1.4M Fiat Chrysler cars recalled to prevent hacking

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to recall about 1.4 million cars and trucks in the U.S. at he government’s urging.

Fiat Chrysler has decided to recall about 1.4 million cars and trucks in the U.S. just days after two hackers revealed that they took control of a Jeep Cherokee SUV over the Internet.

The company also disclosed in government documents that the hackers got into the Jeep through an electronic opening in the radio and said it would update software to close it. On Thursday, Fiat Chrysler sealed off a loophole in its internal cellular telephone network with vehicles to prevent similar attacks, the automaker said in a statement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would find out which other automakers use the same radios.

Shortly after the hack was disclosed in a Wired magazine article this week, Fiat Chrysler said it would contact owners of 471,000 vehicles and offer software updates to fix the problem. But documents show that the wider recall came at the urging of government safety regulators.

Car owners can go to www.driveuconnect.com/software-update and enter their vehicle identification numbers to find out if they’re included in the recall.

The company also implied the hackers broke the law by manipulating a vehicle remotely without authorization.

The fix came after two well-known hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, remotely took control of the Cherokee through its UConnect entertainment system. They were able to change the vehicle’s speed and control the brakes, radio, windshield wipers, transmission and other features.

Miller said Friday he didn’t think Fiat Chrysler’s statement was directed at them because they hacked into a vehicle they own. “I don’t think they are saying anything bad against us in that statement, just reminding people that if someone were to hack their car, it’d be against the law,” he said.

The recall affects vehicles with 8.4-inch touchscreens including 2013 to 2015 Ram pickups and chassis cabs and Dodge Viper sports cars. Also covered are 2014 and 2015 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs, as well as the 2015 Chrysler 200 and 300, and the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

NHTSA encouraged people to get the repairs done as soon as possible.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will get a USB drive that they can use to update the software. Fiat Chrysler says it provides added security beyond the cellular network fixes.