Chrysler recalling 2.7 million Jeeps in U.S., Canada
Published Tuesday, June 18, 2013 6:35PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2013 6:33AM EDT
Chrysler has agreed to recall 2.7 million older-model Jeeps in the U.S. and Canada that could be at risk of a fuel tank fire.
The recall affects approximately 180,000 vehicles in Canada, according to a Chrysler spokesperson, who said a voluntarily recall campaign with take place in both countries.
The recall comes after the company initially refused a request from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which warned that the gas tanks in Jeep Grand Cherokees 1993 through 2004 models and Jeep Liberty vehicles, 2002 through 2007 models, were at risk of rupturing if the vehicle was hit from behind.
The agency reported that as many as 51 people in the U.S. have died in fiery crashes in Jeeps that had gas tanks located behind the rear axle.
Models in recall
- Jeep Grand Cherokees, 1993 through 2004
- Jeep Liberty vehicles, 2002 through 2007
Chrysler said no similar investigation into gas tank fires was undertaken by Transport Canada, and no fuel tank fires have been reported in Canada.
Chrysler said Tuesday that dealers will inspect the vehicles and install trailer hitches to protect the gas tanks. The company said vehicles without hitches will get them, as will those with broken hitches or hitches that are not from Chrysler.
However, the company maintains that the vehicles are not defective.
“Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group,” the company said in a statement. “Nonetheless, 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.”
Economics professor and automotive industry expert Bernie Wolf told CTV News that the latest Chrysler recall is expected to cost the company $300 million.
“(It’s) almost half a year of their income,” he said.
Wolf said he expects affected Jeep owners to take advantage of the recall, even if it is voluntary.
“You don’t want to be driving a car that, potentially, if you get hit in the back is going to go on fire,” he said.
Wolf said the latest Chrysler recall is “by no stretch” one of the largest.
In 2009 and 2010 Toyota recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide for sticky gas pedals, faulty floor mats problem breaks and other defects.
The company was fined more than $66 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for not notifying the agency about the problems in a timely manner.
Full statement from Chrysler Group
June 18, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have resolved their differences with respect to NHTSA’s request to recall 1993-2004 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Jeep Liberty vehicles.
As a result of the agreement, Chrysler Group will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.
Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, 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.
Chrysler Group regards safety as a paramount concern and does not compromise on the safety of our customers and their families.
With files from The Associated Press