Ending a growing standoff, the once defiant auto maker backs down and will repair the affected vehicles “if necessary,” but still maintains that they are safe.
’02-’07 Jeep Liberty SUVs at risk of major fires, NHTSA says.
In a surprising move,has agreed to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Admin.’s request to recall 2.7 million Jeeps over a faulty fuel-system placement.
In a statement released by the auto maker,says it will “conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.”
The recall affects ’93-’04 Jeep Grand Cherokee and ’02-’07 Liberty SUVs.
NHTSA has charged that the affected SUVs could catch fire in the event of a rear-impact collision. In today’s release, as well as prior statements from the auto maker, Chrysler maintains the results of an in-house analysis that shows the vehicles are safe.
“Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles,” the auto maker writes.
The auto maker’s compliance ends a standoff between the manufacturer and the agency. Rarely have auto makers challenged recall requests, particularly requests spanning millions of vehicles.
CEO Sergio Marchionne had taken a firm stance against NHTSA and commented to suppliers that the auto maker would take legal action if forced into a recall.