Theoretical Injury Won’t Hack It: Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Jeep Drivers’ Class Action for Lack of Standing

An Illinois federal judge dismissed a trio of certified putative class actions involving 220,000 Jeep Cherokee drivers from Missouri, Michigan, and Illinois for lack of standing. The decision underscored a key principle: Theoretical injury is not enough for purposes of standing.

In Flynn, et al. v. FCA US LLC, et al., Case No. 15-cv-855, the plaintiffs alleged that defendants FCA US LLC and Harman International Industries Inc. installed defective “UConnect” infotainment systems in Jeep Cherokees and other vehicles which could be hacked by outsiders and subsequently remotely controlled. The class actions arose from a single 2015 hack of the UConnect system executed by two highly skilled researchers in a controlled experiment, as reported by Wired magazine. None of the other “1.2 million subject vehicles with the purported defects” had been hacked.

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