Chrysler agrees to recall of Jeeps at risk of fire

AP Auto WritersJune 19, 2013 

Chrysler-Recall Refusal

This March 6, 2012, photo provided by the law offices of Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer, LLP shows the scene of a crash in Bainbridge, Ga., where a 4-year-old boy named Remi Walden was burned and died when a Jeep Grand Cherokee was struck from the rear by a Dodge Dakota pickup truck. Chrysler is expected to file papers Tuesday, June 18, 2013, explaining why itís refusing to recall 2.7 million older Jeep SUVs. Photo courtesy of BUTLER, WOOTEN & FRYHOFER LLP

UNCREDITED — AP

DETROIT -- Chrysler abruptly agreed to recall 2.7 million older model Jeeps Tuesday, reversing a defiant stance and avoiding a possible public relations nightmare over fuel tanks that can rupture and cause fires in rear-end collisions.

In deciding on the recall, Chrysler sidestepped a showdown with government safety regulators that could have led to public hearings with witnesses providing details of deadly crashes involving the Jeeps. The dispute ultimately could have landed in court and hurt Chrysler's image and its finances.

The company said calls from customers concerned about the safety of their Jeeps played a part in its going along with the government's request.

Earlier this month, the automaker publicly refused the government's request to recall Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 1993 through 2004 and Jeep Libertys from 2002 through 2007.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the agency that monitors vehicle safety, contends that the Jeep gas tanks can rupture if hit from the rear, spilling gas and causing a fire. NHTSA said a three-year investigation showed that 51 people had died in fiery crashes in Jeeps with gas tanks positioned behind the rear axle.

Chrysler had until Tuesday to formally respond to NHTSA.

Two weeks ago, Chrysler said that the vehicles aren't defective, despite prior statements to the contrary from NHTSA.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service