You may remember that Jeep's unusual fix for this recall involves fitting a trailer hitch.

The recall of about 1.5 million models of the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and 1993-1998 Grand Cherokee over fuel tanks may finish far sooner than originally estimated. In a new filing from Jeep's parent, Chrysler Group, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company says that it can complete the repairs for the affected vehicles by March 2015, much sooner than the previous estimate of sometime in 2018. Jeep predicts the total cost of the campaign will be around $151 million.

You may remember that Jeep's unusual fix for this recall, which centers on the potential vulnerability of these vehicles' fuel tanks, involves fitting a trailer hitch. According to Chrysler's letter to the government safety watchdog, the quicker pace is because Chrysler Group was able to take advantage of additional robots from its hitch supplier. The extra production capacity will allow the timeline to speed up considerably. In addition, the automaker believes that there are fewer Jeeps actually needing fixes than the number recalled because some of them aren't on the road anymore. Repairs are still scheduled to begin in August.

NHTSA previously gave Jeep until July 16 to answer the regulator's questions. Washington authorities were especially curious as to why it took the automaker until last December to find a parts supplier and until January 2014 to order the hitches. The explanations to these questions were redacted from the new document, though. At the time, NHTSA threatened that it could "take additional appropriate action as warranted."

The whole hullabaloo between Jeep and NHTSA goes back to June 2013 when the automaker reluctantly decided not to honor a recall request from the regulator. Jeep has maintained that the affected vehicles met all applicable safety regulations at the time. The two sides eventually compromised on a campaign to cover the roughly 1.5 million SUVs. Scroll down to read brief statement from Chrysler Group about the recall, and the company's answers to NHTSA can be downloaded as a redacted document in PDF format, here.
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NHTSA Special Order -- EA12-005;13V-252

July 17, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group anticipates having sufficient parts volume to complete the campaigns by March 15, 2015.

The Company has requested that NHTSA treat as confidential, certain responses that detail business practices such as supplier selection. The attached document has been redacted accordingly.


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  • 16 Comments
      Joe K.
      • 4 Months Ago

      After waiting too long for the parts to come in I had an aftermarket hitch installed on my 2002 Jeep Liberty. I was tired of hearing the parts are on backorder. I filed a claim for reimbursement and was led to believe Chrysler would cover it. I was told to have the dealer inspect it and if it met the requirements it would satisfy the recall. My hitch actually exceeded the requirements. Well I got a call from Chrysler today saying that they would not cover the hitch because it wasn't an OEM hitch. My wife drives this vehicle daily and maybe I should have waited a couple of more months until somebody slammed into the back of the Jeep while she was driving. Oh wait that could have been too late. Sure glas my tax money helped bail them out.

      Deborah Steel
      • 4 Months Ago

      If the works are carried out the vehicles can no longer tow. This makes my vehicle of no use to me whatsoever. Despite the remedy being called a hitch, it is not possible to put a true hitch that will tow on the vehicle....

      Shawn
      • 7 Months Ago
      Had a Jeep just like that in the photo. What a rolling pile!
      Tina NonurBznis
      • 6 Months Ago

      So..after waiting over a year from the notice they would install a 'tow hitch', as they have stated in their recall settlement, thinking well great, I get a free tow hitch..they have pulled a switch. I got a notice today they are NOT installing a tow hitch, but a simple crossbar to protect the tank. I waited over a year thinking I would get a hitch, as they have stated in their settlement, as they have stated they were waiting on 'hitches' to be manufactured, and now they are saying they will NOT be installing hitches! WTF?

