CBS news reported that on June 18, 2013, Chrysler agreed to issue the recall after all. This is a win for consumers and certainly due, in no small part, to the very public backlash that Chrysler faced in the wake of their original decision to not issue the recall. Bravo Chrysler!
The Chrysler Group is taking a defiant stand against the recent push by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall certain models of their Jeep brand. In a letter, the NHTSA demanded that Chrysler recall over 2.7 million Jeeps which they reported to be dangerous, and potential fire hazards. Chrysler, in response to the letter, stated that it “disagrees with NHTSA’s recall request” and refuses to comply with any recall.
Current government data reports 44 deaths in 32 rear end crashes and fires for the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee models, and seven deaths in five 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty rear end fire crashes. These numbers are shocking when compared to other famous fire-prone vehicles such as the Ford Pinto and the Mercury Bobcat, which were involved in only 38 rear-end impacts, resulting in 27 deaths.
Taking into consideration the amount of Jeeps currently on the road, fire death rates for the Jeep Cherokee were 1 per million registered vehicles, the Liberty, .9 per million. Chrysler contends that such statistics are so small they are practically meaningless, however the national average for similar SUV’s is about half those rates, at .5 per million.
David Strickland, an administrator for the NHTSA, released a statement on Tuesday, commenting that the "NHTSA hopes that Chrysler will reconsider its position and take action to protect its customers and the driving public.”
Chrysler does not seem to be reconsidering.
[image credit: The Car Connection]