Millions of cars recalled due to faulty cruise control

Courtesy MGN

Courtesy MGN

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is warning owners of 4.8 million vehicles in the United States not to use cruise control, after discovering a flaw that could leave drivers unable to deactivate it.

Fiat Chrysler vehicle owners are being warned not to use their vehicle's cruise control for the time being after it was discovered that in rare cases the function can not be turned off. No injuries have been reported, and the issue has reportedly only happened once. Drivers are still able to slow down their vehicle by hitting the brakes or shifting into neutral, CNN reports.

The firm said an "unlikely sequence of events" could lead to drivers being unable to cancel cruise control. The company also notes drivers can shift the vehicle into neutral and then brake accordingly.

The recall involves a group of gasoline-powered vehicles with automatic transmissions from various model years built from 2014 through the 2019 model year. Models in other countries also are affected.

The firm said it planned to contact affected customers.

The recall affects 15 models from as early as the 2014 model year to brand new vehicles and includes top sellers like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler SUVs, Ram's 1500 pickup and Chrysler's Pacifica minivan.

Some markets outside the U.S. and Canada are also recalling certain Fiat Fremont models.

"When you have 88,000 recalls already this year, a lot of times people just don't pay attention to it", says Bertrand.

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The company stated that the issue can occur when the cruise control causes the vehicle to accelerate at the same time as an electric short-circuit occurs, according to the Associated Press.

Fiat Chrysler said vehicles may be placed in park once stopped, at which point cruise-control is canceled.

A total of 4.8 million cars are under recall notice.

In the meantime, the company is advising Australian motorists engaging in the cruise control system to be ready to use the foot brake if needed.

"We have a remedy and a widespread network of engaged dealers who are preparing to deliver service", FCA's Chernoby says.

In 2015, Fiat Chrysler booked a 602 million-euro ($705 million) after-tax charge, mainly for estimated future recall costs.

Fiat Chrysler has vowed to improve safety procedures after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2015 imposed $175 million in civil penalties for safety lapses.

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