The FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) group issued a massive recall of around 4.8 million vehicles today over a software problem that could prevent drivers from turning off the cruise control system on their vehicle. The company is recommending that owners refrain from using the function until a software update can be carried out.
The manufacturer stated that the decision to proceed with this large-scale recall did not arise from any reported incidents or injuries. The company did learn of one case in which the driver of a 2017 Dodge Journey was unable to turn off the vehicle’s cruise control function.
It appears that for the problem to occur, two events must take place simultaneously. First, the system must proceed with an acceleration to maintain speed, such as when the vehicle is ascending a hill. Then, a simultaneous short-circuit must take place in one of the system’s circuits. Only when this series of events takes place might the cruise control remain on incorrectly.
The likelihood of this happening is clearly minimal, but all of those involved in examining the issue, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are recommending that owners of affected vehicles not use the cruise control function until the software can be updated.
Which vehicles are affected?
The recall concerns vehicles with gasoline engines and automatic transmissions from 2014-to-2018 model-years, as well as some models designated 2019 model-year vehicles.
The list of affected models includes the following: Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler, as well as the RAM 1500, 2500 and 3500, and the 3500, 4500 and 5500 cabin-chassis variants.
FCA stated that recalls of the models listed will also be issued in Canada and Mexico, as well as in Europe where some Fiat Freemont models (the European version of the Dodge Journey) will be subject to the recall.
Finally, if ever the problem arises when you are driving an FCA vehicle, the procedure to follow to ensure a safe stop is simple. Apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a stop, while shifting the transmission into neutral. Once the vehicle has come to a stop, shifting the transmission into Park will disengage the cruise control system.