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NHTSA: Chrysler Moving Too Slow in Jeep Recall

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Jarod Cassidy3 years ago

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is accusing Chrysler of moving too slow in fixing Jeep SUVs included in a recall that was first announced over a year ago.

51 Deaths Linked to Jeep Defect

In a letter released on Wednesday, the federal agency questioned Chrysler as to why the automaker has taken so long to properly address a dangerous defect in 2.5 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Liberties.

The vehicles in question have their gas tanks mounted behind the rear axles which NHTSA has deemed a safety hazard as the tanks could rupture in the event of a collision, causing a fuel lead and fires.

Chrysler has long since argued against the recall and initially refused to recall the vehicles, claiming the Jeeps were as safe as other vehicles built in a similar manner. After months of negotiation, Chrysler and NHTSA agreed to recall 1.56 million vehicles while another 1.2 million were scheduled for inspections.

A three year investigation by NHTSA revealed that 51 people have died in fiery crashes involving the recalled vehicles.

Vehicles affected by the recall include 1993-1998 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberties.

NHTSA Questions Chrysler’s Lack of Action

While Chrysler and NHTSA have agreed on a proposed remedy for the defect, the redesign of the vehicles’ trailer hitch, NHTSA claims if Chrysler has been slow in the manufacturing of the redesigned trailer hitches.

In fact, NHTSA estimates that if Chrysler continues at its current pace, it will take the automaker 4.7 years to obtain enough hitches to address the full recall.

The company has until July 16 to respond to NHTSA’s letter. Failure to address the regulator’s request could result in a fine of up to $35 million.


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