As more than 42 million people in the U.S. prepare for the Memorial Day weekend, automaker Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of 4.8 million of its vehicles due to a defect in the cruise control that could prevent drivers from deactivating it and warned vehicle owners not to use that function until they receive a software upgrade.
The automaker said there have not been any accidents or injuries related to recall, but did say that it had one report of 2017 Dodge Journey driver not able to deactivate the vehicle’s cruise control.
Fiat Chrysler, which during 2015 received penalties from regulators in the U.S. for the sum of $175 million due to safety lapses, did not release a figure about the cost of the recall.
The recall will address what has been called by Fiat Chrysler an unlikely sequence of events which might lead to the driver not being able to shut off the cruise control.
The automaker emphasized that drivers could overpower the cruise control system through applying the brakes continuously until the vehicle came to a stop or it could be stopped through shifting it into neutral and then braking.
The automaker noted that there have been times that cruise control systems will automatically initiate acceleration as a way to help the vehicle maintain the speed selected by the driver, including when driving up an incline. If the vehicle experiences an acceleration simultaneously with the short-circuit of a specific electrical network, the driver could have a problem deactivating the cruise control.
Fiat Chrysler announced that vehicles could be placed into park when stopped, and the cruise control at that point is canceled.
This recall involved vehicles that have automatic transmissions and are gasoline-powered from several model years that were built between 2014 and 2019 model year, with the majority of the recall covering model years 2014 through 2018.
Amongst the vehicles that have been recalled are the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler 200 and 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Journey, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler, pickup trucks – Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 – as well as the Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks.
Fiat Chrysler announced the recall as Memorial Day Weekend started. The weekend has traditionally kicked off the summer driving season.
There are an unknown number of vehicles that will be recalled in Mexico, Canada and other countries, and some Fiat Fremont models that were built on the same platform of Dodge Journey will also be recalled.