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News About Jeep

A collection of stories that owners should hear about including recalls, lawsuits, investigations, and top complaints. For a quick view of all stories, checkout the archive.

A New Year, A New Takata Recall for Jeep Vehicles

Hello and welcome back to our ongoing Takata nightmare.

Did you know it’s been almost five years since the first recall? Yet here we are staring down yet another recall expansion.

Fiat-Chrysler is recalling 317,000 vehicles, including the Jeep Wrangler. Overall that’s a pretty small piece of the 3.3 million vehicle recall pie that’s happening across the entire industry right now. David Woods of CarComplaints.com has the full breakdown of which model years and in what zones.

Takata inflators have been in the news a lot lately for new casualties, stop-driving orders, and questions from US Senators.

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More Wranglers Included in the Latest Round of Takata Recalls

Just when you thought the Takata nightmare was over, they pull you back in. There is an industry-wide spike in recalls for the dangerous inflators and as part of that, Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) is recalling 317,000 vehicles.

This included the 2009-2013 Jeep Wrangler, but it is broken down into zones. David Woods of CarComplaints.com has the full breakdown of who, what, and where.

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Should the FCA Hacking Lawsuit Be Tossed Out?

Does the Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) hacking lawsuit have a case?

In one corner you have owners saying they wouldn’t have bought the vehicles if they knew about the vulnerabilities. In the other corner you have FCA saying 1) well, you did 2) you’ve never been hacked 3) we patched those vulnerabilities and 4) you keep driving your car anyway.

According to FCA, the plaintiffs must not be too worried about the problem because they continue to drive the vehicles they are allegedly so worried about. Chrysler says this is just one small example why there shouldn’t be a class-action lawsuit of any kind about the Uconnect systems.

Someone is bringing sass to the courts.

FCA has been awfully defensive about this issue, and they have a reason. When hackers took control of a Jeep Cherokee back in 2015, it was a controlled experiment with access to the vehicle. There hasn’t been a nefarious hack and FCA even recalled 1.4 million vehicles to make sure it won’t happen.

Plus, they might feel a little singled out since they’re not the only automaker offering infotainment.

However, don’t sleep on this case. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of similar lawsuits in the future as cars become more connected.

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Jeep Settles HVAC Sludge Lawsuit Before it Reaches Certification

Jeep has reached a settlement with three plaintiffs who were having HVAC problems. Their original lawsuit said leftover casting sand from the manufacturing process was creating sludge build-up in the bottom of the radiator reservoir.

The lawsuit alleges sand can circulate through the cooling system and settle in the radiator … this causes sludge in the bottom of the radiator and reservoir that ruins the heating and cooling system … According to the plaintiffs, normal maintenance does nothing to fix the problem because the sand and sludge is in the bottom of the radiator where flushing doesn’t work.

While details of the settlement haven’t been released, it appears to be good news for those three owners, but bad news for anyone else hoping for a warranty extension.

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Any Hopes of a Recall-Free Year Have Already Been Extinguished

It didn’t take long for a Jeep to be recalled in 2018, although this one is a little bit different.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling more than 62,000 vehicles because of fire extinguisher problems. The extinguishers were made by Kidde between May 5, 2008, to August 6, 2009.

Turns out those on-board extinguishers can become clogged, which is the last thing you need if your Jeep is on fire.

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Is Leftover Casting Sand to Blame for a Jeep’s Heating and Cooling Problems?

A new lawsuit says the inevitability of your Jeep’s engine having sludge-related problems is set in stone, er … sand. As in, casting sand leftover during manufacturing of the cylinder heads.

The plaintiffs say all the sand must be removed or destroyed during production of the cylinder head or other component engine parts will suffer serious problems … any residual sand that remains from the sand-casting process in the engine can circulate through the vehicle’s cooling system and settle in the heater core, radiator, and oil cooling systems.

Over time the leftover sand mixes with fluids to create a thick sludge. The lawsuit narrows in on sludge building up at the bottom of the radiator reservoir, knocking out heating and cooling systems.

This isn’t the first time a Jeep vehicle has been accused of sludge-related problems. Early models of the Liberty have some issues with engine-killing oil sludge.

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uConnect System Vulnerabilities Subject of New Lawsuit

Despite issuing a recall to patch vulnerabilities in their infotainment system, Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) has been sued for not fully addressing the threat.

The hack was possible because of the Harmon Kardon uConnect infotainment systems installed in the affected Jeeps and other vehicles. The plaintiffs claim the uConnect 3G systems in the vehicles should be physically disconnected from the controller area network bus. The CAN bus links together the electronics of the vehicle, including vital functions such as the braking system and transmission.

The plaintiffs say they wouldn’t have bought their vehicles if they knew about the threat. Great, now every time we buy a car we’re going to have to read all the legalese and not check the box that says I promise not to sue the automaker for shoddy code that allows remote access to my car’s vital systems, like the engine and stuff. Although I’m guessing it will be phrased a little differently.

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Fiat-Chrysler Plans to Upgrade Software Following Hacker Incident

A few days ago hackers took control of a Jeep Cherokee in an effort to exploit technical vulnerabilities in the vehicle’s infotainment system. Well, it worked.

Now Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) is responding with a two-pronged approach.

  1. The automaker sent out an over-the-air (OTA) update to block remote access to all vehicles systems.
  2. They are recalling 1.4 million vehicles to update their software with additional security measures via a USB drive.

Although calling it a “recall,” owners won’t have to worry about a trip to the dealership because the automaker will simply mail a USB drive to each owner. The automaker says a safety defect doesn’t exist and the recall is ordered “out of an abundance of caution.”

This recall is dripping with reluctance from FCA. Their position is the hack was a controlled experiment where the researchers had access to the car beforehand. However, I think their position should change to “thank heavens this happened in a controlled experiment before someone got hurt”. To each their own, I guess.

The recalled vehicles include the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.

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Researchers Hack Jeep Cherokee, Take Driver For a Wild Remote-Controlled Ride

Automakers have been swapping out mechanical parts for electronic control units, setting up in-car wifi networks, and connecting infotainment systems to cloud-based services. So it was only a matter of time before these technologies got hacked.

Luckily, the hacking in this case was done by researchers in partnership with Wired.com. Their goal was to point out vulnerabilities in a Jeep Cherokee with an infotainment system.

And things got crazy, real fast.

While the driver was aware the Jeep would be hacked, he didn’t realize the true power of the hackers until silent panic filled his mind and body.

The whole story and accompanying video is worth your time.

It’s important to note the hackers had access to the car before the experiment began, so at least that’s one less thing to worry about. For now.

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