Fiat Chrysler recalls cars in North America over cruise control defect
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.