After initially refusing government requests that it recall 2.7 million older model Jeeps, Chrysler backed down today and announced a massive recall.
The recall include Cherokee and Liberty models that can catch on fire if struck from the back because of the position the gas tank is located behind the rear axle.
“The problem has already been responsible for 51 deaths resulting from Jeeps igniting after rear-end collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” The Christian Science Monitor reported.
“The recall involves Jeep Grand Cherokees made between 1993 and 2004, as well as Jeep Libertys manufactured between 2004 and 2007. The affected vehicles will be inspected and, if necessary, have a trailer hitch installed to protect the gas tank. Chrysler didn’t say how much the hitches would cost the company.”
“We haven’t seen all of the details of the voluntary recall so we don’t know what precisely Chrysler and NHTSA have agreed to,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs.
“But Chrysler obviously calculated the risks and benefits and concluded that the cost to repair these vehicles isn’t as expensive as the potential long-term damage that could come from bad PR. This was probably the right decision by Chrysler. Last year there were 659 recalls issued by NHTSA, and none of them appear to have had a lasting negative impact on any brand. Once the smoke settles, I expect that this will be just a minor blip in Jeep’s history.”
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