The US safety regulator has moved to asked the US automaker to produce legal explanations on why its pace to fix a recall involving rear fuel tanks in older model Jeep SUVs is cripplingly slow.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Chrysler for a documented explanation on the very slow pace to introduce a fix that would protect the Jeep models fuel tanks – which were revealed to be prone to explosions in the case of rear collisions. The US regulator contended that at the rate Chrysler is fixing the Jeep Grand Cherokees made from 1993 to 1998 and Jeep Libertys from 2002 to 2007, no less than five years would be needed to complete the recall.
NHTSA’s chief counsel, O. Kevin Vincent, has issued a “special order” that prompts Chrysler for explanations on the matter, with the company response due by July 16.
“NHTSA took the unusual step of reconstructing real-life crashes of the affected vehicles after the company failed to provide enough evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of its remedy,” the regulator said in a statement.
Ultimately, after the recall issued last June, which called back 1.56 million Grand Cherokee and Liberty models, the NHTSA accepted the proposed fix – a trailer hitch assembly that would be effective in low- or medium-speed rear-end accidents.