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.