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West Virginia Jeep owners may be following auto defect story

When a West Virginia driver purchases an automobile they usually do so with the confidence that the manufacturer has done everything possible to prevent an auto defect. At times, companies can realize a mistake was made and announce a recall. However, a recent recall request because of an auto defect involving a variety of Jeeps manufactured by Chrysler has made headlines nationwide because the company allegedly is not cooperating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The requested recall involves several models because of the risk of the vehicle catching fire in a collision. This has been said to be due to the fuel tank placement. Chrysler, the maker of Jeep, has stood by their decision not to recall the vehicles, claiming that they are safe and the adjustments requested would not improve the vehicle's safety. The investigation into this matter has been ongoing for over two years.

So far, the NHTSA has uncovered 50 related deaths due to the defect while another independent group has stated there have been at least 300 deaths. There have already been several lawsuits filed against the manufacturer, which is believed to be a reason they are pushing against the NHSTA. It was noted they have agreed to make some changes, including adding a requested tow hitch which is believed to be helpful in certain low-speed crashes. More than likely, Jeep owners will want to continue to follow this story as more details unfold.

Any West Virginia resident that has suffered injuries as a result of an apparent auto defect may want to pursue their right to file a civil suit. This may require researching information about vehicle models that may have defects, as well as the specific requirements under the law. A proactive approach could prove beneficial when trying to recover any medical or other expenses sustained as a result of an accident attributed to a car defect.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Defiant Chrysler says recalled vehicles aren't defective," Ken Bensinger, June 19, 2013

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