Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is responding to a Jeep hacking media report by recalling 1.4 million vehicles in order to patch up a potential software problem.
The recall affects various vehicles from 2013 to 2015 model years, all equipped with 8.4-inch touchscreen radios and the UConnect system. The affected models are the Chrysler 200 and 300, the Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango and Viper, the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and Ram pickups.
Affected vehicles will insulate connected vehicles from potential remote overrides, which given all the electronic controls in the vehicles, could allow hackers to gain control over critical vehicle systems. FCA has also established a Systems Quality Engineering team and applied network-level security measures (as of July 23, 2015) to study and prevent such remote manipulation.
The company is unaware of any incidents outside of the demonstration reported on in the media, and is assuring customers that there is no defect and the media demonstration involved unique and extensive technical knowledge on behalf of the perpetrators, with physical access to a subject vehicle (a 2014 Jeep Cherokee) for an extended period of time in order to write the malicious code.
Unlike other recalls, customers don’t have to bring their vehicles to dealerships for examination and repairs. Owners of affected vehicles will receive a USB stick with which they can upload software security upgrades outside of network level upgrades.
Customers can also go online at www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ to find out if their vehicles are included in the recall, by inputting their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), or call the FCA Customer Care Centre at (800) 853-1403.