In light of the recent hack demonstration on the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall for nearly 1.4 million FCA vehicles in the U.S. The recall’s remedy is to install an update to the Uconnect infotainment software with the goal of stopping any such attacks from actually taking place.

The demonstration by Wired magazine showed how two hackers were able to wirelessly control the Cherokee via a laptop, over the Jeep’s Internet connection. The hackers were able to control small features like radio volume and HVAC fan speed, along with major systems like engine, transmission and even braking functions.

While it took these two hackers more than a year to write the code, FCA and government agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not taken the threat lightly. The NHTSA in fact, is urging lawmakers to set new regulations to protect vehicles against outside hackings.

You can input your VIN on Chrysler’s website to see if your vehicle is under the recall. If so, you can download the software update onto a USB thumb drive and install it yourself, or elect to receive a USB in the mail. If you’re not into DIY fixes, you can take your car to your FCA dealership for the update as well. On top of updating individual vehicles, FCA and its cellular provider have taken measures to secure cell-to-vehicle communications.

Still, I encourage you to ensure your vehicle is up to date. The range of effected vehicles includes everything from the Dodge Viper all the way to the Ram 3500 Chassis cab.

Continue reading for a full list of affected vehicles.

List Of Recalled Vehicles

Why it matters

These types of security beaches represent a major threat to the driving public. If hackers are able to gain control of a vehicle’s steering, brakes, and throttle, there is an untold amount of damage and loss of life that could result. What’s worse, this could potentially happen on a widespread scale. Such an event could shut down roads and infrastructure in hundreds of locations.

Though FCA is taking the blunt of the heat for this hack, every automaker could be at risk. It’s interesting to note that both Tesla and Ford utilize wireless updating for their vehicles, meaning that if a problem like this were to occur, either automaker could simply roll out an update overnight without the customer having to lift a finger. Every Model S or F-150 would be instantly fixed. Perhaps more automakers will soon adapt such technologies into their infotainment systems.

2015 Jeep Cherokee Driven

2015 Jeep Cherokee - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 628278

Read our full review here.

Press Release

Statement: Software Update
July 24, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC is conducting a voluntary safety recall to update software in approximately 1,400,000 U.S. vehicles equipped with certain radios.

The recall aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation, which, if unauthorized, constitutes criminal action.

Further, FCA US has applied network-level security measures to prevent the type of remote manipulation demonstrated in a recent media report. These measures – which required no customer or dealer actions – block remote access to certain vehicle systems and were fully tested and implemented within the cellular network on July 23, 2015.

The Company 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.

Affected are certain vehicles equipped with 8.4-inch touchscreens among the following populations:

2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles
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

Customers affected by the recall will receive a USB device that they may use to upgrade vehicle software, which provides additional security features independent of the network-level measures. 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.

The security of FCA US customers is a top priority, as is retaining their confidence in the Company’s products. Accordingly, FCA US has established a dedicated System Quality Engineering team focused on identifying and implementing best practices for software development and integration.

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.

No defect has been found. FCA US is conducting this campaign out of an abundance of caution.

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