Fiat Chrysler Automobiles finds itself in the unenviable position of leading all automakers by number of recalled US vehicles, due primarily to a software glitch affecting certain Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram models that occasionally causes cruise control to remain activated even after the driver attempts to cancel it. The glitch resulted in FCA recalling an estimated 4.8 million US-market automobiles last month to patch Powertrain Control Module software, pushing FCA’s 2018 US-market recall count to over 6 million vehicles.
Ford Motor Company was a distant second, The Wall Street Journal reports, with roughly 2 million US-market vehicles recalled so far in 2018.
The vehicles covered by FCA’s cruise control recall include late-model Chrysler 200 and 300 sedans; the Chrysler Pacifica minivan; the Dodge Challenger, Charger, Journey, and Durango; Jeep’s Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler; and various Ram trucks, from the light-duty 1500 up to the 3500 pickup, and 3500/4500/5500 cab chassis models. All affected vehicles are from the 2014 model year or later.
Sadly, FCA’s lead in number of US recalls isn’t a freak thing; according to The Journal, the automaker has had more recalls in the market than any other for each of the past three years, peaking in 2015 with a total of 11.5 million vehicles recalled. That’s the year the automaker issued a voluntary recall to address concerns over the possibility of its vehicles being remotely hacked. The following year, FCA recalled 8.8 million US-market vehicles, including 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee models like the one that tragically killed late Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin.
Yet as discouraging as that is, it’s important to note that only one incidence of the glitch occurring has been detected so far. The occurrence was detected using FCA’s computer analytics program, which – according to FCA Chief Technical Compliance Officer Mark Chernoby – searches keywords across several databases, including the NHTSA’s consumer complaint section.
“We’re going to be able to act upon issues much faster than we have in the past before they become an issue in the marketplace,” Chernoby told The Journal. “We don’t want to take any further risk with our customers.”