Fiat Chrysler tells 5.3M owners to stop using cruise control

26 May, 2018, 07:18 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Courtesy MGN

Australian drivers have been caught up in the mass Fiat Chrysler vehicle recall affecting the United States and Canada, but it's now unclear how many vehicles in Australia are affected.

The firm said an "unlikely sequence of events" could lead to drivers being unable to cancel cruise control.

Fiat Chrysler says the condition can occur if the cruise control accelerates at the same time an electrical short-circuit happens.

In a statement, FCA's Chief Technical Compliance Officer and Head of Vehicle Safety & Regulatory Compliance for the NAFTA region 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". If this occurs, the driver may discover they can not cancel the cruise control system.

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In the complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an owner from Olathe, Kansas, said a 2017 Dodge Journey SUV rental vehicle was being driven about 70 miles per hour with the cruise control on when the windshield wipers came on by themselves and the throttle locked up.

Fiat Chrysler said that at times its cruise control systems automatically start accelerating to help cars keep at the same speed, such as when going up a hill. It should also be possible to shift the vehicle to neutral.

Dodge vehicles included are the 2015 to 2018 Challenger, and the 2014 to 2018 Charger, Journey and Durango, while affected Jeeps include the 2014 through 2018 Cherokee and Grand Cherokee and the 2018 Wrangler. The company has not received reports of related crashes or injuries, according to the AP.

It follows a voluntary recall in the USA and Canada that's affected close to five million vehicles.

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The recall includes 15 Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram models from six model years with gasoline engines and automatic transmissions.

The company will provide owners with a free software fix to prevent the cruise control system from locking up as the auto accelerates, preventing the driver from deactivating it.

"We have a remedy and a widespread network of engaged dealers who are preparing to deliver service", FCA's Chernoby says.

Fiat Chrysler said recall repairs would be free of charge and it would begin alerting affected customers as early as next week.

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