Fiat Chrysler will recall vehicles over hacking worries – The Detroit News – The Detroit News
Washington — Under government pressure, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV agreed Friday to recall 1.4 million vehicles that could be hacked remotely, just days after researchers showed they could remotely take control of some functions of a Jeep Cherokee.
The recall will include a software update to address certain radios that could be the subject of cyber hacking. No vehicles outside the United States are impacted.
The automaker said: “The recall aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation which, if unauthorized, constitutes criminal action.”
Fiat Chrysler said it is unaware of any injuries related to software exploitation, nor is it aware of any related complaints, warranty claims or accidents — independent of the media demonstration.
The recall includes 1.4 million vehicles equipped with 8.4-inch touchscreens including:
■2013-2015 Dodge Vipers
■2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups
■2013-2015 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs
■2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs
■2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs
■2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans
■2015 Dodge Challenger sports coupes
Owners will receive a USB device which they may use to upgrade vehicle software, which provides additional security features independent of the network-level measures already taken. “Alternately, customers may visit http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ to input their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) and determine if their vehicles are included in the recall,” Fiat Chrysler said.
Fiat Chrysler said it “has established a dedicated System Quality Engineering team focused on identifying and implementing best practices for software development and integration.”
Fiat Chrysler said the “software manipulation addressed by this recall required unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code.”
Meanwhile on Friday, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration will “push” hard to ensure the nation’s 250 million cars and trucks are not suspectible to cyber hacking.
At a roundtable discussion with reporters Friday, Foxx said the problem is an “issue” in wake of a Wired report that said researchers were able to take control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee SUV.
“We will push as hard as we can to ensure the security of vehicles is air tight,” Foxx said at a breakfast meeting with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor Friday.
“It’s an issue,” he added, noting that this may become a bigger issues as connected vehicles grow on the nation’s roads. “The time to get on this is right now.”
Researchers recently remotely hacked into a 2014 Jeep Cherokee in a real-world test that included disabling the SUV’s engine functions and controlling interior features such as air conditioning, locks and the radio. Fiat Chrysler has unveiled a software patch to address the issue that could impact about 400,000 vehicles but has not recalled the vehicles.
Asked if a settlement was coming with Fiat Chrysler over the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s concerns about the company’s handling of nearly two dozen recalls covering 11 million vehicles, Foxx also didn’t directly answer: “Give us some time.”
Two senators this week introduced legislation requiring NHTSA to set new rules to guard against cyber hacking. Foxx said it was critical that automakers and the government work closely together to address the issue.
Foxx also said he is still urging Congress to grant NHTSA sweeping authority to get unsafe vehicles off the road and force dealers to repair recalled used vehicles before selling them. He also disclosed the administration is opening a price gouging investigation into four major airlines in the northeast corridor in the wake of an Amtrak train derailment in May.
Foxx said it was “better” that Congress was hiking the maximum recall fine to $70 million from the current $35 million but said the administration still wants the maximum fine hiked to $300 million.
A compromise six-year highway bill omitted the administration’s request to get “imminent hazard” authority to get unsafe vehicles off the road if an automaker refused to move. Under current law, it requires a two-stage process that can take months and then requires a public hearing.
Federal law only requires recalled new cars to be repaired before being sold. The Detroit News reported this week that talks have been ongoing about adding used cars to the bill, but no agreement has been reached.
Separately, Foxx said the Obama administration is opening on Friday a price gouging investigation into allegations of price gouging on flights in the northeast corridor four airlines in the wake of a deadly May 12 Amtrak Philadelphia derailment — and sent letters to Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Jet Blue Friday seeking information “to begin the process of uncovering whether in fact the airlines drove up prices.”
Foxx also declined to take a position on the current six-year highway bill pending before the Senate, saying it was still changing.
But he said the administration has concerns about some safety provisions in the bill. He said the original compromise unveiled Tuesday by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was a “very mixed bag.” Since then, Republicans have made some changes. He said it is hard to know if the talks are in “the second inning” or near the end game. He praised Congress for seriously wrestling with the issue of trying to get a long-term bill. But House Republican leaders said they will not take up the Senate bill.