Product Recalls – July 2015

Experiment Allows Hackers to Wirelessly Control Moving Vehicle

July 25, 2015 – Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles after it was discovered that security researchers hacked a Jeep Cherokee vehicle remotely through the radio.  The company has recently been hit with $105 million in penalties for delaying recall repairs and is mandated to federal oversight.

Wired Magazine published a July 21, 2015 article called Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway With Me In It.  The author of the Wired article, Andy Greenberg, agreed to drive the Jeep in an experiment conducted by security researchers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek.  Miller and Valasek spent the last year researching the ability of hackers to remotely control a vehicle, in this case, a Jeep Cherokee SUV. Miller and Valasek controlled the temperature, radio, windshield wipers, and to the horror of the driver, the accelerator, through commands sent through the vehicle’s entertainment system.  All attempts made by the driver to override the remote control and regain control were useless.  Miller and Valasek also can turn off the engine, slam on or disable brakes, and obtain GPS information.

Greenberg wrote that this was not the first time the hackers tried this experiment.  In 2013, he drove a Ford Escape for the two researchers.  The researchers were able to disable the Ford Escape’s brakes, honked the horn, make the seatbelt jerk and take control of the steering wheel.  But at the time, the hackers had to wire their PC into the vehicle’s diagnostic port, where technicians usually access information about the car’s electronic systems.

The Wired article created a tremor through the auto industry that reached the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration.  The NHTSA opened an investigation to determine how many vehicles have the same type of radio as the Jeep used in the 2015 experiment.

Fiat Chrysler, now under strict federal regulatory scrutiny, will provide USB devices containing security software patches to close any loopholes in the internal cellular telephone network.  The company issued a statement that no defects were found and that such manipulation constitutes criminal action if unauthorized.   Miller and Valasek concede that it took over a year to write code to manipulate the software.  However, Chrysler’s statement that they found no defects seems contradictory to the results of the researchers who were able to hack into a vehicle from a laptop 10 miles away.

The following vehicles are part of the recall:

2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles

2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups

2013-2015 Ram 3500

4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs

2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs

2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs

2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans

2015 Dodge Challenger sports coupes

To see if your vehicle has been recalled  go to and enter your vehicle information. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in one of these vehicles you should get prompt legal advice to protect your rights and determine if you are entitled to financial compensation.

Polaris Off-Road Vehicle Recall

July 24, 2015 – Polaris announced a recall of Polaris Youth RZR recreational off-highway vehicle due to the possibility of a fire through a faulty fuel pump.  Consumers are asked to stop using the vehicle immediately and contact their local Polaris dealer to schedule an appointment to repair or exchange the recalled fuel pump.  Consumers can also contact Polaris at (888) 704-5290 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST time or through and choose Product Safety Recalls.

Circo Night Lights

July 25, 2015 – A nationwide recall of battery-operated Circo Night Lights has been issued due to the possibility of overheating and starting a fire.  The night lights were sold by Target, in stores and on-line.

The recalled products are:

Pink Hedgehog, model number 060-02-1397

Orange Dino Egg, model number 060-02-1400

White Soccer Ball, model number 060-02-1401

Blue Bird, model number 060-02-1398

Yellow Rocket, model number 060-02-1399

Green shark, model number 060-02-1402

Consumers who have suffered serious injury from these recalled products should get legal advice promptly to be sure that their legal rights are protected and to determine whether they may be entitled to monetary compensation.