In a wide ranging urgent warning, Fiat Chrysler reports potential cruise control failures for more than 5.3 million vehicles in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere. The problem is that drivers may not be able to turn off the cruise control feature. Although the frequency of this happening has been rare, the company is asking drivers not to use their cruise control until all of the vehicles involved receive a software update.
Fiat Chrysler reports at least one instance in which a driver was unable to disengage the cruise control. The condition can occur if this function accelerates at the same time an electrical short circuit occurs. Although this could be a terrifying circumstance for the driver, the company says the brakes should be able to overpower the engine to stop the vehicle. The company has not received any reports of crashes or injuries.
Normally, cruise control is turned off by a tap of the brakes or turning off the cruise control button. However, should the above scenario occur, the motor vehicle could still accelerate. Putting the the vehicle in neutral or park will disengage the feature.
The problem was discovered during testing of the vehicles’ computer network after a consumer complaint. The complaint was made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by a Kansas driver of a 2017 Dodge Journey SUV rental. He stated that he was driving the SUV about 70 mph with the cruise control engaged when the windshield wipers turned themselves on and the cruise control would not disengage by tapping the brakes or turning off the button. The driver slammed on the brakes and was able to get the SUV to the side of the road.
In addition to the cruise control not disengaging, the engine stop button also did not work. Fortunately, the driver was able to stop the vehicle and shift into park while the brakes “smoked significantly.”
The NHTSA said that to stop any vehicles with this problem, the driver should shift into neutral, forcefully apply the brake and put the vehicle in park once it’s stopped.
Vehicles affected by cruise control warning
Below is the list of vehicles affected by the cruise control warning. Vehicle owners can also visit NHTSA.gov to search using their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if the car or truck is included in this or any other safety recall at this time. Officials suggest checking at least twice per year.
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 SUV
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
The potential for personal injury remains possible until all vehicles affected by the warning are identified and repaired (free of charge). As personal injury attorneys, you may want to make this information available on your website or blog.
If you have any questions about starting a blog on your website or don’t have time to write or manage it, give us a call at Group Matrix. We can help you with any and all aspects of your marketing campaign.
Group Matrix Blog – June 4, 2018 – by Sharon Bowles