After much debating and hand-wringing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now says it has "no reservations" with Chrysler's plan to recall certain Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee models over concerns that their fuel tanks, which are located behind the rear axle, could rupture or leak in the event of a rear impact. The longstanding argument between the two entities saw Chrysler openly defy the Feds after a request to recall 2.7 million units back in June.

Chrysler's "voluntary campaign" will instead see it recall 1.56-million 1993-2004 model year Grand Cherokee SUVs, along with 2002-2007 Liberty models. Affected vehicles will get a trailer hitch installed free of charge, which Chrysler says will provide an additional degree of protection for the fuel tanks in the event of a crash. Jeeps with Mopar-branded hitches or hitches that were installed at the factory aren't affected by this recall.

Chrysler's argument throughout this battle has been that the Jeeps in question are no more susceptible to fires than comparable vehicles from the same time period, a position that NHTSA has seemingly arrived at as well. "Those vehicles performed at a rate similar to their peers. That is the keystone analysis as to whether something poses an unreasonable risk to safety," said outgoing NHTSA boss David Strickland during an interview with the The Associated Press.

While the decision between NHTSA and Chrysler seems reasonable, The Center for Auto Safety, which instigated the original investigation, isn't exactly pleased with this outcome. Following word of the resolution, Clarence Ditlow, the advocacy group's director, had this to say: "It is tragic that NHTSA approved Chrysler's sham trailer hitch recall for Jeeps that explode in rear impacts."


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  • 14 Comments
      Robert Fahey
      • 11 Months Ago
      Clarence Ditlow is a repeat gold medalist in the Hype Olympics. Consider his victories: 60 Minutes fakes an Audi acceleration demo -- Ditlow cheerleads it. Dateline NBC fakes a Chevy Silverado crash test -- Ditlow cheerleads it. Toyota sudden acceleration? -- Ditlow all over that too. Yet the press still calls him for a quote. What does it take to be rendered unfit for news?
      Xedicon
      • 11 Months Ago
      Clarence Ditlow is a known, repeat offender when it comes to fraudulent vehicle safety issues - so much so that I'm surprised he hasn't been put in jail. The whole fiasco with the Chevy pickup gas tank explosions on Dateline involved placing an ignition source near the gas tanks during the "test" to make sure they would ignite / explode. "NBC had acknowledged that in the demonstration it used "sparking devices,""... "At a news conference yesterday calling for a recall of the G.M. trucks, Mr. Ditlow said, "NBC's test procedures are accepted test procedures that are utilized throughout the country by laboratories.""... Just one of his many attempts at playing on public fear / sympathy to wring money out of an auto maker. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/02/10/us/nbc-settles-truck-crash-lawsuit-saying-test-was-inappropriate.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm Jeep got targeted because there's lots of them, because they're a well respected brand as a whole that Chrysler definitely wants to protect, because one 20 ish year old Grand Cherokee semi recently burned after getting hit at almost 60mph by a semi while it was standing still, and the final reason, the most important, because Chrysler finally has a lot of money. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/06/us/jeep-crash/ Make no mistake, it's extremely unfortunate when people die in such a fashion, but there was never anywhere near a reason / need for this recall. The only "tragedy" is that Clarence Ditlow is still out there waiting to cash in on yet another tragic event.
      car-a-holic
      • 11 Months Ago
      Because jeep called those sheisters' buff. Government bullies. If this design was acceptable for the last 20 years; why not now? This was wholly despicable utter nonsense. The millions the gov spent would've been better spent on schools to educate people to not fall into this logical- less pit of garbage oversight. Ok I'm done.
      Brandonjin
      • 11 Months Ago
      That is a great picture.
        Kevin
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Brandonjin
        The 5.9 Limited, a performance SUV before performance SUVs were cool. I'd love to find a low-mileage one some day, but they're few and far between.
      ehisforadam
      • 11 Months Ago
      Chrysler shouldn't have to be doing a recall on this period. If other vehicles built in the same time period perform similarly, why aren't all of those vehicles being recalled as well?
      The Wasp
      • 11 Months Ago
      Why isn't Chrysler suing The Center for Auto Safety for libel? Of course Chrysler wouldn't want to go to trial, but the informed public is on their side.
      Ed
      • 11 Months Ago
      If you drive a suzuki sameria, or Geo equivilant you are over 3 times more likely to die in a fire after a rear collision then in a Jeep . Not sure why they never got recalled.
        joe
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Ed
        because the recall was politcally motivated and had nothing to do with the performance of the Jeep
      redssstew
      • 11 Months Ago
      This whole thing is Stupid! I own a 1998 Grand Cherokee. Its hard for me to believe that they are going to put a New Trailer Hitch on my Winter Beater. Oh well! Maybe now Ill fix the Rust!
      Andre Neves
      • 11 Months Ago
      Next they will be investigating the possible recall on the faulty cup holders on the _______ which could set off the passenger-side airbag unexpectedly.
      miahart009
      • 10 Months Ago
      Interesting information. I didn't even know that they were going to recall the Jeep SUV's. Seems a little sketch to me that they are no longer going to go through with the recall. Mia | http://mobileshred.net
      Tiffany Sharon Wheel
      • 8 Months Ago
      This being said I'm sick of jeep shannanigans. My 95 limited gran Cherokee is up For grabs. Comes with a hitch. ;) ... But seriously. It has the infamous jeep death wobble over 100km/h And the infamous jeep alarm problem where my security alarm goes off from the wind Only has 200k
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