Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has issued a voluntary safety recall to update software in approximately 1,400,000 US based vehicles.
This follows a recent stunt by a US technology magazine that managed to 'hack' into a Jeep Cherokee and control it using laptops. The 'remote manipulation' was carried out with a compliment driver behind the wheel, however it has forced FCA to review the safety of its software, resulting in the recent patch update.
Effecting cars equipped with certain radios, the recall 'aligns with an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation, which, if unauthorised, constitutes criminal action' says Fiat-Chrysler.
FCA US has also applied network-level security measures to prevent the type of remote manipulation demonstrated going forward. 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 this month.
The Company says 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. Affected vehicles are equipped with 8.4-inch touchscreen, and include the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs as well as 2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles, Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans and Dodge Challenger sports coupes to name a few.
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.
FCA says 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. Fiat-Chrysler says the company conducting this campaign 'out of an abundance of caution'.