Jeep Begins Fixing 1.56 Million Recalled Grand Cherokee, Liberty SUVs

Repairs to cost automaker $151 million

Chrysler is just now beginning the big job of fixing 1.56 million older Jeep SUVs seven months after a recall was announced, according to The Detroit News.

Jeep Grand Cherokees sold between 1992 and 1998 and Jeep Liberty models sold between 2002 and 2007 are being recalled because the gas tank can leak in the event of a rear-end collision, leading to a fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration originally requested the recall of 2.7 million vehicles. Chrysler initially disputed NHTSA's findings and seemed willing to go through a court battle until an 11th-hour deal reduced the number of vehicles involved in the recall. The remaining vehicle owners left out of the recall will receive a "customer service action" notification and may not get fixed. Chrysler says the vehicles are safe and need no repairs. Fixing the 1.56 million Jeeps will cost Chrysler $151 million.

NHTSA cited 51 deaths causes by such tank fires. Chrysler plans to install protective trailer hitches to protect the gas tanks, but even the automaker admits the hitches will only provide incremental protection in a low-to-moderate speed rear-end crash.

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