Chrysler disputes recall of 2.7 million Jeeps
In a highly unusual move for an automaker, Chrysler is fighting a request from the federal government to recall 2.7 million Jeep vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Chrysler to recall the Jeep models in question because of concerns the fuel tank may leak and contribute to deadly fires if the vehicles are hit in a rear-impact crash.
Chrysler is still formulating a formal response for the federal government, but already started disputing the need for a recall in a press release Tuesday.
It's unclear how the dispute will be resolved or how long the two sides will battle over the safety of two popular Jeep models.
The NHTSA request involves 2.7 million Jeeps, specifically, 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee models and 2002-2007 Liberty models. All of the vehicles have fuel tanks that are located behind the rear axle. According to the NHTSA, 51 deaths have been linked to rear-impact crashes where those models caught on fire after being hit.
The letter from the federal safety agency outlines the problem saying: "The performance defect is that the fuel tanks installed on these vehicles are subject to failure when the vehicles are struck from the rear. Such failure can result in fuel leakage, which in the presence of external ignition sources, can result in fire. The design defect is the placement of the fuel tanks in the position behind the axle and how they were positioned, including their height above the roadway."