Alfa Romeos Recalled for Cruise Control Fault

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Fiat Chrysler is recalling around 60,000 Alfa Romeo models on the global stage to prevent the adaptive cruise control system from taking owners on an unwanted ride.

The recall covers the entire lifespan of the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV (2017-2019). Due to a software error, the cruise system in those models could continue operating, and even accelerate, after the driver taps the brake.

Because of the issue, FCA advises owners to hold off on using the system until technicians have their way with the vehicle. There are no accidents or injuries reported as a result of the fault.

Recall notices should reach owners next month, at which time technicians will update the vehicle’s brake software free of charge. While tapping the brake might not cause the adaptive cruise system to disengage, prolonged brake pedal application will do the trick, FCA claims.

According to an FCA spokesperson who spoke to RoadShow, the fault was discovered by a company employee. The circumstances that could lead to a runaway Alfa are very exact; under such circumstances, the vehicle may accelerate above the set speed.

This isn’t the first time FCA vehicles have been bedevilled by a faulty cruise control system. Last May, the automaker recalled more than 4.8 million vehicles to fix a system that might not disengage at all, regardless of brake application. It recalled a smaller number of rear-drive cars the following month.

In that recall, a short circuit was the culprit, with the only real-world incident involving a rental Dodge Journey owned by Avis. FCA subsequently bought the vehicle. To prevent freeway terror, the automaker advised drivers with a “stuck” cruise control system to apply firm brake pressure, shift into neutral, and pull over.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Deanst Deanst on Mar 11, 2019

    This is big news - Fiat has sold 60,000 Alfa Romeos?

    • Jatz Jatz on Mar 11, 2019

      The globe is a big place, half the 8-billion people are dumber than 100, and inheritance happens.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 11, 2019

    These cars have drive-by-wire brakes. My first experience with that was a test drive of a Stelvio, and the brake behavior was weird and unpredictable. Sometimes they would grab, another time the car didn't stop until the middle of the intersection. The salesman told me they were 'electric' brakes, but I didn't believe him at the time. I think he meant that the brake pedal sends an electrical signal to the hydraulic system. Frankly, I found them to be a bit scary. So I'm not surprised there's a problem with the cruise control.

  • FreedMike Well, here's my roster of car purchases since 1981: Three VWsTwo Mazdas (one being a Mercury Tracer, full disclosure)One AudiOne FordOne BuickOne HondaOne Volvo I think I hear Lee Greenwood in the background... In all seriousness, I'd have bought more American cars had they made more of the kinds of cars I like (smaller, performance-oriented).
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I'll gladly support the least "woke" and the most Japanese auto company out there.
  • Jmo2 I just got an email from the dealership where I bought my car and it looks like everything has $5k on the hood.
  • Lou_BC I suspect that since the global pandemic, dealerships have preferred to stay with the "if you want it, we will order it" business model. They just need some demo models on hand and some shiny bits to catch the impulse buyer. Profits are higher and risks lower this way.
  • Probert When I hear the word "patriot", I think of entitled hateful whining ignorant traitors to democracy. But hey , meant to say "Pass the salt."
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