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[caption id="attachment_5637" align="aligncenter" width="800"]

First and second generations of the Jeep Grand Cherokee[/caption] Chrysler Group has received a letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requesting a recall of 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys. Such a recall would involve approximately 2.7 millon vehicles.  The request is based on the agency's Engineering Analysis EA12005, which was opened in June of 2012. It followed a Preliminary Evaluation (PE10031) which was opened in August of 2010 and closed in June, when the investigation was upgraded. Both inquiries regarded crash-related fuel tank fires but, as yet, have not been able to connect the reported incidents to a defect in the design or construction of the Jeep vehicles. Chrysler is rejecting the government request for a recall. In a statement issued this morning, the company said: "Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue..

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This is a very risky stance by the company. Ignoring or fighting a request from NHTSA puts the company at a big disadvantage in any lawsuits regarding deaths or injuries in these vehicles. Most jurors hearing that the company fought recalling the vehicles after the Govt declared that they had a problem, will vote big compensation to the (alleged) victims. In the end, this decision will end up costing the company way more in compensation to victims and fees to lawyers than working with the NHTSA to find a relatively inexpensive fix, such as a plastic shield that other companies have installed for similar problems (like Ford on their police interceptors).

A prolonged fight with NHTSA over this where the company is constantly in the news won't do much for the GC's reputation either - think "Ford Pinto".
 
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