FCA announced this morning that 4.8-million vehicles in the United States, including some of their most popular models such as the Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Charger, the Jeep Grand Cherokee and pretty much the entire modern Ram truck lineup, are being recall over a concern that the cruise control could get stuck in the set position.
As you might imagine, if the cruise control in your Hellcat Challenger or Ram 1500 gets stuck at 70 miles per hour, it poses an obvious safety risk to you and others on the road, so FCA is making the call to get these vehicles back to the dealerships and fixed. Fortunately, there has been only one report of this happening in the real world and there were no reported accidents or injuries stemming from that case.
In the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and the rest of the FCA vehicles listed below, there are times when the cruise control system is set, but as the vehicle hits a hill, the system begins to accelerate on its own to maintain the set speed. In these affected vehicles, if the driver hits the throttle at the right point in time, right as the cruise control system initiates acceleration, there could be an electrical short that could cause the cruise control to stick on at the current speed.
When this happens, the “off” and “cancel” buttons for the system will not work and tapping the brakes will not deactivate the system. However, the brakes do have enough power to stop all of these vehicles with the cruise control working against them, but in the case that this happens, the driver should quickly shift to neutral, use the brakes to stop the vehicle and once stopped, put the vehicle into Park. Placing the vehicle into Park automatically disables cruise control, at which point the driver can continue on their way – not using cruise control, of course.
The good news is that this problem is fixed with a simple reflash of the vehicle’s computer system, so when owners bring their vehicles in for the repair, it will only take as long as a quick reprogramming with a diagnostic tool. Of course, this work will be performed free of charge to the customer.
There does not appear to be a set timeframe for the recall notices to go out, but in the meantime, drivers of the affected vehicles are asked to refrain from using their cruise control system.
As the owner of a car on this list, I should point out that I frequently use the cruise control in my Hellcat Challenger and I occasionally accelerate beyond the speed of the system and I have never run into this issue. Although 4.8-million vehicles are included, one instance in nearly 5-million is hardly something to get upset about, but in the age of the automotive recall, no risk is too small, so these vehicles are going to be fixed before anything can truly go wrong.
The full list of vehicles affected by this recall is available below, with the models arranged by brand.
-2015-17 Chrysler 200
-2014-18 Chrysler 300
-2017-18 Chrysler Pacifica
-2015-18 Dodge Challenger
-2014-18 Dodge Charger
-2014-18 Dodge Journey
-2014-18 Dodge Durango
-2014-18 Jeep Cherokee
-2014-18 Jeep Grand Cherokee
-2018 Jeep Wrangler
-2014-19 Ram 1500
-2014-18 Ram 2500
-2014-18 Ram 3500
-2014-18 Ram 3500 Chassis Cab
-2014-18 Ram 4500/5500 Chassis Cab