If you’re the proud owner of a Hemi-powered Dodge Charger, Challenger, or Chrysler 300, you probably love getting that sweet baby up to highway speeds in a hurry. However, you’re also likely fond of having the ability to stop it whenever you wish and not entering into a real-life version of the movie Speed.
We’ve got some unfortunate news. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, you might have to take a couple of extra steps to avoid that being a possibility. Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall on 2014-2016 Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers, and Dodge Challengers equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and Mopar Stage 1 Performance Package powertrain control module. The 2018 Challenger SRT Demon is also affected by the recall.
Apparently, the PCM is sick and could screw with the cruise control system. You’ll definitely want to get this one fixed as soon as possible. FCA claims the defect may not just prohibit cruise control from disengaging — there’s also a possibility it could cause the car to accelerate unpredictably. That’s about the last thing you want an 800-horsepower car to do without you giving it the go-ahead.
FCA claims only 1,930 vehicles are affected, but a similar recall in May encompassed around 4.8 million vehicles produced by the company. At the time, the NHTSA recommended drivers suspend their use of cruise control until the manufacturer conducts repairs, while FCA told drivers they could put the vehicle in neutral if things got weird.
It’s issuing a similar recommendation this time, noting that drivers will receive no warning before the cruise control system malfunctions. However, the dashboard might light up like a Christmas tree when the shit hits the fan. FCA says a flub in the powertrain control module’s wiring will make hitting the brakes pointless while the vehicle is in gear. Trying to shut the system off manually will be equally futile.
Fortunately, it should be a relatively simple fix. All Chrysler and Dodge dealers have to do is update the software or replace the PCM. The NHTSA says FCA should begin notifying owners on August 31st, 2018. However, if you want to get a jump on things, you call the automaker at 800-853-1403. You’re also welcome to hit up the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit its webpage.