Today, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered a recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles to fix a software glitch whose existence two hackers recently demonstrated by commandeering a moving Jeep.
As we reported yesterday, Fiat Chrysler, together with the hackers, had already devised a software patch and made it available to owners of Jeeps and other affected vehicles. But NHTSA evidently felt the need to order a formal recall, perhaps to spur owners to action.
The patch will be made available either as as a memory stick or through a download.
Hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated their skills by taking remote control of a Jeep on a highway. They turned on music, the windshield wipers, and the air conditioning system, then flashed their smiling faces on the center console display. They got into the system through its communications system, typically the most vulnerable point in a car.