A few weeks ago we discussed allegations of auto defects in several different Jeep models. Despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Chrysler to recall the Jeeps, the automaker refused to issue a recall and said that their vehicles did not pose a threat.
Now, after weeks of debate over the safety of the Jeeps, Chrysler has reached an agreement with the NHTSA to inspect and repair Jeep Liberty and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles that have fuel tanks behind the rear axle. The investigation and possible repair is to address the risks of potential fires that can happen if these vehicles are involved in a rear-end collision.
Even though Chrysler has agreed to the safety inspection and repairs for Jeep models, they recently issued a statement saying that their vehicles are not defective and are still very safe for consumers to use. Defective product and liability experts say that Chrysler reached the agreement with the NHTSA to maintain the company's reputation and to prevent the NHTSA from taking Chrysler to court.
Consumers who may have defective Jeeps are able to have their vehicles inspected and repaired if any issues are detected. The repair includes installing or changing the vehicle's trailer hitch to increase protection for drivers involved in low-speed car accidents. Chrysler said that repair will "improve the performance" of the vehicles involved in car crashes and prevent fires from starting.
NHTSA said they will continue to investigate the auto defect issues associated with the Jeep vehicles, and they will review the documents provided by Chrysler regarding their recall efforts. The NHTSA said that consumers who own Jeep Liberties and Jeep Grand Cherokees should have their vehicles inspected and repaired as soon as they receive notification from Chrysler about the auto recall.
Source: Businessweek, "Chrysler Gives in on Fixing Jeeps Linked by U.S. to Deaths," Angela Greiling Keane, June 19, 2013