Nearly 5M Chrysler Vehicles Recalled Over Cruise Control Problems

Chrysler indicates that nearly 5 million vehicles sold since 2014 may be at risk of experiencing cruise control problems, where an electrical short may prevent the system from disengaging, potentially causing an increased risk of accidents and serious injury. 

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Chrysler cruise control recall on May 25, after learning of a potential defect that could cause an electrical short in the cruise control module that could prevent the system from being overridden by pressing the brake pedal or deactivating the controls.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with cruise control software that could fail to properly communicate with the Engine Control Module (ECM) software, and fail to remove positive torque requests. This scenario, in the presence of an electrical short, could cause the cruise control setting to remain engaged and not allow standard deactivation possible, increasing the risk of a crash.

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Chrysler (FCA USA LLC), first recognized the potential for this issue in October 2017, when engineers recorded a field test result indicating the inability to cancel cruise control. An investigation was opened to further evaluate the isolated incident. After further teardown inspections and escalating the investigation to Phase 1 status, the automaker determined under rare circumstances the cruise control module could fail to deactivate, increasing the risk of a crash.

Included in the recall are 2014 through 2018 Dodge Journey, Charger and Durango, RAM 2500, 3500, 3500 Cab Chassis, 4500 Cab Chassis and 5500 Cab Chassis, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300, 2014 through 2019 Ram 1500, 2015 through 2018 Dodge Challenger, 2015 through 2017 Chrysler 200, 2016 through 2018 RAM 3500 Cab Chassis, 2017 through 2018 Chrysler Pacifica and 2018 Jeep Wrangler vehicles.

According to the recall notice, an estimated 4,846,885 vehicles are included in the recall that were manufactured by FCA USA LLC of Auburn Hills, Michigan, and were distributed for sale across the nation to licensed dealers.

NHTSA officials are warning owners to stop using the cruise control features until the necessary software update has been performed.

In the event the vehicle fails to deactivate the cruise control feature, or the vehicle begins to increase in speed, drivers should firmly and steadily apply the brakes and shift the transmission to neutral and bring the vehicle to a controlled stop on the side of the road. Once the vehicle has come to a complete stop, drivers should place the vehicle in the park position while engaging the brake.

Chrysler announced they will be notifying owners of the potential defect and providing warning to not use the cruise control feature until the vehicle has been inspected. The recall is expected to begin on July 6, 2018, I which owners will be instructed to schedule a repair appointment at their local dealer to have software upgrade applied to the engine or powertrain control module, free of charge.

For additional questions or concerns regarding the recall, customers may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Any adverse events related to the recall are encouraged to be submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or online at www.safecar.gov.

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