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Chrysler Refuses NHTSA Recall Request for Grand Cherokee and Liberty

6/5/2013
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked Chrysler Group, LLC, to voluntarily recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty sport utility vehicles (SUVs), citing "numerous fire-related deaths and injuries" associated with the vehicles. The models in question are the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty.

According to an investigation conducted by the NHTSA, one informed by testing performed by the Center for Automotive Safety and the Federal Highway Administration, the agency believes the Grand Cherokee and Liberty "contain defects related to motor vehicle safety." Specifically, the concern is related to fuel system failures in rear-impact collisions.

Chrysler disagrees. In a statement, the company said, "Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA's conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective. We believe NHTSA's initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the Agency to resolve this disagreement."

Furthermore, Chrysler said: "These vehicles met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity. Our analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation. This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question."

The NHTSA can order a mandatory recall of the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Liberty, if it determines such action is warranted. Owners of the affected models can contact Chrysler with questions by calling 1-800-334-9200.

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