Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
June 4, 2013
In a surprising form of defiance, Chrysler has said no the demand made by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Liberties due to fuel tanks that could catch on fire in a rear end accident.
NHTSA has been investigating since 2010 and alleges that 1993 through 2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002 through 2007 Liberty are more prone to fuel leaks and fires. In its analysis, NHTSA found that 51 deaths involved Grand Cherokees and Liberties in rear-end accidents that caught on fire. NHTSA alleges the reasons for this are the tanks being made out of plastic and being placed behind the rear axle.
In a statement released today, Chrysler says they do "not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective."
Chrysler goes onto say their "vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity."
Also, the company says in their tests the problem occurs less than once for every million years of vehicle operation and argues that NHTSA's analysis of the problem is not complete.
So what happens next? Motoramic reports that NHTSA could hold a public hearing and declare the two vehicles defective. The agency could also take Chrysler to court to force the recall.
It's a game of chicken and the question is, who blinks first?
Source: Motoramic, Chrysler
Chrysler's Press Release and White Paper is on Page 2
Chrysler Group LLC Responds to NHTSA Recall Letter
June 4, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has issued a recall request letter proposing that Chrysler Group recall the Jeep Grand Cherokee in model years 1993 to 2004 and the Jeep Liberty in model years 2002 to 2007 (a total of approximately 2.7 million vehicles).
Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective.
We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the Agency to resolve this disagreement.
“The safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that commitment remains steadfast,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Group LLC. “The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles. All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles.”
Chrysler Group’s position on this matter is clear.
These vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity. Our analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question.
Chrysler Group stands behind the quality and safety of its vehicles. It conducts voluntary recalls when they are warranted, and in most cases, before any notice or investigation request from NHTSA.
Customers who have questions or concerns can call the Chrysler Group’s customer care line: 1-800-334-9200.