The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advised Chrysler in early June 2013 to recall 2.7 million of the company’s Jeeps.
Chrysler initially refused to implement the recall, and it seemed they were ready for court. The company’s refusal changed unexpectedly just before the NHTSA deadline in mid-June. Chrysler made a deal with the NHTSA that allowed the company to recall just over one million vehicles instead of 2.7 million.
Why Is Chrysler Recalling Its Jeeps?
The NHTSA claims the fuel tanks positioned behind the rear axles are a serious safety issue. If involved in a rear-end collision, the Jeeps have a higher risk of causing fire and possible explosion than other vehicles.
Chrysler will still have to deal with legal repercussions. The NHTSA claims there have been at least 37 accidents that resulted in fires and at least 51 deaths.
Recalled Jeep Models and Chrysler’s Solutions
Chrysler will install a factory trailer hitch on some vehicles to provide more protection during low-speed, rear-end accidents. The agreement does not require Chrysler to necessarily do work on all 2.7 million vehicles.
Approximately 1.2 million Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1999-2004 will be called in for inspection. These vehicles will only have work done if an after-market trailer hitch is installed. Any after-market trailer hitch will need to be replaced with a Chrysler factory hitch.
Just under 1.6 million remaining vehicles will be officially recalled. These include Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 to 1998 and the Jeep Liberty from model years 2002 to 2007. The following solutions will be implemented:
- If a vehicle already has a factory-installed hitch, no work will be done.
- If a vehicle has no hitch at all, a Chrysler factory trailer hitch will be installed.
- Any after-market hitch will be replaced with a Chrysler factory hitch.
What to Do if You Own a Recalled Jeep or These Vehicles?
Chrysler will be sending out the proper notifications soon. Keep an eye out for recall notices for your Jeep Grand Cherokee or Jeep Liberty. Additionally, be aware Chrysler made a deal to only have to recall 1 million of the potentially defective 2.7 million Jeeps.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident that resulted in a fire after being rear-ended, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for answers.