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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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John Smith
July 06, 2013 at 4:31 pm

I bought a 1999 Jepp wrangler, I thought it was the best, hardest, working vehicle I had ever owned. Totaled when I was hit on the express way at 70 mph. I walked away from the accident. I bought a 2003 Jeep Wrangler and was wrong about the 1999. My 2003 gets better gas milage has 210,000 miles and still purrs like a kitten. There are lemons in every Automakers car lines, these people just happened to get one. I have owned two now and will deffinately buy another.

July 01, 2013 at 1:41 pm

These recalls have nothing to do with how a person maintains and cares for their car. This has to do with the manufacturer and the parts they have used to build these cars. They need to be held responsible and either fix the problems or begin giving us new cars without any safety problems. People owning any of these cars with recalls need to band together and force Chrysler to make good on any and all recalls! If anyone else dies due to their faulty parts, etc., they will be paying out far more than if they fixed the problems pronto!

June 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Not sure where most of the people are buying their vehicles but I have owned Dodge vehicles and currently own an 05 Ram 1500 truck and never had any problems with them. It's all how you maintain and care for the vehicle.

The best vehicle to buy is one you built yourself.

June 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I had a dodge nitro 4x4 brand new in 2012 and it was leaking oil from the engine . not once not twice not three times but 4. we didn't realize they was fixing the same thing over and over until we hired lawyers to sue Chrysler due to the bs they sent us threw to get this vehicle fixed.... I went foreign this time NO MORE AMERICAN MADE VEHICLE

June 17, 2013 at 11:47 am

chrysler has never had a resale value, even if you trade one for another at the dealer. why would u expect them to stand behind there cars. when u drive down the road and parts are falling off, just think, u could have got a v8, or better yet a car

Pat Modreski
June 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee 1999. The cover that is on the gas tank has rusted half off which makes me very upset.

patrick judge
June 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

i have a 2007 liberty and it has had one recall already
for lower control arms now chrysler wont recall for fuel tank issues well hell remake of the pinto duh
let them buy the cars back from us and be done with it
there is also blower motor short that can set the car on fire and we bailed them out for what tell me it aint so
that is what happens when the employee drink beer and smoke weed at lunch

william godette
June 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm

its government,to large, to in the way. its non sense.

June 16, 2013 at 3:36 pm

They dont have to recall just like they never have to worry about going out of business. It doesnt matter if a republican or democrat in office, they will always get a bailout. Gotta love croni capitalism.

June 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

I decided long ago never to purchase another Chrysler vehicle. I can't afford the god-awful cost of keeping one running! How about coolant spewed on the ground by a two-yer-old minivan that we bought new (due to a non-stainless steel coolant line that rusted out completely that quickly)? That was only the tip of the iceberg. A Ford, or (better yet) a GM product is much more reliable and durable, on average. Jeeps are the worst of the Chrysler bunch, too, typically, along with the Ram trucks, in terms of both quality and durability.