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Fiat Chrysler Refuses to Repair Rusted Jeeps

Brian Hendricks2 years ago

According to the New York Times, Fiat Chrysler has announced that they will refuse to perform repairs on 3 to 6 percent of the 1.6 million Jeeps that have been recalled. As a result, up to 96,000 defective vehicles will not receive a much-needed repair.

Dangerous Chrysler Defect Linked to Deaths

The Jeeps were recalled for a gas tank problem that made the car very vulnerable in the event of a rear-end collision. During these collisions, the gas tank can easily explode, resulting in a very serious fire hazard.

This recall applies to the 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee models, as well as the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models.

Many highly publicized deaths have been reported as a result of the Jeeps’ defect, including that of 4 year old Remington Walden in 2012. Walden was a passenger in a Jeep Grand Cherokee that exploded after a rear-end accident in Georgia.

Following the fatal crash, a jury found Fiat Chrysler guilty and thus responsible for a $150 million restitution payment.

Chrysler Defies Federal Regulations

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Chrysler has been refusing repairs on a case-by-case basis, depending on the amount of rust present on the rear of the vehicle. However, federal regulations state that this is a clear violation.

Legally, Chrysler cannot refuse service to some cars and not others.

Current Repairs Are Ineffective

Even when Chrysler does decide to repair one of the recalled Jeeps, the repairs being performed are misguided and ineffective. In an attempt to fix the gas tank problem, Chrysler autoworkers have been attaching a towing hitch to the back of the affected vehicle.

The hitches, however, were originally designed for towing heavy objects, not protecting the gas tank. Chrysler claims that this remedy will protect the vehicle’s rear-end in the event of a low-speed collision. However, many officials disagree.

According to Francois J. Castaing, Chrysler’s former vice president for engineering, “the tow package does not protect the tank”.

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