We have reported here previously that Chrysler has decided to refuse to recall a series of vehicles after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration voiced their concerns related to the design of the gas tanks in the 1993 through 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002 through 2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs.
The reports indicated that the federal agency believes there’s a major risk linked to these vehicles since the plastic gas tank is placed behind the rear axle, which could pose a serious risk if the vehicle is hit from behind. The agency has stated that it has been aware of 51 deaths related to accidents involving these vehicles. Most crashes reported also resulted in fires. Safety advocates have urged the federal agency to act promptly and have these vehicles recalled promptly, which would ensure that no other drivers or passengers are exposed to this danger.
The company, however was quick to challenge the agency’s decision by claiming that many popular vehicles are also equipped with the same type of gas tank placed also behind the rear axle. While the current versions of the Grand Cherokee and the Liberty SUV are equipped with gas tanks that are located in front of the rear axle, the company stands by its decision to refuse the recall claiming the vehicles have been manufactured following all safety federal requirements and recommendations.
At this moment, the agency has stated that it will give the company until June 18 for them to change their minds and have the cars recalled on their own. If that does not occur, the agency, safety advocates and other interest groups will be bringing people involved with the company and the safety agencies to present arguments during a hearing. The agency will then decide whether a recall is the best way to go about this issue.
One of the arguments used by Chrysler to fight the claim issued by the NHTSA is that most of the fiery accidents occurred under circumstances that would have not turned out differently were different types of vehicles involved.
Most fatal accidents involving the potentially defective Grand Cherokees and Libertys involved high speeds, Chrysler reported.
Some believe that this issue could have a major impact in the resale value of affected vehicles while others use the Toyota example to demonstrate that a major recall not always results in a devaluation of the model.
To learn more about this issue, you can follow this link to read the full article in order to stay on top of what is going on with Chrysler and the NHTSA.