— Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling nearly 5 million vehicles in the U.S. to repair problems that could block drivers from cancelling cruise control while driving.
The automaker says it's possible the entire problem can be caused by rodents chewing on wiring and causing a short-circuit.
Recalled are the following vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions and gasoline-powered engines:
- 2015-2017 Chrysler 200
- 2014-2018 Chrysler 300
- 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica
- 2015-2018 Dodge Challenger
- 2014-2018 Dodge Charger
- 2014-2018 Dodge Journey
- 2014-2018 Dodge Durango
- 2014-2018 Jeep Cherokee
- 2014-2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- 2018 Jeep Wrangler
- 2014-2019 Ram 1500
- 2014-2018 Ram 2500
- 2014-2018 Ram 3500
- 2014-2018 Ram 3500 cab chassis
- 2014-2018 Ram 4500 and 5500 cab chassis
Chrysler first learned about the problem in October 2017 when engineers noticed the inability to cancel cruise control after a recently upgraded validation protocol. The automaker opened an internal investigation and looked for any possible incidents that may have occurred in the field.
The first and only known incident was filed with the government in March 2018 when a customer filled out a vehicle owner questionnaire that described a similar event that Chrysler's engineers found. The field incident occurred on a 2017 Dodge Journey that was being used as a rental vehicle for Avis.
FCA contacted the customer and gathered information about the cruise control incident and then purchased the Dodge Journey back from Avis to study the SUV.
In May 2018, Chrysler tore down the affected Dodge Journey and found dead rodents, damaged wiring and a nest in the driver's side front fender. Although no final determination has been made, engineers believe the rodents chewed and damaged the wiring which caused a short-circuit and a halt of communications with the CAN-C bus.
Specifically, the cruise control can get stuck if there is a short-circuit that affects the CAN-C bus, combined with the vehicle accelerating while cruise control is activated. Those conditions must be met for the problem to occur, something Chrysler says is unlikely, but possible.
Chrysler says it knows of just the one occurrence on the Dodge Journey out of about 200 billion miles driven by all the vehicles involved in the recall. Additionally, no reports of crashes or injuries have been reported related to the cruise control issues.
However, if the cruise control does get stuck, using the brakes while shifting into NEUTRAL will allow you to stop and get the vehicle into PARK, disengaging cruise control. The automaker says it would be best not to activate the cruise control feature until the vehicle is repaired.
In addition to the nearly 5 million recalled vehicles in the U.S., FCA is also recalling an unknown number of vehicles in Canada, Mexico and certain markets outside North America. Some markets outside the U.S. and Canada are also recalling Fiat Fremonts which are made on the same platform as the Dodge Journey.
The cruise control recall in the U.S. should begin July 6, 2018, when dealers will inspect and update the engine or powertrain control module software.
Affected owners with questions should call the automaker at 800-853-1403.
CarComplaints.com has complaints from owners of the vehicles named in the Chrysler cruise control recall:
- Chrysler 200 - 2015 / 2016 / 2017
- Chrysler 300 - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Chrysler Pacifica - 2017 / 2018
- Dodge Challenger - 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Dodge Charger - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Dodge Journey - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Dodge Durango- 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Jeep Cherokee - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Jeep Grand Cherokee - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017
- Jeep Wrangler
- Ram 1500 - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017
- Ram 2500 - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018
- Ram 3500 - 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017
- Ram 4500 - 2014 / 2015 / 2016
- Ram 5500 - 2014 / 2015 / 2016