Chrysler Group LLC Spurns Safety Based Recall
Remember the rear end exploding Ford Pinto? Well Chrysler may now have the modern version in its Jeep lineup. Chrysler Group refused to comply with NHTSA request to recall 2.7 million vehicles for a vulnerable gas tank. The recall encompasses about 2.7 million vehicles, specifically 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty. According to the NHTSA the rear mounted gas tanks in these two vehicles are vulnerable to gas tanks leaking and catching fire. Gov’t data indicates that the Grand Cherokee had a rear end crash fire death rate of 1 per million registered and the Liberty had a rate of .9. In comparison gov’t studies indicate the average among other SUVs is .5 per one million.
Chrysler has criticized the recall stating that its own research indicates that vehicles are safe and do not pose a risk of rear end collision gas fires. The refusal to comply with the NHTSA’s request poses not only a potential public relations fiasco for Chrysler but could also expose it to potential punitive liability in future cases where someone may die as a result of a defect that Chrysler knew of and did nothing to remedy.
Chrysler has reversed its position recently and agreed to a recall of sorts. Chrysler is going to put trailer hitches on all vehicles subject to the recall as an additional layer of protection for the gas tank.