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Jeep now OK with 2.7m recall

2013-06-19 08:30

CHRYSLER BOWS TO PRESSURE: After defiantly stating it would not recall its SUVs, Chrysler has bowed to pressure and is in the process of recalling 2.7-million Jeeps.Image: Jeep

Earlier in June 2013 Wheels24 reported that Chrysler had rejected a US safety agency's request to recall as many as 2.7-million Jeep SUVs to fix an alleged risk of fire that have, the agency says, left dozens dead.

On June 6 2013 the automaker agreed however, to recall nearly 435 000 Jeeps to fix air bags and transmission fluid leaks.

Chrysler SA reported that local models were affected. It said 4260 of its 2010-12 Jeep Patriot and Compass units would be recalled to correct an issue with the "occupant restraints control module".


Now, weeks after rejecting the NHTSA's recommendation for a recall, Chrysler has announced it will bow to the US safety regulator's pressure to recall 2.7-million Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee units because of a fire risk. The automaker said the two sides had "resolved their differences".

Chrysler said it would "conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question" that would offer visual inspection and, "if necessary", improve the SUV's rear structure to better withstand an impact. Chrysler nevertheless maintained its stance that the SUV's, 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Libertys, met safety standards.

The automaker said: "Chrysler Group's analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognises that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in co-ordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles."

Will SA be affected?

A Chrysler SA spokesman said: "I will have to get more details on this but we stand by our previous statement where we have no record of fires as a result of accidents on any of these models in SA.

"As soon as we have details of the actual vehicles involved, this will be shared with the media."


In a letter to Chrysler dated June 3 2013, the NHTSA said a year-long investigation came to a "tentative" conclusion that the fuel tank's sitting rearward of the rear axle was a safety risk. The agency had identified a pattern of fires erupting in the vehicles after rear-end collisions ruptured fuel tanks. As many as 51 deaths had been reported.

Chrysler initially declined to recall its SUV's, stating the agency's conclusions "were based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data".

The automaker conceded that "about 21" deaths had occurred in rear-impact collisions that resulted in fires but said the rest may have been "attributed to other types of accidents". The NHTSA insisted that the cars may have a defect "that presents an unreasonable risk to safety."

Michelle Krebs, an auto industry specialist at edmunds.com, said: "Chrysler obviously calculated the risks and benefits and concluded that the cost to repair these vehicles wasn' as expensive as the potential long-term damage that could come from bad public relations.

"This was probably the right decision by Chrysler. In 2012 659 recalls were issued by NHTSA and none of them appear to have had a lasting negative impact on any brand."

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Read more on:    chrysler  |  jeep  |  nhtsa  |  south africa  |  usa  |  suv  |  4x4  |  recall  |  safety

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