Fiat Chrysler is recalling approximately 4.8 million vehicles to address a defect that could prevent the cruise control system from disengaging. The recall is to upgrade software in Powertrain Control Modules.
Should this error occur, drivers may be able to stop the vehicle by depressing the brake pedal. The vehicle can then be placed into park once stopped. Drivers may also: 1) shift the transmission to neutral, 2) forcefully apply the manual brake, and 3) place the vehicle in park once stopped.
The company says the upgrade addresses an unlikely sequence of events that would compromise cruise-control functionality.
In response to driving conditions such as varying road grades, cruise-control systems automatically initiate acceleration, as needed, to help vehicles maintain driver-selected speeds.
In certain vehicles, if such an acceleration were to occur simultaneously with a short-circuit in a specific electrical network, a driver could be unable to cancel cruise-control. However, if this sequence of events were to occur, cruise-control acceleration can be overpowered by the vehicle’s brakes.
The vehicle may also be stopped by shifting it into neutral and braking accordingly. Regardless of the mitigation strategy, the vehicle may be placed in park once it has stopped, at which point cruise-control is cancelled.
FCA US is unaware of any related injuries or accidents involving the affected vehicles, which span six model-years and account for more than 200 billion travel miles.
“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,” says Mark Chernoby, Chief Technical Compliance Officer and Head of Vehicle Safety & Regulatory Compliance – NAFTA.
“We have a remedy and a widespread network of engaged dealers who are preparing to deliver service,” Chernoby adds. “We urge customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices.”
The remedy will be provided free of charge. FCA US will begin alerting affected customers as early as next week so they may schedule service appointments.
The Company advises affected customers to avoid using cruise control until their vehicles are equipped with the upgraded software. The recall, which is limited to vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions and gasoline-powered engines, involves:
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 CUV
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
Customers with concerns may contact their dealers or call the FCA US Recall Information Center at 866-220-6747.
Additional vehicles are being recalled in Canada, Mexico and certain markets outside the NAFTA region. Some markets outside the U.S. and Canada are also recalling certain Fiat Fremont CUVs, a platform-mate of the Dodge Journey.
Affected customers will be contacted accordingly. As in the U.S., customers driving the above vehicles are advised to avoid using cruise-control.