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NHTSA may get tough on Jeep recall

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is gearing up to put pressure on Fiat Chrysler, demanding that the company to step up the pace of repairing Jeeps covered by a recall for fuel tank issues.

The announcement came yesterday from NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. He said action could come as quickly as a couple of weeks.


Rosekind’s remarks were a follow-up to comments he made earlier this month at the New York International Auto Show. (See “NHTSA may reopen Jeep recall investigation”).  According to Rosekind, two groups within the agency have developed what he called “range of options” for possible actions.

Rosekind declined to offer any specifics about the options under consideration but they could include reopening the investigation into the fuel tank problem.

Fiat Chrysler is not the only one on the NHTSA hot seat. Rosekind said options are being developed to accelerate repairs of millions of vehicles recalled due to defective Takata airbags.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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