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Chrysler Orders Second Connected Jeep Recall

Hard on the heels of the high-profile connected Jeep hack that sparked a recall of 1.4 million cars last month, Chrysler has ordered a second recall of its vehicles, to once again address unauthorized access.

The recall will update software in about 7,810 of its new 2015 Jeep Renegade cars, which feature 6.5-inch touchscreens. Chrysler said that since the Renegade is a new model, about half the affected vehicles are still in the hands of dealers.

It also said that the radio in question is different from the ones that security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek were able to exploit—with an unsuspecting journalist driving 70 mph on the freeway. In time for last month’s Black Hat conference, they showed that they could take over a car’s air-conditioning, in-dash system and windshield wipers remotely. Miller and Valasek also said that they could take control of the vehicle’s brakes and steering. The vehicles covered by the first recall include the 2015 model of the Dodge Ram pickup, Dodge’s Challenger and Viper, and the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs.

The new vulnerabilities would be costly to exploit and would take likely months and extensive technical prowess to accomplish, Chrysler emphasized.

"The software manipulation addressed by this recall required unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code," the company said in the statement. "No defect has been found. FCA US is conducting this campaign out of an abundance of caution."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has meanwhile launched an investigation to assess whether the recall was likely to be effective.

"Launching a recall is the right step to protect Fiat Chrysler's customers, and it sets an important precedent for how NHTSA and the industry will respond to cybersecurity vulnerabilities," NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a statement.

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