At the eleventh hour, Chrysler decided to recall their 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Libertys, bowing to the intense pressure applied from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Whenever the NHTSA had recommended that Chrysler recall the SUVs for what they determine them to have a design flaw in the placement of the fuel tank, they had responded by refusing to honor their request. This had set off a firestorm of controversy, with support for Chrysler coming from auto industry veteran Bob Lutz, as well as others within the industry. Conversely, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland defended the request, stating that this decision was not taken lightly.
In any event, the Chrysler recall is for the placement of the fuel tanks, which could explode in a severe rear-end collision. To date, there have been 15 deaths, as well as 46 injuries from fires, which were the result of the aforementioned rear-end collisions. Chrysler had rebutted the findings, stating that most of the collisions happened at a high rate of speed.
The latest Chrysler recall will have registered owners bringing their vehicles back to the dealership, where technicians will inspect and “provide an upgrade to the rear structure”, all at no charge. More specifically, the dealership will install a trailer hitch to vehicles not equipped with one, which may protect the fuel tank in the event of a rear-end collision (vehicles equipped with a factory or Mopar trailer hitch will not be affected by the recall). Chrysler did not reveal any further details, but stay tuned here at the Examiner for any breaking updates.