Recall Roundup: Software Vulnerability Sidelines 1.4 Million Chrysler Vehicles
During the past week, Chrysler issued four recalls, affecting a total of just over 3,270,000 vehicles from model years 2011 through 2015. The largest recall affects a wide range of cars, trucks, and SUVs that have software problems in their radios that make them vulnerable to hackers. Details for each recall are below, in alphabetical order by vehicle brand.
Chrysler: Various 2013-2015 Vehicles
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (Chrysler) is recalling approximately 1.4 million model-year 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500; 2015 Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger; 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, and Dodge Durango; and 2013-2015 Dodge Viper vehicles. The affected vehicles are equipped with radios that have software vulnerabilities that can allow third-party access to certain networked vehicle control systems. Exploitation of the software vulnerability may result in unauthorized remote modification and control of certain vehicle systems, increasing the risk of a crash.
Chrysler will notify and mail affected owners a USB drive that includes a software update that eliminates the vulnerability at no charge to the owner. Optionally, owners may download the update to their own USB drive from http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ or take their vehicle to a Chrysler dealer for immediate installation. In an effort to mitigate the effects of this security vulnerability, Chrysler has had the wireless service provider close the open cellular connection to the vehicle that provided unauthorized access to the vehicle network. This measure may not have been implemented on all vehicles and does not address access by other means that will be remedied by the software update. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is R40; owners may also refer to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) campaign number 15V461000.
2011-2015 Dodge Journey
Chrysler is recalling 144,416 model-year 2011-2015 Dodge Journey vehicles manufactured July 19, 2010, to May 26, 2015 and equipped with a 2.4-liter engine. In the affected vehicles, the engine cover may detach from the engine and contact the exhaust manifold. If the displaced engine cover contacts the exhaust manifold, there would be an increased risk of a vehicle fire.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will install an improved mounting system for the engine cover, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 26, 2015. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is R32; owners may also refer to NHTSA campaign number 15V431000.
2012-2014 Ram Trucks
Chrysler is recalling a total of 1,060,531 model-year 2012-2014 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks manufactured January 18, 2011, to October 7, 2014, and equipped with the Electronic Vehicle Information Center option. The affected vehicles have a steering wheel wiring harness that may rub against the driver air bag module retainer spring. This abrasion may result in an electrical short that could cause the driver's frontal air bag to unexpectedly deploy. Inadvertent deployment of the air bag may increase the risk of injury and the possibility of a vehicle crash.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will inspect, repair as necessary, and secure the steering wheel wiring harness. Additionally, protective caps will be added to the air bag retainer spring ends. These repairs will be done free of charge to the vehicle owner. The recall is expected to begin September 19, 2015. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is R36; owners may also refer to NHTSA campaign number 15V459000.
2013-2015 Ram Trucks
Chrysler is recalling 667,406 model-year 2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks manufactured June 20, 2012, to January 26, 2015. In the affected vehicles, the side-impact sensor calibrations may be overly sensitive, and as a result, the side air bag inflatable curtains and seat air bags may unexpectedly deploy and the seat belt pre-tensioners may activate. Air bags that unexpectedly deploy increase the risk of a crash or injury.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update the Occupant Restraint Control module calibration, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is R23; owners may also refer to NHTSA campaign number 15V460000.