For around two decades, certain Jeep models manufactured by Chrysler have exhibited a startling tendency to burst into flames on impact. At least 50 people have died in fires resulting from rear-end collisions with these Jeep models, according to the Los Angeles Times. Though federal safety investigators identified defective fuel tanks as the likely cause, Chrysler has reportedly refused to agree that these vehicles have safety defects.
The third-largest automaker in the U.S. still disagrees strongly and publically with the findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a move that runs counter to most occurrences of similar problems. When NHTSA requested on Tuesday, June 4, that Chrysler recall approximately 2.7 million Jeep SUVs, the company refused.
However, two weeks after the request, Chrysler changed its stance. While the company still refuses to admit that vehicles are defective and issue a recall, the automaker has made a deal with regulators for a “voluntary campaign” that attempts to address the issue. For all 1993 – 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002 – 2007 Jeep Liberty models, Chrysler said it will install trailer hitches on vehicles that lack them and will replace any aftermarket hitches with Chrysler-made parts, free of charge.
The fiery explosions that result from impacts involving these Jeep models have drawn national attention and Chrysler has consistently denied any defects. In 2009, the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group, urged NHTSA to order a recall for 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokees. Earlier this year, a petition started on Change.org by a woman who witnessed a Jeep explode and two victims burn to death inside gathered more than 170,000 signatures in support for a recall.
The San Diego lawyers at the Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock are experienced in representing individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash or other accident that resulted from defective auto parts, contact us today to find out what we can do to help you.