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John Stewart

Unhacking the hacked Jeep

We read about “hacks” every day. All industries are potential targets of a hacker and the automotive industry has been no exception.

Well-known hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek recently teamed-up with a WIRED reporter to publish a story that you may have read about or seen on the news. The story highlights how Miller and Valasek hacked into Miller’s 2014 Jeep Cherokee and remotely controlled some functions. Miller and Valasek have been working on intentionally hacking into Miller’s vehicle over the past year as part of their on-going research in the area of automotive cybersecurity and have communicated with FCA about some aspects of their work.

To FCA’s knowledge, there has not been a single real world incident of an unlawful or unauthorized remote hack into any FCA vehicle.

After becoming aware of the vulnerabilities in some 2013 and 2014 vehicles equipped with the 8.4 inch touchscreen systems, FCA and several suppliers worked to fix the vulnerabilities in model year 2015 vehicles. FCA also created a software update that eliminates the vulnerabilities uncovered by Miller and Valasek in their laboratory tests. This software update is available to customers right now and can be downloaded to a USB drive from http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ and installed in a vehicle.

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John Stewart

2013 Polaris Ranger ROV Recall Issued

Polaris Ranger ROVA recall has been issued for 2013 Polaris Ranger Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles due to loss of control and crash hazard. The 2013 Polaris Ranger® 400 recreational vehicle’s throttle can fail to operate properly, which can cause the vehicle’s rider to lose control, posing a crash hazard.

This recall involves 2013 Polaris Ranger® 400 recreational off-highway vehicles with model number R13RH45AG and VIN numbers between 4XARH45A3D4726305 and 4XARH45A7DE648444. Not all VIN numbers in the range are included in this recall.  To see a complete list of recalled VIN numbers visit the firm’s website. “Polaris” is stamped on the front of the vehicle above the front grill.  A “400 HO” decal is located on the right and left side of the hood and “Ranger 4x4” is printed on the side of the rear bed box. The vehicles are green and gray in color. The model number is printed in the owner’s manual.

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Can-Am® Commander Side-by-Side Off Road Vehicles Recalled

This recall involves 2011, 2012 and early 2013 model gas-powered Can-Am Commander side-by-side vehicles due to potential fire hazard from debris such as leaves, hay and grass in wet terrain areas can collect in the vehicle’s exhaust pipe area in a short period of time. A hot exhaust pipe and accumulated debris that has dried, poses a risk of fire. The firm has received 18 reports of fires related to accumulated debris in the exhaust pipe area, including one report of minor burns to the hand.

This recall follows an earlier recall of Model Year 2011 and Model Year 2012 Can-Am Commander vehicles due to improper assembly of the steering column to the rack and pinion which can result in the loss of steering control, posing a risk of serious injury or death to the user, passenger or bystanders. The vehicles were sold through Can-Am dealers nationwide from April 2010 through November 2012 for between $11,700 and $21,000.

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American Honda Expands Recall of FourTrax ATVs Due to Crash Hazard

Honda FourTrax Rancher TRX420TE
December 26, 2012 Alert #13-713

The following product safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC. Consumers should stop using the product immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

Units: About 19,500 (about 2,900 were recalled in February 2012)

Distributor: American Honda Motor Co. Inc., of Torrance, Calif.

Hazard: A weld on the ATV’s front right and left upper suspension arms can separate, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, posing a crash hazard.

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Suzuki Recalls KingQuad ATVs Due to Fire Hazard

Picture of Recalled LT-A500X KingQuad ATV

Name of Product: Suzuki KingQuad ATVs

Units: About 29,000

Manufacturer: Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation

Distributors: American Suzuki Motor Corp., of Brea, California; Montgomery Motors Ltd., of Honolulu, Hawaii; Suzuki del Caribe Inc., of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico

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