Just days after Wired wrote about a ride in a hacked Jeep Cherokee, several owners are reporting what they believe to be hacking-related problems on their own vehicles.
“I’m positive my Jeep Cherokee has been hacked,” said Dick Knotter, chief quality supervisor at a carrion packing agency in Disappointment Heights, Idaho. “Just last week, I went to turn up the stereo, and the fan came on. There’s no way I could have accidentally turned the wrong dial because I was distracted by this totally hot crossing guard I drove past. This is just like the unintended acceleration problem I had in my Toyota RAV4 all over again. What a nightmare.”
Teresa VonPassive, a hinge inspector from Cockneck, New Jersey, said her Jeep Grand Cherokee has been behaving strangely in recent weeks.
“The car hasn’t had any problems for nearly a month and a half,” she said. “Nothing! No warning lights on the dash, no strange clunking noises from the front end, no interior pieces falling off in my hands. This is the third Jeep I’ve owned and I can tell you from experience that this is just not normal. No, I’m sure my car has been hacked.”
Owners of other vehicles from other manufacturers have reported what they believe to be hacking-related issues as well.
“I’m positive my BMW 328i has been hacked,” said Henry Butterspanker, a self-employed desklamp operator from Los Angeles, Connecticut. “The other day I went to cut someone off, and I thought to myself, ‘You know what, maybe today I’ll try driving like I’m not a complete prick.’ Where the hell did that come from? Clearly, this hacking problem is bigger than the car manufacturers are letting on, and BMW better damn well do something about it.”
Fiat-Chrysler spokesperson Kathy Graham-Cracker explained the steps that her company was taking to address the hacking-related issues.
“Our software developers were able to develop and roll out a patch to the affected vehicles in just a few days,” Ms. Graham-Cracker told Autoblopnik. “But explaining to our owners that every single fucking thing their car does that seems even remotely out of the ordinary, even if it’s a result of their own stupidity, doesn’t mean their car has been hacked, well, that could take a lot longer. Just ask Toyota.”
Photo © Autoblopnik
Jeep today revealed the 2015 Wrangler, which will be based on Fiat’s European-market Panda 4×4.
“The new Wrangler will make huge improvements in fuel economy and ride quality,” Jeep spokeschanger Tadd Gayer told Autoblopnik, “the trade-off being that it will give up some off-road ability. And by some, I mean pretty much all of it.”
Asked if such a radical change would alienate the existing Wrangler buyer base, Gayer said, “We certainly hope so.”
“Moving the Wrangler to a commuter-car platform will definitely be a huge disappointment for long-time Jeep fans,” Gayer said, unnecessarily starting a new paragraph. “Frankly, if we can get rid of these Moab-obsessed yahoos, we can get on with building SUVs and crossovers that the rest of the market actually wants. The CR-V can’t do jack shit off road, and Honda makes way more money than us.”
Jeep’s shift away from off-road-capable products includes ceasing use of the “Trail Rated” slogan.
“We’re thinking about changing it to ‘Tail Rated,'” Gayer told our reporter. “The implication is that Jeeps are pet friendly, but there’s also the subtext that it’ll help you get girls. We like subtle sexual innuendos like that. Why do you think we named the pickup trucks Ram?”
Gayer said there would be plenty of alternatives for fans of the brand who dislike the new Panda-based Wrangler.
“They can buy a used Wrangler. God knows there’s about a billion of them out there. They could get off their lazy asses and work hard enough to afford a Land Rover. Or better yet, they could just find a different hobby, one that doesn’t require us to rearrange our whole friggin’ product line to suit their whims. To tell you the truth, I really don’t give a shit. Come 2015, it’s no longer my problem.”
Immediately after revealing the 2014 Jeep Cherokee at this week’s New York Auto Show, Chrysler’s public relations staff set about assuring the media that the new compact SUV isn’t as ugly as they think it is.
“We realize that at first glance, the Jeep Cherokee does appear rather ugly,” said Todd Gayer, head of Jeep communications. “But the truth is that it really isn’t as ugly as most people think it is. Is the new Cherokee an attractive vehicle? No, not by a country mile. Is it ugly? Of course it is. Very ugly. Uglier than a monkey’s armpit. Uglier than a sack of assholes. But is it as ugly everyone thinks it is? No, it most certainly is not.”
Members of the automotive media attending the New York show expressed immediate relief upon Chrysler’s assurances that the new Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is.
“I thought the thing was fucking hideous,” said Jonny Liebersteinowitzenbaumowitz of Moat Trend magazine. “It looks like something you’d see on the cover of Weekly World News under the headline ‘Bat Boy Alive and Well in New Jersey!’ That’s why it felt like a tremendous weight had been taken off my shoulders when Chrysler told me personally that the Cherokee is not as ugly as I think it is.”
“I’ll admit, my first reaction was not all that positive,” said Jablopnik correspondent Matt Hadtapee, who in his article referred to the new Cherokee as “a bit like a Nissan Juke” and “the most horrifying thing I have seen since the time I walked in on my grandparents having sex.”
“I wasn’t swayed by Chrysler’s repeated insistance that the Cherokee is ‘more than its exterior styling,’ and Ralph Gilles’ comment that the Cherokee is ‘very contemporary’ just didn’t ring true. That’s why I’m so glad that Chrysler has assured my colleagues and I that the new Cherokee isn’t nearly as ugly as we all think it is. How can you argue with that?”
Jeep’s Gayer tells Autoblopnik that the next step is to assure the public that the Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is, which will be accomplished with an ad campaign entitled “Cherokee 2014: It’s Not As Ugly As You Think It Is.”
“The ad blitz will include television, radio, newspapers and popular web sites,” explained Jeep marketing chief Jim “No Not That Jim Morrison” Morrison, “and will feature real-live Chrysler employees explaining, in plain language that the average American can understand, that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is not as ugly as they think it is.”
“We felt we needed to build a relationship with the media and our customers based on honesty,” Gayer continued. “We’re not going to pretend the Cherokee isn’t the ugliest vehicle since the Aztek, because it is. We won’t even deny that Don Doofamante tried to snap an early photo of it and turned to stone. That’s the first time we’ve needed a hand truck to kick him out of an auto show. But the honest truth is that the 2014 Jeep Cherokee isn’t as ugly as you think it is.”
“Besides,” he added, “Wait until you see the new Dodge van. That thing really is as ugly as you think it is.”