in North Amer­ica over cruise con­trol de­fect

Global Times - Weekend - - AUTO -

Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles NV is re­call­ing more than 5.3 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in North Amer­ica over a de­fect that could pre­vent driv­ers from de­ac­ti­vat­ing cruise con­trols, the com­pany said, warn­ing own­ers not to use the func­tion un­til they get soft­ware up­grades.

The Ital­ian-Amer­i­can au­tomaker said no in­juries or crashes were re­lated to the large re­call cam­paign, although it said it had one re­port of a US driver of a 2017 Dodge Jour­ney rental car be­ing un­able to de­ac­ti­vate the cruise con­trol.

Fiat Chrysler, which in 2015 was hit with penal­ties from US reg­u­la­tors to­tal­ing $175 mil­lion for safety lapses, did not say how much the re­calls would cost.

The re­call ad­dresses what Fiat Chrys- ler called an “ex­tremely rare” se­ries of events that could lead to driv­ers be­ing un­able to can­cel cruise con­trol, an elec­tronic de­vice that al­lows a ve­hi­cle to main­tain a con­stant speed with­out driver in­ter­ven­tion.

The US Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NHTSA) said it “strongly en­cour­ages ve­hi­cle own­ers to fol­low a warn­ing” to stop us­ing cruise con­trol on the re­called ve­hi­cles un­til re­paired.

The re­call cov­ers more than 4.8 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in the US and 490,000 in Canada, reg­u­la­tors said.

The 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 said that at times, cruise con­trol sys­tems au­to­mat­i­cally ini­ti­ate ac­cel­er­a­tion to help ve­hi­cles main­tain driver-se­lected speeds, in­clud­ing when go­ing up­hill. If an ac­cel­er­a­tion oc­curs si­mul­ta­ne­ously with a short­cir­cuit in a spe­cific elec­tri­cal net­work, a driver could be un­able to de­ac­ti­vate the func­tion.

Fiat Chrysler said ve­hi­cles may be placed in park mode once stopped, at which point cruise-con­trol is can­celed.

The re­call in­volves a group of gaso­line-pow­ered ve­hi­cles with au­to­matic trans­mis­sions from var­i­ous years built from 2014 through the 2019 model year. Most of the ve­hi­cles be­ing re­called cover the 2014 to 2018 model years.

Among the ve­hi­cles be­ing re­called are the Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Paci­fica, Dodge Charger, Dodge Chal­lenger, Dodge Jour­ney, Dodge Du­rango, Jeep Chero­kee, Jeep Grand Chero­kee, Jeep Wran­gler and Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks and Ram 3500/4500/5500 cab chas­sis trucks.

The com­pany said it is re­call­ing an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of ad­di­tional ve­hi­cles in Mex­ico and other mar­kets.

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