The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announces Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles after discovering a fault in the cruise control system that could prevent it from turning off.

The NHTSA "strongly encourages" owners of the following vehicles to stop using the cruise control function immediately:

  • Dodge Journey MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Dodge Durango MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Dodge Challenger MY 2015-2018 2-Door
  • Dodge Charger MY 2014-2018 4-Door
  • Ram 3500 MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 3500 Cab Chassis MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 3500 Less Than 10,000 Pound Cab Chassis MY 2016-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 2500 MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis MY 2014-2018 Pickup Truck
  • Ram 1500 MY 2014-2019 Pickup Truck
  • Jeep Wrangler MY 2018 SUV
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Jeep Cherokee MY 2014-2018 SUV
  • Chrysler 300 MY 2014-2018 4-Door
  • Chrysler Pacifica MY 2017-2018 Van
  • Chrysler 200 MY 2015-2017 4-Door

In a statement to CNN Money, a company representative says, "The issue can be triggered when the car accelerates while operating under cruise control, which it might do in order to maintain its speed while climbing a hill...This could potentially cause a short circuit."

Fiat Chrysler says customer affected by the recall can take them back to the dealership for a "no-cost software update that can prevent the short circuit."

So what do you do if you find yourself locked in cruise control? First, try tapping the brake pedal as you normally would. If that doesn't work, which is certainly a possibility with this default, the NHTSA suggests the following actions:

  1. Shift the transmission to neutral
  2. Forcefully apply the manual brake
  3. Place the vehicle in park once stopped

[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / CNN Money]