In June of 2013, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) wanted to recall 2.7 million Jeep vehicles to address safety concerns with rear-mounted gas tanks susceptible to rupturing and causing fire. Chrysler, the manufacturer of Jeep products, negotiated that recall down to 1.56 million vehicles, excluding 1.1 million 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees. Now, a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee is on trial in the June 2012 death of a 4-year-old after the vehicle caught fire after a rear-end collision.
According to Chrysler, model years 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees are designed differently from the other models affected by the June 2013 recall. In their agreement with NHTSA, Chrysler was not required to say these vehicles were defective. If the jury determines that the vehicle was responsible for the death of the 4-year-old boy was due to a defective vehicle, Chrysler may be pressured to recall the additional 1.1 million vehicles.
At the time of the recall, NHTSA had tallied 75 deaths caused by rear-end collisions resulting in fire. Safety advocates believe more deaths have occurred since then, even on repaired vehicles, which may only prevent rear-end collision fires in low-velocity crashes. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident and suspect you were driving a defective vehicle, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at (800) 333-0000 for a free consultation.