WASHINGTON – Fiat-Chrysler is recalling approximately 7,810 2015 Jeep Renegade SUVs in the U.S. to address concerns about remote hacking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Affected are 2015 Renegades with 6.5-inch touchscreens. The radios may have an open radio communications port that allows the radio to accept commands from unauthorized sources.
“The affected vehicles are equipped with radios that have software vulnerabilities that can allow third-party access to certain networked vehicle control systems,” said NHTSA in its recall summary. “Exploitation of the software vulnerability may result in unauthorized remote modification and control of certain vehicle systems, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Fiat-Chrysler said it is not aware of any injuries related to software exploitation or any related complaints, warranty claims or accidents.
The automaker said more than half of the affected Renegades remain in dealer hands and will be fixed before they are sold.
The affected Renegades were built from September 18, 2014 to June 25, 2015.
Owners will be mailed a USB device that can be used to upgrade vehicle software to eliminate the vulnerability. The upgrade provides additional security features. The company will provide detailed instructions on how to download the radio software to the Renegade.
They can also download the update to their own USB drive from here or take their vehicle to a Jeep dealer for installation.
Dealers began installing the free software on September 5.
In the meantime, NHTSA said Fiat-Chrysler has had the wireless service provider close the open cellular connection to the vehicle that provided unauthorized access to the vehicle network.
“This measure may not have been implemented on all vehicles and does not address access by other means that will be remedied by the software update,” NHTSA said.
Fiat-Chrysler said the Renegade recall involves radios that differ from those implicated in “another, similar recall.”
The automaker in July recalled 1.4 million vehicles for concerns about remote hacking after a Wired magazine report, which found that hackers could remotely take control of some functions of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, including steering, transmission and brakes.
Fiat-Chrysler on Friday said in the Renegade recall announcement that it “has already applied measures to prevent the type of vehicle manipulation demonstrated in a recent media report. These measures – which required no customer or dealer actions – block remote access to certain vehicle systems.”
The automaker has not specified when it will begin mailing the USB devices to Renegade owners. Owners may contact Fiat-Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403.
Edmunds says: Owners of affected Renegades have several options, but the best one may be to bring the vehicle to their local dealership to have the radio software professionally installed.