Fiat Chrysler recalling 4,800,000 vehicles over a defect

Courtesy MGN

Courtesy MGN

"Once you are stopped, use the shifter and put the auto into Park", which will disengage cruise control.

The company said it is recalling an unspecified number of additional vehicles in Mexico and other markets, and recalling some Fiat Fremont vehicles built on the same platform as the Dodge Journey.

The recall was issued after FCA discovered the cruise control system used in many of its vehicles since 2014 could malfunction in the rare circumstance of a short-circuit in a specific electrical network while a vehicle is accelerating. In the event that cruise control can not be disengaged while driving, owners should firmly and steadily apply the brakes and shift the transmission to Neutral, placing the vehicle in Park once it has stopped.

"I was able to overpower the engine with the brakes and get the auto to the side of the road", the driver wrote.

Fiat Chrysler said vehicles may be put in "park" once stopped, which turns cruise control off.

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If you find yourself in this situation, "don't panic, and stop your vehicle as you normally would", said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of auto testing.

According to Fiat Chrysler, no crashes or injuries have been recorded in relation to the cruise control problem. "It was still running at an engine speed to support 70 miles per hour and fighting the brakes".

While the flaw would require an unlikely series of events to happen simultaneously for an incident to occur, the company said it was committed to the safety of consumers driving any of the nine affected models of cars, vans, trucks and SUVs from model years 2014 to 2018 and in one case the 2019 model year.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's road safety agency, on Friday urged drivers not to use the cruise control until repairs are made. 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.

Fiat Chrysler shares were down 2 percent in afternoon trading in NY on the recall.

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