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Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8M cars for cruise control problems

CNET logo CNET 5/25/2018 Andrew Krok

It's a very rare circumstance, but it could happen.© Provided by CNET It's a very rare circumstance, but it could happen.

It's a very rare circumstance, but it could happen.

Even though Fiat/Chrysler's latest recall is huge, the chance of actually running into the problem is rather small.

FCA has issued a recall for approximately 4.8 million vehicles in the US, all of which have automatic transmissions and gas engines. The full list is below:

  • 2015-2017 Chrysler 200

  • 2014-2018 Chrysler 300

  • 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica

  • 2015-2018 Dodge Challenger

  • 2014-2018 Dodge Charger

  • 2014-2018 Dodge Journey

  • 2014-2018 Dodge Durango

  • 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee

  • 2014-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • 2018 Jeep Wrangler

  • 2014-2019 Ram 1500

  • 2014-2018 Ram 2500, 3500, 3500/4500/5500 chassis cab

The issue stems from the cruise control. If the cruise control were to initiate acceleration—for example, when driving uphill to maintain speed—while a short-circuit simultaneously occurred in a specific part of the electrical control, the cruise control might become impossible to defeat. 

In the event this happens, drivers have a few ways to bring the vehicle to a stop. The brakes will overpower the engine, so leaning heavily on the brakes is the first option. Owners can also shift the car to neutral and brake to a stop. Once the vehicle has come to a stop, placing the car in Park will finally cancel the cruise control. Thankfully, FCA has no record of any injuries or accidents related to this issue.

FCA dealers will upgrade the powertrain control module software in order to remedy the issue. Affected owners will receive notifications as early as next week. In the meantime, FCA suggests not using cruise control at all if your vehicle is on the list above. 

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