Despite earlier refusing a request from the feds to recall 1,560,000 Jeeps in the U.S., parent company Chrysler Group LLC has said it has "resolved its differences" with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will indeed recall the cars in question. The recall involves some of the 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys, due to a possible problem with the fuel tank that could result in leakage or a fire in a rear-impact crash.
The announcement of the car recall comes after an increase in signatures on a petition on Change.org demanding the recall. The petition, which received more than 127,000 signatures, was started by Jenelle Embrey, who witnessed a mother and her teenage son burn to death in their 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee in an October 2012 crash. The NHTSA began investigating the Jeep models in 2010 as a result of a request by the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group that monitors accident data and takes consumer complaints.
Affected cars will get a visual inspection and the addition of a Chrysler-designed tow hitch if they are not already equipped with a hitch and if the structure can support the installation. According to Chrysler, the Chrysler-designed tow hitch will help "better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts." Chrysler maintains that the cars in the recall are not defective and are among the safest cars in their segment.
Do you own one of the cars in the recall? Do you think they're safe?
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.