embedded chips in the Automobile comptuter

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I am deepley conserned about the problems about to come upon us because of the y2k computer glitch. My main problem now is trying to nail down information on the embedded chips in my 1998 Dodge truck. I talked with Dodge customer service and they diredted me to a service sheet that stated that Dodge did not use any date sensitive computers in its vehicles. They stated that they believed that there would be no problem with their computers on 1/1/2000. After pressing the service manager a little further he said that if the truck was out of warranty it would not be covered by Dodge if something happined. He also said that Dodge is working on the problem. This led me to believe they know more than they are saying. I ask if they would give me a lette saying that the computer would not fail on 1/1/2000 and they said no.

Can anyone out there give me any help on this subject. I am trying to determine if I should sell the truck and replace it with an older one without the computer controls. Thank you very much.

Mike Flanagan Dayton, Wyoming

-- Mike Flanagan (sculptor@cyberhighway.net), September 10, 1998


So glad that you asked that question! My hubby has a '98 Dodge truck also! I would like to hear some answers so that I can let him know. Thanks, Blondie

-- Blondie Marie (Blondie@future.net), September 10, 1998.

I'm glad you brought that up Mike, because I have a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan that I am particularly worried about and a 1988 Subaru XT6. When the Subaru was being hyped, the sales literature and magazine reviews said "This car has more computers in it than any other car on the road". I think it's going to be a planter. If I get any info on the Dodge I'll let you know.

-- Keith Nealy (keithn@ptd.net), September 11, 1998.

I'm no expert on this, but the subject of car computers has been there and done that on other forums, so I'll pass along what I've learned there (and from my brother-in-law the Ford/Chrysler service manager). So far, the only *confirmed* vehicle with a y2k problem is a single model of the Ferrarri from, I think, the late 1980s. This comes from the comp.software-2000 Usenet forum. If anyone has confirmation on other vehicles, I'd love to hear about it and so would many others here.

-- J.D. Clark (yankeejdc@aol.com), September 11, 1998.

Once again...

The article from the Orlando Sentinel which I posted in another thread states that the "Big 3" have said there are no problems with their cars. There is an interview with Chrysler's Y2K manager in the article. Of course, it is only a newspaper article.

Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/y2k/y2k0829.htm

This link found on Gary North's site.

-- Buddy Y. (buddy@bellatlantic.net), September 11, 1998.

Does anyone know whether "the Big 3" or some portion thereof has "bellied up to the bar" and actually put this out in writing (other than a third party newspaper article)? I mean, companies do this all the time, particulaly via product databases with Y2K compliance info on their websites.

-- Joe (shar@pei.com), September 11, 1998.

Boy Mike, wish I'd seen this before posting my own question on the same subject. (DUH)

But to repeat that post:

A few weeks ago, I called the local Chevrolet dealership to ask about embedded chips in my '94 Blazer vis-`-vis Y2K. The assistant service manager, who's the diagnostic computer guy, said that most GM products would have no problem; but that some top-of-the-line Cadillacs with high-end onboard computers would possibly experience Y2K problems. Also, the diagnostic computers used by service departments would need update/repair.

A few weeks back I also saw an online news article, from a magazine if memory serves, that mentioned a Y2K test performed on an American Motors vehicle that failed a date rollover. (Have forgotten where I saw it...didn't save the URL, real smart.) Does anyone remember where that article is, or have any more concrete info on Y2K problems in motor vehicles?


This doesn't answer your Chrysler/Dodge questions...but any answers about automotives is solid meat right now....(we've been told SO little of any substance)

-- John Howard (pcdir@prodigy.net), September 13, 1998.

I wrote to both Ford and GM/Oldsmobile. Despite what we've read in newspaper articles about the Big 3 having given all their cars a clean bill of health, that is not what these manufacturers have told me. Ford says it hasn't uncovered any problems so far, but will let its customers know if it does. They are still investigating. Oldsmobile said they had been trying to reach me by telephone, and invited me to call their 800 number to discuss my concerns.

I wrote back to Ford asking when their investigations of vehicles will be complete so we can know for sure. No answer to date. I also wrote Olds insisting that I wanted their response on paper. Also no answer so far.

-- Julie Lasher (coralyn@erols.com), September 15, 1998.

I have a new Volvo and Chev Pickup. Emailed both manufacturers on compliance. Volvo replied in writing that their 98 model was compliant, no answer from GM after five different tries. Chrysler's stance is that their vehicles are compliant. Who knows?

-- Rick Reilly (rreilly@shaw.wave.ca), September 17, 1998.

I think I can shed some light, at least for Chrysler owners. When I popped the question of embedded systems on my dealer he handed me a dealer's newletter that is sent out regularly from the company to it's dealerships. In this particular issue it gave advice to dealers who receive questions on the compliancy of their vehicles. After briefly explaining the Y2K date problem it stated, "You may be receiving questions from customers regarding the computers in vehicles. Please feel free to reassure them that because two-digit calendar year codes have not been used in any Chrysler onboard applications there is no need for concern". I copied this page and hope that it holds up in court!!

-- J. Calhoun (cal@moment.net), January 02, 1999.

Let's use just a little common sense here, folks. How is your car going to know what date it is? Even if it has date-sensitive chips, I've never heard of anyone 'resetting the date' on his car. So if your car has a date-sensitive chip, it probably won't be set to anything close to the actual date. And if you disconnect your car's battery, any date-sensitive chips will reset to their epoch date when you reconnect. Unless there's a CMOS RAM somewhere with an integrated battery, in which case you'd have to reset that. Either way, this is way short of serious enough to have to replace your car.

-- Ned (entaylor@cloudnet.com), January 02, 1999.

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