Chrysler Refuses to Recall Jeeps Over Fuel Tank Fires

NHTSA urges automaker to recall 2.7M vehicles
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2013 1:26 AM CDT
Chrysler Refuses to Recall Jeeps With Fuel Tank Issue
Rows of 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokees are lined up outside the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.    (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Chrysler has rejected the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's request to recall 2.7 million older Jeeps, saying that it believes the agency's concerns about fuel tank fires are unfounded. The NHTSA asked Chrysler to recall 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys after a probe into rear-end crashes and fires that caused at least 51 deaths involving the vehicles, Reuters reports.

Plastic gas tanks behind the axles can be punctured and catch fire when the vehicles are hit from behind, which is a "defect that presents an unreasonable risk to safety," the NHTSA said, urging Chrysler to reconsider its position, the Detroit News. Chrysler says it believes the agency's findings are based on an "incomplete analysis of the underlying data." The NHTSA can still order a recall, but it will require a court order to do so. (Read more Chrysler stories.)

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