According to the company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unit Chrysler has intensified its efforts to contact owners of recalled Jeep models after the initial campaign had a weak repair response.
The measures aim to boost the efforts to reach buyers of 1.56 million Jeep SUV models that need to have installed new trailer hitches that would minimize the risk of catching fire (by puncturing or destroying the gas tank) in the event of a rear-end accident. The hitches, besides their obvious function, would act as another safety guard that would protect the gas tanks (rear-mounted, usually near the axle) when a low-speed crash occurs by increasing the travel distance of the rear vehicle from the tank.
Back in June 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Chrysler said the company would recall 1.56 million SUVs – from model years 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and 1993-1998 Grand Cherokee. Since the initial requests to bring the vehicles into services have resulted in just 125,000 vehicles being repaired, in July the NHTSA ordered the company to speed up the process. While Chrysler estimated that 87.5% of the older-model Jeep Liberty SUVs and half the Grand Cherokee SUVs would be brought to service by now, as of Friday just 8% of the cars actually went through the repair process. Chrysler is now introducing new websites to increase awareness of owners of the affected Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs.