It’s becoming more apparent that manufacturers are going to be held responsible for building security into their products.
In 2015, three vehicle owners from Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri filed a class-action lawsuit. The case centered around vulnerabilities that could let hackers access the onboard infotainment system and control critical functions that impact safety when the vehicle is in motion. Named in the suit: Fiat Chrysler and Harman International Industries, the company behind the Uconnect infotainment system found in Ram, Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler trucks.
As Reuters reports, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants knew about the cybersecurity issues since 2011, when they were uncovered by security researchers. The buyers also claimed they would never have bought their vehicles or paid as much as they did, had they been aware of the issues. In 2015, Wired published a piece that demonstrated what could happen to a hacked Jeep Cherokee while on the road.
Fiat Chrysler rolled out software updates that same year (2015) to fix about 1.4 million affected trucks. With that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that the problem was fixed.
Hoping to have the case rejected, Fiat Chrysler filed an appeal that the US Supreme Court has declined to hear. According to Reuters, “The court’s action paves the way for an October trial in the litigation centering on the question of whether truck buyers can sue over hypothetical future injuries without having been actual victims of cyber security attacks on their vehicles.”
Get the full story at Reuters.