After initially rebuking and refusing to comply with a NHTSA recall that would recall over 2.7 million Jeep vehicles, Chrysler has announced today that it will recall the vehicles that the government previously requested to do so.  The 2.7 million vehicles include 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs.  Chrysler has stated that the dealership will complete “visual inspection of the vehicle” and “will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.”  NHTSA has responded that they are “pleased that Chrysler has agreed to take action to protect its customers and the driving public.”

Click here to read the full USA today article: Chrysler caves, recalls 2.7 million Jeeps

It was just two weeks ago, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested that Chrysler voluntarily recall and repair 1993-2004 model Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles.  Chrysler initially refused.  Chrysler claimed that the vehicle was safe and there was no reason for the recall.

Why Did NHTSA ask Chrysler to recall 2.7 million Jeeps?

37 rear-end accidents that resulted in fires and 51 fatalities led NHTSA investigators to believe the vehicles have design flaws with defective fuel tank design and placement on vehicles.  According to NHTSA, “In our tentative view, there is a performance defect and a design defect.  The performance defect is that the fuel tanks installed on these vehicles are subject to failure when the vehicles are struck from the rear.  Such failure can result in fuel leakage, which in the presence of external ignition sources can result in fire.  The design defect is the placement of the fuel tanks in the position behind the axle and how they were positioned, including their height above the roadway. The defects present an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle because people in the MY 1993 – 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee (ZJ and WJ), the MY 2002 – 2007 Jeep Liberty and in striking vehicles have burned to death in rear impact crashes, there have been fires (without fatalities) in these vehicles from rear impact crashes that have, or could have, led to deaths and injuries, and there have been leaks from Grand Cherokee and Liberty gas tanks from rear impact crashes that could have led to fire and death or injury.”

Ultimately, Chrysler decided to heed the warnings by NHTSA and recall the vehicles.  Although Chrysler still maintains that the Jeep is still one of the safest vehicles of their type at the time they were sold, the automobile company has decided to comply with NHTSA and recall these Jeeps.

Click here to read the NHTSA letter to Chrysler: June 3, 2013 Letter

Americans rely on their car manufactures to provide a safe well-designed vehicle.  Sadly, that is not often the case.  The Auto Defect Attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm have successfully represented many people injured from defective Toyotas, Fords, Chrysler, GM products and numerous other manufacturers and suppliers.  Often times, people involved in accidents do not examine the issues of defective vehicle design nor whether the car was truly crashworthy – does it contain the appropriate crash protection.  If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto crash, our attorneys at the Brandi Law Firm are available to consult with you.  Please contact our office at 800-481-1615 or email us.