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Chrysler refuses 2.7M car recall

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Friday, June 7, 2013
Posted: 3 pm ET

Chrysler has refused a request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall about 2.7 million Jeep models, saying they are confident the cars are safe. It is very rare for an automaker to refuse to recall cars when requested by the government agency.

The focus of the recall request are 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models. The NHTSA feels that the gas tank design is unsafe and could cause the cars to catch on fire in a rear-end collision.

Chrysler said in a statement that it believes the agency's conclusions are based on an "incomplete analysis of underlying data." Furthermore, Chrysler says the design of the gas tank, which is located behind the rear axle, is common in many other cars, and many other fatal crashes of the cars in question involved very high-speed collisions that would have had the same outcome even with a different design.

Chrysler has been providing data to the NHTSA since September 2010. The agency began investigating the Jeep models at the request of the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer group that monitors accident data and takes consumer complaints. The center also recently requested that the NHTSA issue a recall of the cars, saying it had contacted the CEOs of Chrysler and its parent company, Fiat, five times to recall the Jeeps but received no response.

NHTSA can only require Chrysler to repair a small percentage of the affected vehicles, since the recall laws only require cars to be repaired free of charge if they are less than 10 years old. That would include cars that are 2003 models or newer for current recalls. The matter will likely be taken up in U.S. District Court if Chrysler doesn't reverse its decision on the recall request.

Do you own one of the cars that could be recalled?

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.

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June 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

Yet Big Organizations on Safety such as Consumer Reports
continue Recommending some of these vehicles.

Joseph Jackson
June 14, 2013 at 9:28 am

I think 2.7 is a bad number for Chrysler just like their notorious 2.7L engines

Thorton Mellon
June 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Please Big Government ...Save us from ourselves...I still see Corvairs on the road (note to people ignorant of history- Ralph Nader declared these car unsafe at any speed almost 40 years ago)...Trust me- these Jeeps are a LOT safer then any Congressman...

June 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm

without a doubt this has been the most entertaining comment section in awhile on this site. LOLOLOLOL

June 12, 2013 at 7:55 am

I bought a Pacifica 2005 new 0 mileage. I have had several issues with Pacifica that are a safety issue. First the supports that hold the motor in the car broke, then the sub frame broke all due to use of faulty cheap products. I called Chrysler and of course at this time no recall on this matter. I am furious paid $30k for this SUV and this is the response we as consumers get back. Stand behind your product Please. You take our monies for bailouts but cannot help the people that bought your product as well as bailing you out. American Ban against buying products from Chrysler this is the only way will get their attention. Next time Bankrupt stay Bankrupt.

June 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I own a grand cherokee Laredo and I wish Chryler will do the right thing with its consumer.I bought this jeep in 1997 and it keeps breaking dowun on the street for gas problems that keeps on happening. This was a recall but it continues to happen even though I had taken it to a dealer who said he fixed it but maybe not because to this day it would just break down then after a period it would just restart again. These cars cost and all we are asking is just to fix the BLAME cars already.""ENOUGH IS ENOUGH""

June 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I have been driving Jeeps for many of my 55 years of life and I can say that that I have not had very many issues go wrong with any of them. I've owned Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda and I can tell you that all of them have their issues too!! If Chrysler states that there is no safety issue, then I am happy with that and will continue to drive the Jeep brand. Face it, There are no automobiles on the road that are 100% safe and or trouble free. Get the facts before making rash statements. I have not heard of one case where the gas tank in a Jeep has "Blown" up and was the cause of anyone's death.

June 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm

1) Based on this refusal, the severity of the problem, and the lack of ability of a car owner to move a gas tank, I will make it a point to avoid buying, renting, or otherwise riding in a Chrysler product.
2) Hiding behind a 10 year statue of limitations should not be possible from the date a manufacturer is notified of an investigation - that starts the point where cars may be recalled, in this case, 2000, not 2003.
3) It's a gas tank! This isn't something trivial.

sallie jackson
June 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm

I have a2006 jeep liberty when i bought it had 7,000 miles less than years all the window needed new motors after that the air condition went out, had to put in new unit, after that switch broke had to replace the pin in the switch which cost$ 49.00 and now it might be the gas tank and I only have 49,000 miles on it.was not put together right.

June 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm

If you can take our money (bail-out), where do you get the right to be so damm independent!!!! It's time to think about us, the tax payer, and, our families. Make an effort to show us that your automobiles are safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE THEY SAFE????????I WONDER!!!!!!!!!!