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The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is among the vehicles getting a software update (Photo: Jeep)

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) recalled 1.4 million vehicles in the US following a report on the wired.com web site that two hackers had successfully manipulated the in-car systems of a Jeep Cherokee.

FCA said the voluntary recall will update software, which "insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation."

Wired reported earlier that the two computer experts had remotely hacked and taken control of a Cherokee from a distance using the car's web-connected infotainment system. The hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, remotely operated dashboard functions, steering, brakes and transmission, Wired said.

The recall follows news earlier this year that BMW had been forced to quickly close a security gap in data transmissions to and from the premium carmaker's connected vehicles. That was in response to a finding by the ADAC that the cars could be opened from the outside with the help of a cellphone. The ADAC is Germany's largest automobile club.

Data security has quickly moved to the top of carmakers' priority lists as vehicles become connected to other cars and to their surroundings. General Motors, for example, has appointed a dedicated cyber security boss, Jeff Massimilla. Other car companies have made similar moves.

Fiat Chrysler said that, in addition to the software update, it had applied network-level security measures to prevent any remote manipulation. The measures block remote access to certain vehicle systems.

Cars affected by the hacking incident have 8.4 inch touch screens. They are:

2013-2015 MY Dodge Viper specialty vehicles2013-2015 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups2013-2015 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 Chassis Cabs2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Cherokee SUVs2014-2015 Dodge Durango SUVs2015 MY Chrysler 200, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger sedans2015 Dodge Challenger sports coupes

Almost all hacking attacks on cars have required access to the vehicles and in-depth knowledge and understanding of car connectivity. FCA also said the software manipulation reported by Wired "required unique and extensive technical knowledge, prolonged physical access to a subject vehicle and extended periods of time to write code."

The company said it had formed a dedicated "System Quality Engineering" team that focuses on "identifying and implementing best practices for software development and integration."

-By Arjen Bongard