Auto exec Bob Lutz interviewed by reporters

Bob Lutz, the well-known executive with a range of automakers including both General Motors and Chrysler, says he supports Chrysler for not caving under federal pressure to issue a recall on 2.7 million Jeep vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is arguing that the plastic fuel tanks positioned behind the axles of certain 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee models and 2002-2007 Liberty models may become punctured in a collision and potentially catch fire, so it has called upon Chrysler to recall the vehicles. 15 deaths and 46 injuries have been attributed to the issue. For its part, Chrysler has maintained that its models "met and exceeded" all safety applicable mandates when they were manufactured, and furthermore, they argue that the government agency's own data proves that the vehicles are no more dangerous than similar SUVs produced by other automakers at the time. As a result, it is taking the unusual step of refusing to recall the vehicles.

According to The Detroit News, Lutz says Chrysler is right to push back when the government is out of line. Lutz also said that he wished he could have done the same when NHTSA urged Chrysler to issue a recall on certain minivans back when he was with the automaker 25 years ago.

Meanwhile, United Auto Workers Vice President General Holiefield also defended Chrysler by saying, "Our legendary Jeeps are crafted with pride by our dedicated UAW American workforce who work tirelessly to ensure the utmost quality of each Jeep that is produced for customers."

Who do you think is in the right, Chrysler or NHTSA? Vote in our poll below, then have your say in Comments.

Who do you think is right in the NHTSA versus Chrysler recall debate?
NHTSA1693 (25.1%)
Chrysler4053 (60.2%)
I'm not sure990 (14.7%)