GM decided to make the recalls after it initially tried to fight NHTSA’s recall request.
Chrysler thought that it would be better to follow NHTSA’s recall request and call back 2.7 million Jeep Liberty SUVs from 2002 to 2007 and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from model years 1993 to 2004. NHTSA said it was pleased with the automaker’s decision and said that it will continue to investigate the issue.
Although initially Chrysler said that the vehicles are safe, the company acknowledged consumer concerns regarding the safety of the Jeeps which have the fuel tank placed behind the rear axle. The automaker said that its dealers will install trailer hitches on all vehicles which do not already have them installed.
“Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group,” said a statement from Chrysler.
On June 3rd the NHTSA asked Chrysler to recall 2.7 million Jeeps because their placement of their fuel tanks might lead to a leak or even fire in the event of a rear-end crash. The agency said that 51 people died in rear-end crashes which involved two Jeep models. Chrysler called the agency’s investigation flawed and said that such fuel leaks and fires are extremely rare.
“This outcome will not only help consumers, but also Chrysler, as there was also danger that sales could decline if they had refused the recall,” said Alec Gutierrez, analyst with industry consultant Kelley Blue Book.