If you own a Jeep, Dodge Charger, Challenger, Ram pickup, a Chrysler 200 or 300, or Pacifica Minivan, Fiat Chrysler has issued both a warning and a recall for certain vehicles (and more vehicles are affected, too; see list below). Drivers of a total of 4.8 million cars and trucks dating back to 2014 are at risk because the cruise control could get stuck maintaining speed, even if you’ve cancelled it manually using the steering wheel control or the brakes.
Fiat Chrysler issued a recall notice this morning, saying that although the fault with the Powertrain Control Module software is rare, when cruise control enters acceleration mode to maintain speed in response to climbing a hill, for instance, “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.”
The release explains what to do next: Keep applying the brakes, even if the cruise control doesn’t cancel. Fiat-Chrysler says you can slow the vehicle to a stop this way, and once you’ve come to a complete stop and can put the car into Park, cruise control will finally be cancelled. Put the car in neutral and brake to a stop and then shift to Park.
Fiat Chrysler ran afoul of the National Highway Transportation Administration back in 2015 and received a record penalty of $105 million over 23 safety recalls covering 11 million-plus cars. This morning, the NHTSA issued its own warning to owners of the following Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram vehicles, saying the agency, “strongly encourages vehicle owners to follow a warning from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to stop using cruise control on the vehicles listed below until repaired.”
Chrysler’s own statement said the company is “unaware of any related injuries or accidents involving the affected vehicles.” Mark Chernoby, chief technical compliance officer and head of Vehicle Safety & Regulatory Compliance said, “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.”
The bottom line: If you’re in the slightest doubt, don’t use cruise control on your Chrysler, Jeep, Ram or Dodge vehicle. You should call your dealer, or 866-220-6747, for more information. And whenever there’s an official recall for any car, you can find out if your car’s affected by going to the safercar.gov website and entering your car or truck’s VIN number.
Here’s the list:
- 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