Chrysler Group reversed course and agreed to a recall of 2.7 million Jeeps Tuesday, giving in to the government’s request in the final hours before a deadline.
Chrysler stated last week that it would not comply with the recall demand, arguing that the vehicles do not have a high risk of catching fire when struck from behind. It continued to claim Tuesday that the vehicles — 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Libertys — are safe.
Its statement said it will recall the vehicles for inspection and, in “some cases,” will “provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.”
“Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles,” the company said.
In a statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which had asked for the recall, said it was pleased that “Chrysler has agreed to take action to protect its customers and the driving public.” It went on to say that “consumers impacted by the safety recall and customer satisfaction campaign should have their vehicles serviced promptly once they receive notification from Chrysler.”
NHTSA says it will continue its investigation into this issue.
According to the agreement, Chrysler won’t necessarily have to repair all 2.7 million Jeeps. And rather than place the steel plate over the plastic gas tank, as public interest groups like the Center for Auto Safety had called for, it will simply install a factory trailer hitch to provide some protection in the case of a low-speed, rear-end collision.
About 1.2 million Grand Cherokees from model years 1999 to 2004 will only be called in for inspection, and if they have an after-market hitch, it will be replaced with a factory hitch. But vehicles from those model years without any hitch will not receive one.
Chrysler said it will do work on just under 1.6 million remaining of the vehicles. They include the 1993 to 1998 Grand Cherokees, as well as the 2002 to 2007 Libertys.
The vehicles in this group that already have a factory-installed hitch will not have work done. Owners who have an after-market, non-Chrysler trailer hitch will have it replaced with a factory trailer hitch. Those with without any hitch will have one installed.
Source: Chrysler relents, agrees to recall 2.7 million Jeeps