In Montana, Jeeps and other sport utility vehicles tend to be quite popular. Montana residents should be interested to know that in the wake of the recent Jeep hacking scandal, the Chrysler Corporation is now facing a potential lawsuit over a car defect. The recent scandal forced the manufacturer to recall a whopping 1.4 million vehicles to install a software patch that would prevent malicious hackers from wirelessly hacking and taking control of a number of the vehicle’s functions.

To date at least three Jeep Cherokee owners have filed separate complaints against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, maker of the recalled Jeeps. All three have also filed similar complaints against Harman International, which is the company that manufactures the Uconnect dashboard computer which Fiat Chrysler has installed in the recalled vehicles.

The cellular-connected electronic device has been identified as the vulnerable access point through which malicious hackers were able to gain control of the vehicles. Hackers were able to employ a security flaw that was not addressed in the Uconnect dashboard computer and successfully take control of a Jeep’s steering, brakes and transmission wirelessly over the internet.

The three plaintiffs are spreading the word about this dangerous product and hoping that other similarly situated car owners who have the defective Uconnect dashboard computer will sign on and join them. The hope is that if enough people join, the court can certify it as a class action lawsuit with potentially over a million plaintiffs.

In the complaints which have been filed so far, both Chrysler and Harman have been accused of fraud and negligence as well as unjust enrichment and breach of warranty. The complaints detail how the Chrysler Corporation was alerted in early 2014 to the software vulnerabilities inherent in the cellular-connected computer that was installed in their cars, yet the company elected to continue selling the vehicles without making any modifications to address the security concerns of the faulty product.

Source: Wired, “Chrysler and Harman hit with a class action complaint after Jeep hack,” Andy Greenberg, August 4, 2015