Responding to a request from the NHTSA to recall approximately 2.7 million vehicles comprising Jeep Grand Cherokee models built between 1993 and 2004 and Jeep Libertys (badged locally as a Jeep Cherokee) built from 2002 to 2007 due to safety concerns related to fuel systems, the Chrysler Group said in a statement that it had been working with the NHTSA on the issue since September 2010 and that “the subject vehicles are safe and are not defective”.
“The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation.
“We believe NHTSA’s initial conclusions are based on an incomplete analysis of the underlying data, and we are committed to continue working with the Agency to resolve this disagreement,” the statement said.
Chrysler Group Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne said the safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that that commitment remains steadfast.
“The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles,” Marchionne said.
“All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles.”
While the NHTSA said in its recall request letter to the US manufacturer that it’s view is that there is “a performance defect and a design defect” related to the vehicles’ fuel tanks that presents an “unreasonable risk” of fuel leaks and fire when the vehicles are struck from the rear, Chryser says the vehicles in question met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including those pertaining to fuel-system integrity.
“Our own analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation.
"This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question.”
Chrysler stressed that it stands behind the quality and safety of its vehicles and conducts voluntary recalls “when they are warranted, and in most cases, before any notice or investigation request from NHTSA”.