Cruise Control Malfunction Causes a Recall of Over 4.8 Million Vehicles

On May 25, 2018, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (“FCA”) recalled 4.8 million vehicles due to a possible cruise control malfunction, including various models of Chryslers, Dodges, Jeeps, and Ram pickups. The recall is to resolve the “unlikely” possibility that the cruise control system fails to turn off upon driver command.

The malfunction will only occur if the cruise control system is prompted to accelerate to maintain a certain speed at exactly the same time as a potential short-circuit “in a specific electrical network,” according to a statement by FCA. The statement continues to say that even if this malfunction were to ensue, drivers could manually override the cruise-control acceleration by shifting into neutral, braking, and then shifting into park. By shifting into park, cruise control will always be cancelled.

FCA has asked people whom are experiencing this malfunction to bring their vehicles into a certified maintenance facility for a powertrain control module software upgrade. According to FCA, “the upgrade addresses an unlikely sequence of events.”

Mark Chernoby, FCA’s chief technical compliance officer, shared that “Notwithstanding the extraordinary circumstances that must exist before a customer would experience a problem, we are taking this action because we are fully committed to vehicle safety.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), the models and years of the recalled vehicles range from Dodge Journeys, Durangos, Challengers, and Chargers; Ram 4500s, 3500s, 2500s, and 1500s; Jeep Wranglers, Cherokees, and Grand Cherokees; and Chrysler 200s, 300s, and Pacificas all in the years between 2014 and 2018. VIN numbers can be checked on the NHTSA website:

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Salvatore, Cara. “Fiat Chrysler Recalls 4.8M Vehicles Over Cruise Control Issue.” Law360. Last Modified on May 25, 2018.