The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has rejected a recall of 2007-08 Jeep Wranglers, according to a David Shepardson article in the Detroit News, after Chrysler agreed to institute a lifetime warranty issue on 135,000 Wranglers made from March 2007 to March 2008. If customers complain that fuel “backfired” or spilled during a normal gas fillup, dealers are to inspect and, if needed, repair the inlet check valve.
The NHTSA stated that, while there were a large number of complaints, possibly due to publicity over the issue, warranty claims indicated a lower rate of problems than cars recalled for this issue. There have been 217 complaints, while 223,000 Wranglers were made during the 2007 and 2008 model years.
The issue, according to Chrysler, is the use of fuel with more than 10% ethanol. This can cause damage to the inlet check valve, leading to fuel spilling out when the tank is being filled. NHTSA itself found that the 135,000 Jeeps to be given a lifetime warranty had particularly high complaint rates.
The NHTSA also found that reporting of complaints rose considerably after one particular Wrangler owner posted the complaint form on a public forum.
Since the issue only affects cars stopped in gas stations, there have been no crashes, but there have been minor injuries including skin and eye irritation.
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