Over 5.3 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles have been recalled in North America- 4.8 million in the United States and 490,000 in Canada- due to a serious cruise control defect that could stop drivers from turning off their cruise control while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Fiat Chrysler have warned recalled vehicle owners not to use their cruise control function until software updates have been made to their vehicles.

Recalled vehicles include various automatic transmission, gasoline-powered vehicles built from 2014-2019, including:

  • Chrysler 200
  • Chrysler 300
  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Dodge Charger
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Journey
  • Dodge Durango
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup trucks
  • Ram 3500/4500/5500 cab chassis trucks

Fiat Chrysler is recalling additional vehicles in Mexico and other markets and will be recalling some Fiat Fredmont automobiles as well.

Cruise control systems will, at times, accelerate automatically to maintain a driver’s desired speed. If this automatic acceleration occurs while a specific electrical network short circuits, the driver may not be able to turn off the cruise control function.

So far there has only been one report (which was filed with NHTSA in March) of a vehicle’s cruise control failing to disengage while being driven. An Avis rental car, a 2017 Dodge Journey, was being driven on cruise mode at 70 mph when the vehicle experienced windshield wiper, dashboard instrumentation dial, and cruise control malfunctions.

The driver of the vehicle stated, “I was able to overpower the engine with the brakes and get the car to the side of the road. It was still running at an engine speed to support 70 mph and fighting the brakes.”

Fiat Chrysler has had a history of automobile defects. In 2015, Fiat Chrysler settled for $105 million due to mishandling recall campaigns that involved 11 million vehicles. That same year, Fiat Chrysler was fined $70 million for failing to report vehicle crash deaths and injuries, and $175 million for safety lapse penalties.

As cruise control defect lawyers, we see many accidents involving cruise control failures that result in serious personal injury or death. If you or a loved one have been involved in a serious accident involving a cruise control defect, contact the injury automotive attorneys at The Potts Law Firm to determine if you have a case against your vehicle manufacturer.

News Source: Reuters



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