Chrysler’s two-week stare-down over a recall request has been resolved after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) blinked and agreed to trim the number of recalled Jeeps by more than a million.
Under this new agreement, approximately 1.1 million 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees have been laundered from the recall, sparing Chrysler tens of millions of dollars.
The revised recall now only involves 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs. These models, according to research by the NHTSA, have been involved in an inordinate number of fires following rear-end collisions.
Chrysler challenged the original recall request, claiming the NHTSA was incorrect with its analysis of the vehicles in question. After some backroom arm wrestling between their legal teams, both sides reached a resolution when the NHTSA agreed to drop 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees from the recall mandate.
In addition, the agreement also stipulates Chrysler does not have admit wrong by saying the vehicles in question are defective. This verbiage juke protects the car company from any possible down-the-road lawsuits.
How Will I be Contacted?
Chrysler will contact you via mail, provided it has your information on file. If you own any of the vehicles involved in the recall, but do not receive notification, either call Chrysler at (800) 853-1403. Or call the NHTSA hotline at (800) 424-9393.
How the Recall Works
Chrysler will focus the recall on trailer hitches. While specifics remain murky, it’s been determined that trailer hitches help absorb the force of impact from rear collisions, mitigating the fire danger.
Under this engineering logic, the recall will involve several scenarios:
- Recalled Jeeps with factory-installed hitches, or those from Chrysler’s parts division, Mopar, will be inspected by dealers. If deemed to be in good condition, no changes will occur.
- Recalled Jeeps fashioning non-Chrysler hitches will be inspected. If it’s determined they pose a possible risk for puncturing fuel tanks in the event of a rear collision, they will be replaced free of charge with a Chrysler-made hitch.
- Recalled Jeeps without hitches will get Chrysler-made hitches installed for free.
Recourse for Owners of 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees
Even though these vehicles were dropped from the recall, they are eligible for "customer service action" (public relations-speak for “inspection”). This means the company will contact owners of these vehicles, assuring them their vehicle requires no action on their part if it harbors a Chrysler-made trailer hitch.
If your vehicle carries a different make of trailer hitch, Chrysler will inspect it to ensure the hitch is safely and properly secured.
If, however your vehicle has no trailer hitch, you're without recourse. Chrysler will do nothing other than stick to its guns, as it were, and maintain the vehicle complies with all safety standards, requiring no changes.
If you harbor questions regarding recalls in general, visit our Recalls page.