      Julie Hurlow
      • 4 Months Ago

      I am so angry just had tow hitch taken off as  requsted and now have a jeep unfit for purpose as i regulary tow a horsebox so upset so any help please as jeep people are useless 

      Nemebean
      • 7 Months Ago
      "In addition, the automaker believes that there are fewer Jeeps actually needing fixes than the number recalled" Yes, there are 0. Just like there have been all along.
      Tom
      • 7 Months Ago
      I am shocked the anti-Chrysler comments haven't started yet, this article has been online for over 5 minutes! I still say this is one of the most silly recalls in recent history. The Crown Vics weren't recalled for this same issue despite being called a "Death trap" by major media outlets looking to create panic among motorists. I wouldn't hesitate to drive one of those affected GCs any more than any other 90's era vehicle - hell, I'd probably rather drive one because they're safer than a lot of other "Peer" vehicles.
        Larry Litmanen
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Tom
        At some point people just give up. Chrysler is like your alcoholic cousin, you talk to him, you critique, but after some time you just give up. No one is surprised by the Dart not selling well, 200 being a joke, or this recall................it's what Crysler does. Fix It Again Tony
          Tom
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          I am surprised the Dart isn't selling well. It's (tech and architecture wise) much better than competitors. Its biggest drawback is pricing, it's easy to find a $26k Dart and leave with a heavily marked down 2014 200 or Avenger ("Joke" as you put it) with a 6 cyl and more room for less money, so people think they aren't getting as good a deal with the Dart. The Dart needs a more archaic rear suspension than it has, and like all its competitors have. I've driven a Dart around corners. I put over 500 miles on one. It doesn't go very well with the 2.0 4cyl but it outcorners any of the other compacts I've driven. Haven't tried the 2.4 TigerShark sadly. The 2014 200 wasn't NEARLY as bad as the media made it out to be, everyone just jumped on the bandwagon. Even with the 4-cyl, it was surprisingly smooth and quiet (again, slow, but they have the 6 to counter that). Sitting in a 2014 model from any other maker, as a neutral party, I'm hard-pressed to say I'd buy one over the other based on interior quality, though the 2015 is a generation ahead if not more. I am not a fan of the two-tiered dashes on a lot of these newer rides. Appears the media loves them though. Owning a 2014 GC for over a year now, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Chrysler. Comments like yours though, Larry, just go to prove my point: Everyone would rather trash-talk than actually get out and sit in one, or test drive one, with no preconceived notions for quality. I did the same recently when evaluating Fords and GMs and was surprised how nice they actually are, and when evaluating Hondas and Toyotas and wondering how/why everyone loved them. And as far as "What Chrysler does" again, every automaker has recalls. Toyota and GM especially, as of late, but Honda, Ford, Nissan, they all do recalls. It's part of owning a car.
      dfkd
      • 7 Months Ago
      I do enjoy the irony of the fact that, "...the automaker believes that there are fewer Jeeps actually needing fixes than the number recalled because some of them aren't on the road anymore". After the design cost-cutting that probably caused the problem, it works out in their favour a second time.
        Pj Taintz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @dfkd
        cost cutting?? you mean making the car fit the law of the land at the time of being made? yeah I cant really blame them for that one
          dfkd
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Pj Taintz
          Problems with keys, brakes and fuel tanks have nothing to do with law. That's about balancing engineering VS cost. One pick is always cost for them. They knew full well that the location of that tank was a risk. No way those didn't rupture during crash testing. Logically, as the vehicles age, the reach of the damage would increase, affecting the fuel tank even more. Sometimes engineering should to win over cost.
      Pj Taintz
      • 7 Months Ago
      i think think this recall is an absolute joke. the car passes the safety at the time it was made, as such we cant be demanding recalls and the like. It would be like forcing all muscle cars off the road because they are not retrofitted with full cabin airbag systems.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 7 Months Ago
      I don't feel unsafe in my wife's Liberty, but I'm also not going to pass up on a free hitch that I was planning on buying myself.
        Tina NonurBznis
        • 6 Months Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS

        Don't hold your breath, they are pulling a bait and switch, and NOT giving out free tow hitches unlike they initially stated in their recall settlement. They are wanting to install a simple crossbar to protect the tank.

      bullitt2605
      • 7 Months Ago
      If it's not me driving where I drive than it's not real world.
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