Fiat Chrysler confirms Australians affected by mass recall due to cruise control

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Fiat Chrysler announced a recall for 4.8 million of its vehicles Friday over an issue that causes them to get stuck in cruise control.

Fiat Chrysler vehicle owners are being warned not to use their vehicle's cruise control for the time being after it was discovered that in rare cases the function can not be turned off.

The recall includes 15 Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler and Ram models from six model years. Included are 4.8 million vehicles in the USA, another 490,000 in Canada and an undetermined number in Mexico and other countries. In an "an unlikely sequence of events", automatic acceleration could occur simultaneously with an electrical network short-circuit and could prevent a driver from being able to cancel cruise control, according to the company.

The company emphasized drivers could overpower the system by continuously applying the brakes until the vehicle stopped or the vehicle could be stopped by shifting into neutral and braking.

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In the complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an owner from Olathe, Kansas, said a 2017 Dodge Journey SUV rental vehicle was being driven about 70 miles per hour with the cruise control on when the windshield wipers came on by themselves and the throttle locked up.

The Italian-American auto maker said no injuries or crashes were related to the large recall campaign.

Fiat Chrysler said that at times its cruise control systems automatically start accelerating to help cars keep at the same speed, such as when going up a hill. After the testing uncovered the trouble, FCA said it reviewed consumer complaints and found one that may be related. A recall is underway for all of the vehicles, which span FCA's Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram lines, and include sedans, SUVs, and pickups. That happened in a 2017 Dodge Journey, which had been supplied as a rental vehicle.

Fiat Chrysler noted the recall repairs are free of charge and said it will begin alerting affected customers as early as next week. We urge customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices'.