Dodge is putting up a fight against the aftermarket tuning industry by making its muscle cars – particularly the Charger and Challenger – extremely difficult if not impossible to tune. But it’s not because the brand simply wants to be stubborn and kill the fun for consumers. The automaker finds this necessary for cybersecurity.
At a recent interview, Tim Kuniskis, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) head of passenger cars, talked about the company’s image as an enemy of aftermarket tuners.
“We’re actually kind of notorious for being the hardest ones to crack,” Kuniskis said. “It makes people mad that our computers are harder to tune than some of the other manufacturers.”
Since both the Dodge Charger and Challenger are popular muscle cars, a lot of customers seek modifications on the cars’ control units to further improve their performance.
But for FCA, they would rather be hated on for having tight cybersecurity systems in place than being held liable for law violations. This happens when tuners modify the vehicles despite potentially breaking emissions laws and other regulations that vary per state.
Kuniskis’s statements echo that of General Motors President Mark Reuss who also talked about the same concerns when the company announced a couple of months ago that Chevrolet will enforce tighter cybersecurity measures in its cars. It revealed that the brand’s upcoming C8 Corvette will have hacker-proof features that would prohibit the re-calibration of the car’s air:fuel ratio.
Fortunately for loyalists of the Dodge muscle cars, there are certain levels of tuning that can still be done to both the Charger and Challenger without any problem. According to FCA, modifications along the lines of cat-back exhaust systems and cold-air intakes can still significantly enhance the performance of the vehicles.
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