San Diego product liability lawyers, we are concerned by reports that Chrysler –Fiat may have known
that its vehicles were susceptible to hackers more than 18 months before
it notified regulators. The news comes weeks after the automaker agreed
to pay a record $105 million penalty to resolve allegations about its
prior recall failures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) imposed the fine after concluding that Chrysler-Fiat failed to
adequately remedy defective vehicles within a reasonable time and timely
notify vehicle owners and the NHTSA regarding the existence of a defect.
Under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, manufacturers
are required to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do
not meet federal safety standards. The federal law specifically requires
automakers to notify the NHTSA within five days of discovering a defect
that presents an unreasonable risk to public safety.
Last month, Chrysler-Fiat recently recalled 1.4 million vehicles that are
equipped with in-vehicle technology that is susceptible to hacking. As
previously detailed on this San Diego Injury Blog, hackers were able to
identify and exploit security vulnerabilities in a Jeep Cherokee’s
UConnect entertainment system. Once they remotely accessed the system,
the hackers were able to change the vehicle’s speed and control
the brakes, radio, windshield wipers, transmission and other features
that are accessible through the system.
According to Chrysler-Fiat, it first learned about the cybersecurity risk
in January 2014, but did not consider it a safety defect and was working
on a fix. As
Bloomberg reports, the auto manufacturer did not notify the NHTSA about the security flaw
until the hackers informed the company that they planned to detail how
they took control of the Jeep Grand Cherokee at a security conference
and in an article in
Given Chrysler-Fiat’s past recall issues, the NHTSA is closely monitoring
the latest recall. The federal regulator is also investigating Harman
International Industries Inc., the company that supplied the Uconnect
system used in the recalled vehicles.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a dangerous or
defective vehicle, don’t hesitate to
contacta San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.