There were reports late last week of a software glitch that affects 17,678 Jaguar X-type diesel models from the years 2006 to 2010. According to the London Telegraph, Jaguar sent out letters to its UK customers stating that "in some circumstances the cruise control may not respond to the normal inputs." If a Jaguar driver finds that his or her cruise control doesn't disengage, Jaguar's advice is turn off the car's ignition.
The company says that there have been no accidents reported because of the software glitch, which will be fixed as part of the cars' recall.
Jaguar said that an employee discovered the problem, but didn't say how.
In related news, a few weeks back there were online reports about the new McLaren MP4-12C $229,000 supercar having some "teething" problems, including some related to software. This article last week in GTSpirit.com quoted from a letter sent by Ron Dennis, the executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group, to customers stating that:
"As you will have already heard from my staff, we are experiencing some early software bugs resulting in unnecessarily sensitive warning lights, battery drainage in certain conditions and IRIS [infotainment] performance issues. My team and the McLaren retailers are working with the pace and intensity that the McLaren brand demands to fully resolve these bugs rapidly and effectively to ensure that any inconvenience to you is kept to a minimum. It will however require your 12C to come back to your dealer at some point so that we can upgrade the software on your car."
For the inconvenience, CEO Dennis is going to give customers "... a pre-release copy of the new ‘McLaren: The Wins’ coffee table book."
For that much money, one would think that MP4-12C customers should receive a new coffee table to go along with the book.
More automobile software-related problems can be found here.
Update: 1 November 2011
The Detroit News reports that GM is recalling "36,000 2012 Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain small crossover vehicles to recalibrate the tire pressure monitoring system."
The Detroit News story says that:
"The tire pressure monitoring system is designed to illuminate a warning light when the pressure in a tire is 25 percent below the recommended cold tire pressure. On affected vehicles, the light does not come on until the tire pressure is more than 25 percent below the recommended cold tire pressure."
An AP report states that the vehicles affected were built between 18 July and 6 September 2011. The AP also says that "dealers will update a computer that controls the monitors free of charge."
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.