Feds Question Slow Pace of Jeep Recall for Fuel Tank Fire Risk


  • 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Picture

    1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Picture

    The federal government wants to know why it's taking so long to repair 1.56 million older Jeep SUVs, including the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee. | July 03, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday questioned the slow availability of parts to dealerships in a recall of 1.56 million Jeep vehicles for the risk of fires in fuel tanks.
  • The recall began last June and includes the 1992-'98 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-'07 Jeep Liberty.
  • At the rate the recall is going, "It will take Chrysler at least 4.7 years and 2.06 years respectively to produce the required number of Grand Cherokee and Liberty (parts) at the current rate of production," NHTSA said in a letter to Chrysler.

WASHINGTON The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday questioned the slow availability of parts to dealerships in a recall of 1.56 million Jeep vehicles for the risk of fires in fuel tanks.

The recall began last June and includes the 1992-'98 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-'07 Jeep Liberty.

At the rate the recall is going, "It will take Chrysler at least 4.7 years and 2.06 years respectively to produce the required number of Grand Cherokee and Liberty (parts) at the current rate of production," NHTSA said in a letter to Chrysler.

It added: "For many owners, a recall remedy deferred by parts availability easily becomes a defect remedy denied. The agency has no intention of allowing Chrysler, or any other manufacturer, to delay recall completion to the detriment of safety."

The affected vehicles were recalled for fire risk due to ruptured gas tanks following rear-end crashes. The solution to the problem is to install a trailer hitch that stiffens the rear structure of the vehicles.

Federal safety regulators said in the letter they want to know why Chrysler didn't pick a hitch supplier until December 6, 2013 and didn't start producing hitches until May 14, 2014. Chrysler must provide answers to the questions posed by NHTSA by July 16.

Chrysler sent the following statement to Edmunds on Wednesday:

"Launching a safety recall demands complex engineering and close coordination with NHTSA well before an automaker accumulates replacement parts. To accommodate the high-volume production required for this campaign, Chrysler Group had to find and enlist multiple new supplier partners to supply volume of this part that far exceeded normal demand.

"Parts production has commenced. Our supplier partners are committed to a work schedule of three shifts per day, six days per week, with occasional Sunday production. Chrysler Group has already contacted affected customers and advised them of our intentions. They will be contacted again when the time is appropriate to schedule service."

Edmunds says: It's still a waiting game for owners of these Jeeps at this point. But the feds are applying pressure to speed things up.

Comments

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    Yeah, the Feds wondering about what took so long. They're always the most timely organization. Wow some of the affected vehicles are over 20 year sold. If they were on the road for that long in my neck of the woods, the rust would've taken them off the road by now.

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