Fiat Chrysler is warning drivers of its newer model cars that it may be difficult to turn off cruise control once enacted. The company advises anyone in its cars, SUVs and trucks not to use cruise control until the function can be repaired via an anticipated software update.
Chrysler reports the condition may occur should the cruise control accelerate while simultaneously experiencing a short-circuit. The company also says brakes are designed to overpower the engine in this case and stop the vehicle. Alternatively, it says shifting into park would also cancel cruise control but that turning off the function or merely tapping the breaks may not work.
The issue was first discovered when testing the vehicle's computer network. There are currently no reports of crashes or injuries related to this problem.
One consumer complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by an owner in Olathe, Kansas, however, is said to possibly be related. The driver reported that a 2017 Dodge Journey SUV rental experienced a frozen throttle when its windshield wipers spontaneously turned on while the vehicle was running at 70 miles per hour with cruise control on. The driver reported that the cruise control would not disengage by tapping breaks or turning off the button.
As a result, Fiat Chrysler is now recalling 48,000 million vehicles, including their 15 Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram models from six model years (with gasoline engines and as well as automatic transmissions). Other models may be included in coming weeks, the company reports.
Of course, as with any defective product, any injuries resulting from this current issue may be the responsibility of not only the manufacturer, but anyone along the chain of distribution for these vehicles, including dealerships where the vehicles were sold. Under products liability law, a product defect may be identified in: (1) the product's design; (2) the products manufacture; or (3) the products marketing/warning or instructions.
In the above case, a defect in the vehicles' manufacture (not design) may entitle anyone injured as a result of the feature to damages under the theory of defective products law. Claimants may be entitled to applicable damages ranging from medical treatment to lost wages to loss of enjoyment.
If you have sustained any injuries from a defective vehicle or other consumer product, it is important that you secure the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney like those of Panio Law Offices in Chicago. Our attorneys, skilled in products liability litigation will work assiduously to recover the highest damages to which you may be entitled.
Call us at (312) 313-0305 to learn more or to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Consultation is free and we only collect a fee if we recover damages in your case.