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Chrysler Agrees to NHTSA’s Recall Request

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  May 25, 2013

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested that Chrysler issue a recall to correct the risk of a fuel spill resulting from rear end collisions. Chrysler declined to issue the voluntary recall that would affect 2.7 million model years 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and model years 2002-2007Jeep Liberty owners.

After some back and forth, Chrysler finally agreed to issue a voluntary recall to correct the issue by installing a tow hitch to these vehicles in an effort to increase the structural stability of the rear end and better manage the crash force in low speed collisions. The debate over whether this corrective action is ongoing and there is concern over whether the installation will in fact reduce the risks in medium to high speed collisions, although NHTSA seemed satisfied with the remedy. “NHTSA believes the risk of post-crash fire and fuel leak incidents it evaluated would be mitigated by the remedy now offered by Chrysler. However, the energy involved in some crashes is so extreme, and the structural damage so severe, that any passenger vehicle involved in such a high-energy crash may experience a fuel leak or fire as a result.”

More often than not manufacturers are hesitant to issue recalls due to the costs involved and potential harmful effects on their reputation. In this particular scenario, Chrysler would likely have gone through a drawn out battle over whether or not the recall was necessary, but in the long run one can only presume that Chrysler found it more valuable to keep one of its best selling brands out of the press. Chrysler still contends that the recall was over reaching and they were singled out in comparison to other vehicle’s which have had far worse outcomes in these types of collisions. Fortunately for consumers, Chrysler decided to issue the recall and hopefully this will improve low speed rear end collision outcomes in these vehicles.

Recalls are a common occurrence in auto manufacturing these days, but when it comes to California Lemon Law, if you have had ongoing issues, even on a defect that was recalled, you may have recourse. If you have given the manufacturer or dealer a reasonable opportunity to repair a defect, it is best to seek out the advice of a qualified California lemon law attorney to assist you in pursuing a buyback, replacement, or cash compensation.

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