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Fiat Chrysler recalls THOUSANDS more cars to swerve hack-my-brakes roadkill

Jeep Renegade SUVs need software refuel

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled nearly 8,000 SUVs, with the hope of halting hackers from mounting remote attacks on the vehicles.

The manufacturer said it needed to apply software updates to 7,810 Jeep Renegades that were sold in the US market.

It added that 2015 models of the SUV, which comes loaded with certain radios, were affected by the software flaw.

Fiat Chrysler said in a canned statement:

The campaign – which involves radios that differ from those implicated in another, similar recall – is designed to protect connected vehicles from remote manipulation. If unauthorised, such interference constitutes a criminal act.

FCA US 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 company is unaware of any injuries related to software exploitation, nor is it aware of any related complaints, warranty claims or accidents – independent of the media demonstration.

In July this year, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled 1.4 million of the firm's cars, after a dangerous security hole was uncovered.

White hat hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to demonstrate just how easy it was to launch an attack on a Jeep Cherokee, enabling the remote control of the car's engine, brakes and minor systems from miles away simply by knowing the car's public IP address.

The duo have now been gifted jobs at Uber. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler's woes continue.

The manufacturer said more than half of the SUVs needing the latest software update remained at dealerships across the US. Those vehicles will apparently be serviced before being sold to customers.

It said that customers who were already behind the wheel of 2015 Jeep Renegade SUVs, equipped with 6.5-inch touchscreens, will be sent a USB device that they'll be urged to use to upgrade the car's flawed software.

Fiat Chrysler did its best to play down concerns about the security hole in its SUVs, with the claim that "unique and extensive technical knowledge" along with "prolonged access" to one of the affected vehicles was needed to launch a hack attack.

The company said it was recalling the cars "out of an abundance of caution."

Which is to say, the risk of a remote hack is a very real one: update now. ®

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