Chrysler Refuses To Recall 2.7 Million Jeeps, Despite Pressure From Feds | Edmunds.com
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Chrysler Refuses To Recall 2.7 Million Jeeps, Despite Pressure From Feds


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Just the Facts:
  • Despite pressure by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys, Chrysler on Tuesday said it will not recall them and "stands behind the quality of its vehicles."
  • Federal safety regulators have asked Chrysler to recall the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-'07 Jeep Liberty.
  • "Consumers will have to wait and see what legal steps NHTSA will take," said Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Despite pressure by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys, Chrysler on Tuesday said it will not recall them and "stands behind the quality of its vehicles."

It is unusual for NHTSA to ask an automaker to recall vehicles. If an automaker will not abide by NHTSA's request, the agency, which oversees vehicle recalls in the U.S., can take the matter before an administrative law judge.

"The safety of drivers and passengers has long been the first priority for Chrysler brands and that commitment remains steadfast," said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler chairman and CEO, in a statement. "The company stands behind the quality of its vehicles. All of us remain committed to continue working with NHTSA to provide information confirming the safety of these vehicles."

The Chrysler statement said the "subject vehicles are safe and are not defective."

Federal safety regulators have asked Chrysler to recall the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-'07 Jeep Liberty. Last June, NHTSA expanded its investigation into Chrysler fires and upgraded the matter to an engineering analysis, citing 15 deaths and 41 injuries allegedly caused by rear crashes in some Jeep models. The focus was originally on the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee, but the investigation now includes 1993-2001 Jeep Cherokees and 2002-'07 Jeep Libertys.

"Consumers will have to wait and see what legal steps NHTSA will take," said Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst.

Krebs added: "It's a bold move on Chrysler's part because what we have seen since the Toyota recalls is that manufacturers are quick to recall vehicles to appease NHTSA. Interestingly, all of these Chrysler vehicles in question were produced before the current management."

Chrysler insists that its models are no more dangerous than other vehicles on the road and said it stands behind the fuel system's integrity.

"Our analysis shows the incidents, which are the focus of this request, occur less than once for every million years of vehicle operation," the automaker said. "This rate is similar to comparable vehicles produced and sold during the time in question."

The federal investigation was prompted by the Center for Auto Safety, which said it found that 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees were four times more likely than SUVs made by competitors to be involved in a fiery crash.

Chrysler says consumers with concerns should call its customer care line at (800) 334-9200.

Edmunds says: There is not much for consumers to do at this point except to wait for further response from NHTSA.

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