Chrysler has faced several issues this month with a series of recalled vehicles and requests from government watchdogs to issue a massive recall. In early June, Chrysler challenged the request of U.S. regulators to recall 2.7 million older-model Jeep SUVs due to an alleged design flaw with the vehicles’ fuel tanks that are mounted behind the rear axle. Although the NHTSA claims that the defect in the older Jeep models has caused approximately 51 deaths, Chrysler initially refused the government’s recall request.
According to NBC News, the government said “1993-2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Liberty models have fuel tanks that can leak and catch fire in rear-end collisions.” Chrysler claimed that the design is common in other vehicles and argued that the fatal accidents associated with the Jeep SUVs were almost all at high speeds in which a different design would not have made a difference.
However, Chrysler has now agreed to comply with the NHTSA’s request to recall 2.7 million Jeep vehicles. According to an official statement on the manufacturer’s website, “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.” All vehicles that do not have a Chrysler trailer hitch will have one installed to protect the gas tank.
The company also emphasized that the recalled vehicles are safe. According to the Boston Globe, “Chrysler maintained that the vehicles aren’t defective, despite prior statements to the contrary from NHTSA.” Although Chrysler has complied with the government recall request, the NHTSA will continue to investigate the issue.