In a rare move, Chrysler Group has rejected a request for a recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2.7 million Jeeps. The NHTSA specifically requested that Chrysler recall Jeep Grand Cherokee for model years of 1993-2004 and Jeep Liberty for model years of 2002-2007. The reason for the recall request is a high number of vehicle fires from rear-end accidents, reminiscent of the Ford Pinto.
Last week, the NHTSA completed a two-year study analyzing data from reported accidents. The reports show that at least 51 people have died in car fires after rear-end accidents. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, at a rate of 1 death per million registered vehicle years, appear twice as likely as other SUVs (0.5 deaths per million) to be involved in such a fatal crash. The Jeep Liberty has a rate of 0.9 deaths per million. Both Jeep models have rear-mounted fuel tanks, which are usually more prone to rupture in rear-end accidents.
Chrysler denies that these numbers pose a significant threat to consumers and are challenging the agency’s request for a recall. This is a news story that will not go away anytime soon. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at (800) 333-0000 for a free consultation. In addition to dealing with the insurance companies, we investigate potential third party liability cases against the manufacturers of defective products.