Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Fiat Chrysler warns 4.8M owners: Don't use the cruise

Fiat Chrysler warns 4.8M owners: Don't use the cruise

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million United States vehicles over a defect that could prevent drivers from turning off cruise control.

A auto hauler transports Chrysler vehicles from the FCA Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. May 25, 2018.

But it had one report of a driver of a 2017 Dodge Journey being unable to turn cruise control off.

A total of 4.8 million cars are under recall notice.

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"Once you are stopped, use the shifter and put the vehicle into Park", which will disengage cruise control. The agency says that to stop the vehicles, drivers should shift into neutral, forcefully apply the brake and put the vehicle in park once it's stopped. Fiat Chrysler said it'll start alerting customers as soon as next week and that it's unaware of any injuries or accidents related to the flaw.

Fiat Chrysler's US shares extended their decline in early trading, falling as much as 3.9 percent, and were down 2.2 percent as of 8:56 a.m.in NY.

If that automatic acceleration happens at the same time as a short-circuit in the car's electrical system, a driver could be unable to switch off cruise control. But the brakes are created to overpower the engine and the vehicles could still be stopped. Also covered are the 2015-2017 Chrysler 200, the 2014-2018 Chrysler 300, the 2017 and 2018 Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

The safety campaign involves Ram pickups, Jeep Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles and several Chrysler and Dodge brand models, according to a company statement.

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Fiat Chrysler made the announcement on the first day of the busy Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally kicks off the summer driving season. The company said it was also warning owners in other markets not to use cruise control until recalls are completed.

"However, if this sequence of events were to occur, cruise-control acceleration can be overpowered by the vehicle's brakes", FCA points out. The company also notes drivers can shift the vehicle into neutral and then brake accordingly. "It was still running at an engine speed to support 70 miles per hour and fighting the brakes".

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

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