Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4m vehicles to prevent hacking

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.4m vehicles to prevent hacking

Fiat Chrysler has decided to recall about 1.4 million cars and trucks in the US just days after two hackers detailed how they were able to take control of a Jeep Cherokee SUV over the internet.

The company will update software to insulate the vehicles from being remotely controlled, and it said in a statement that hackers are committing a crime by manipulating a vehicle without authorisation.

The recall affects vehicles with 8.4-inch touchscreens including 2013 to 2015 Ram pick-ups and chassis cabs and Dodge Viper sports cars.

Also covered are 2014 and 2015 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs, as well as the 2015 Chrysler 200 and 300, and the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

Fiat Chrysler said it also has taken security measures on its own vehicle network to prevent hacking. Those measures require no customer action and became effective on Thursday.

The recall covers about 1 million more vehicles than the company had originally believed were affected, all with a certain type of radio.

Fiat Chrysler said it knows of no incidents involving hacking of its vehicles except for the one unveiled this week. Initially the company did not issue a recall, but said it would contact all affected customers about a software update.

The fix is a response to a recent article in Wired magazine about two well-known hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who remotely took control of a Jeep Cherokee through its UConnect entertainment system.

They were able to change the vehicle’s speed and control the brakes, radio, windscreen wipers, transmission and other features.

Mr Miller said that he did not think the company statement about criminal activity was directed at them because they hacked into a vehicle they own.

“I don’t think they are saying anything bad against us in that statement, just reminding people that if someone were to hack their car, it’d be against the law,” he said.

The issue also drew attention from the US government’s road safety agency.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation to check the effectiveness of the Fiat Chrysler recall.

The agency encouraged people to get the repairs done as soon as possible and said the recall is the right step to protect customers.

“It sets an important precedent for how NHTSA and the industry will respond to cybersecurity vulnerabilities,” the agency said.

The Jeep incident was the latest warning to the auto industry, which is rapidly adding internet-connected features like WiFi and navigation that are convenient for drivers but make the car more vulnerable to outside attacks.

Earlier this year, BMW had to offer a software patch after hackers remotely unlocked the doors of its cars.

Mr Miller said he and Mr Valasek first told the Fiat Chrysler about their research in October and have been in touch with the company several times since then.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will get a USB drive that they can use to update the software.

Fiat Chrysler said it provides added security features beyond what’s been done on the company’s vehicle network.

More in this Section

Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels can be named in trial, judge rulesDonald Trump and Stormy Daniels can be named in trial, judge rules

Trump says US travel ban will be expandedTrump says US travel ban will be expanded

World Health Organisation delays call on coronavirus international emergencyWorld Health Organisation delays call on coronavirus international emergency

Trump’s impeachment trial opens as Democrats make case for removalTrump’s impeachment trial opens as Democrats make case for removal


Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner