Fiat Chrysler announced a massive recall of 5.3 million cars in North America for a defect related to its cruise control feature. Affected vehicles contain a malfunction that may prevent drivers from disengaging cruise control while the car is operating and can lead to serious injury or death. In the United States, the recall included 4.8 million cars, while in Canada, 490,000 cars were affected.
Fiat has stated that the defect occurs only in rare cases. When the cruise control system automatically accelerates to allow the driver to maintain the desired cruise control speed, a short-circuit can occur in the electrical network. The short circuit could result in the driver being unable to deactivate cruise control.
The recall began after a complaint was filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in March. The complaint was initiated by the driver of a rented Chrysler car traveling in Kansas. The driver, who was driving at 70 mph with cruise control activated, reported that the dashboard suddenly lost function and the cruise control did not disable. The driver reported that he was able to safely pull off the road by applying the brakes forcefully, though the engine speed continued to register 70 mph and was working forcefully against the brakes.
Fiat discovered the defect after conducting testing. The automaker has cautioned consumers against activating cruise control until their vehicles complete the necessary software upgrade to correct the problem. The NHTSA echoed this warning in a statement encouraging drivers to cease using the cruise control feature until the car has been repaired. The NHTSA added that, if necessary, drivers could override cruise control by placing pressure on the brakes until the car stops fully. Alternatively, putting the car in neutral or park mode overrides cruise control and forces the car to stop completely according to the manufacturer.
Fiat’s recall includes vehicles with automatic transmissions from a number of models manufactured between 2014 and 2019. The majority of recalled cars are 2014-2018 models. Some of the popular models being recalled include Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Wrangler and several Ram pickup truck models.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.