U.S. Court Declines Fiat Chrysler Appeal
Jan. 9, 2019—Fiat Chrysler's appeal in a class action lawsuit regarding allegations that its Jeeps and other trucks are vulnerable to hacking was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, Yahoo Finance reports. The OE's October trial centers around the question of whether truck buyers could potentially file a suit against Fiat Chrysler due to cyber security attack threats—even if the attacks had not occurred, the publication reports.
"None of the more than 200,000 class members in this lawsuit have ever had their vehicles hacked, and the federal safety regulators at NHTSA (the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration) have determined that FCA US has fully corrected the issues raised by the plaintiffs," Fiat Chrysler said to Yahoo Finance in a statement.
According to Yahoo Finance, in 2015, a similar action was taken against the U.S. subsidiary of the Italian-controlled carmaker and Harman International Industries, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co that makes the Uconnect infotainment system in various vehicles including Ram, Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler trucks.
According to the lawsuit, cyber criminals have the ability to gain access into the Uconnect system, giving them opportunity to control functions such as acceleration, braking, steering and ignition, Yahoo Finance reports. The plantiffs from the case allege that both companies were aware of the defects and claim that cyber security researchers were aware of the defect as early as 2011, Yahoo Finance reports.
Both Fiat Chrysler and Harman have denied allegations, Yahoo Finance reports, saying the plantiffs "lack the necessary legal standing to bring the case." Fiat Chrylser fixed issues during a 2015 recall, where the company issued free software updates for the 1.4 million trucks affected, Yahoo Finance reports.
However, U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan in East St. Louis, Ill., denied the company's request to dismiss the lawsuits, Yahoo Finance reports. According to the publication, "Reagan certified classes of consumers for claims of fraudulent concealment, unjust enrichment and violation of various state and federal consumer protection laws."