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Drivers in West Virginia may benefit from knowing that officials have discovered that several recent-model vehicles have the potential to be hacked. More specifically, a total of 14 different Fiat Chrysler cars are vulnerable to this exploit. This has resulted in the recall of a whopping 1.4 million models of vehicles with the recently discovered software-related auto defects.

The recall stems from a news report on a demonstration in which hackers were able to easily access and then control a Jeep Cherokee vehicle while someone was operating it. The hack mentioned in the news report took place under controlled conditions, and the vehicle driver knew that the hack was going to happen. However, it did occur on a busy interstate. The hacking incident caused the vehicle to slow down, thus posing an obstacle to cars behind it.

According to Fiat Chrysler, there have been no reports of this type of hacking attack being launched against vehicle owners who were not expecting it. However, the issue does show that the car manufacturer’s security does have a hole. Chrysler was first informed of the issue by the hackers who did the demonstration, so it issued a patch in early July. However, now the company is simply recalling the defective cars.

Car manufacturers have a duty to produce vehicles that are safe for consumers to operate. If people in West Virginia end up getting hurt due to auto defects, these individuals have the right to file liability claims against the manufacturers of the cars that caused their injuries. They may seek damages, which — if awarded — may help to cover any medical bills, lost wages and other expenses linked to use of the defective automobiles.

Source: pcworld.com, “1.4 million cars that could be hacked are recalled by Fiat Chrysler“, Martyn Williams, July 24, 2015