AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Last week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) for a software update to the automaker's optional Uconnect system, stating it is to "offer customers improved vehicle electronic security and communications system enhancements."
"The software security update, provided at no cost to customers, also includes Uconnect improvements introduced in the 2015 model year designed to enhance customer convenience and enjoyment of their vehicle," said FCA.
The TSB was issued just prior to a Wired.com feature story detailing how two known hackers were able to remotely take control of a Jeep Cherokee while the story's author was driving the SUV 10 miles from their location.
The story does not mention if the vehicle was prepped in any way prior to the demonstration, nor does it say who owns the vehicle.
When asked to comment, the automaker responded with the following statement: "Under no circumstances does FCA condone or believe it's appropriate to disclose "how-to information" that would potentially encourage, or help enable hackers to gain unauthorized and unlawful access to vehicle systems."
According to Wired.com, the hackers claim there are "as many as 471,000 vehicles with vulnerable Uconnect systems on the road."
Customers can check for updates using their vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and if necessary, download and install the Uconnect update themselves using a USB jump drive plugged into the vehicle's dashboard USB port. Their dealer can also complete this update.
FCA says customers with questions should call Vehicle Care at 1-877-855-8400.
Edmunds says: The dangers of remote hacking are not yet fully understood, but like any home computer, the modern, Internet-connected vehicle is likely to need constant security updates to keep it safe from malicious attacks of any kind.