Chrysler Cold Shoulders Government’s Recall Request

By: Jeff Wozer June 12, 2013
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BREAKING NEWS: Chrysler agrees to recall on 1.56 Million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys. Check out the latest recall news.

Chrysler this week told Jeep owners to drive at their own risk, after refusing to recall approximately 2.7 million of the vehicles that the government claims are susceptible to fuel tank fires in rear-end collisions.

Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty a Potential Hazard

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the muscle behind the recall request, found Chrysler’s turndown disappointing. Said David Strickland, the agency’s head man, “Our data shows that these vehicles may contain a defect that presents an unreasonable risk to safety.” These include:

  • 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees
  • 2002-2007 Libertys

The government agency sent a letter to Chrysler requesting it voluntarily recalls the models mentioned above, but Chrysler refuses. And although NHTSA can order a recall itself, it might need a court order to have any power enforcing it. Drivers can always find out the latest on vehicle recalls online.

Cause of Government Safety Concern

According to a three-year study conducted by the NHTSA, these particular Jeep models harbor fuel tanks that can leak gas when hit from behind, making them highly prone to igniting.  The kink, the NHTSA wrote in its recall request letter to Chrysler, derives from the fuel tanks being located behind the rear axles and approximate height to the road.

Although Chrysler moved the fuel tanks to ahead of the axles of Grand Cherokees in 2005 and of Jeep Libertys in 2007, it remains defiant. In response to the recall request, the company said in a statement Tuesday that the Jeeps are safe and it "does not intend to recall the vehicles."

The company is normally compliant with recall requests – 52 in the last three years – but this is not the first time Chrysler has shook a fist at the government. In 1996 it refused to recall 91,000 Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Cirrus cars for alleged faulty seat belts. For the sake of fun facts, Chrysler at the time was represented by current chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts.

Do you or someone you know drive one of these potentially dangerous Jeeps? What are your thoughts?

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