Feeds

Software fault forces Ford recall

110,000 Explorers need reprogramming

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Car giant Ford has instigated a recall of 110,000 Explorer and Mountaineer sport utility vehicles because of a programming glitch in the car's cruise control equipment.

A month ago, Ford denied claims in a UK TV show that cruise control problems had caused a number of Explorers to accelerate suddenly without warning. At the time, the company blamed the problem on floor mats becoming entangled with the throttle pedal.

The Channel 4 programme, broadcast on 15 November, alleged that in 1998, British motorist Chris Merrick had died when his Explorer ran out of control and that a number of US motorists had also fallen victim to runaway Fords.

At the time, Ford said it there was no evidence of engine controls being to blame for 'unintended sudden acceleration' or faults with cruise control systems. It admitted that complaints about the vehicles not slowing as expected had prompted a recall in 1998, when incorrectly fitted floor mats beneath the pedals were replaced.

Today, Mike Vaughn, a spokesman for Ford in Detroit, told The Register that the programming of a chip in the powertrain control module was suspect. "In this case, it is the way it was programmed, not the way it was designed or manufactured," he said. "The fix is simply to reflash or reprogram it at the dealer."

The Explorer was also involved in a number of fatal accidents caused by the failure of Firestone tyres, which are also subject to a recall. The cruise control was intended to limit the vehicle's top speed to 100mph, the Firestone tyres being rated safe up to 106mph. The software fault could have allowed this maximum speed to be exceeded.

Vaughn added that Ford was not aware of any crashes, tyre-related or otherwise, that had been caused by the defective software. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.