Chrysler shifts course, chooses to scrutinize, alter old SUVs
DETROIT -- Chrysler Group, stopping a dispute with national security officials, agreed to scrutinize older model Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs and install a trailer hitch assembly if needed to "better handle crash forces in low-rate impacts."
The automaker said today it had attained the deal after discussions with-the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
On June 3, NHTSA requested that Chrysler run a recall on 2.7 million staying 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 200207 Jeep Libertys, which the bureau said had a heightened threat of fire from rearend collisions.
Included in the arrangement, Chrysler won't acknowledge the vehicles were faulty.
In a simple statement, the automaker said: "Chrysler Group understands this question has raised issues for the clients and desires to take more steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the security of its vehicles.
"Chrysler Group regards safety as-a paramount concern and doesn't compromise on the safeness of our clients as well as their loved ones."
"Consumers affected by the safety recall and customer satisfaction effort should have their vehicles serviced quickly after they receive notification from Chrysler," the bureau said in-a statement. "We will continue our investigation into this problem, pending the bureau's review of the files supplied by Chrysler in its recall activity."
In its first response, Chrysler challenged the bureau's findings that 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees and 200207 Libertys had an increased chance of catching fire when hit from the back.
Chrysler had declared that NHTSA's evaluation of crash data was flawed and the two versions fared better than many similar vehicles that had not been targeted for a recall. Additionally, it challenged NHTSA's finding the vehicles suffer from the design flaw because their fuel tanks are found behind the rear axle.
The price of the measures Chrysler decided to take is unknown, particularly as it is uncertain exactly how many of the 2.7 million recalled SUVs staying on the street will be eligible for the additional trailer hitch. Vehicles with a factory installed hitch assembly, or an aftermarket version made by Mopar, won't have to be altered, a Chrysler spokesman said.
Chrysler's first response to NHTSA was being observed closely across the business by automakers who were worried that if NHTSA prevailed it could drive other automakers to modernize much older vehicles to make them safer.
==2010. He said now he was reviewing Chrysler's arrangement with NHTSA and was not however prepared to comment.
Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said
Chrysler probably recognized the risk to its standing in openly defying NHTSA.
Chrysler's about 2,300 dealerships will probably see added service work from the deal with NHTSA, as they'll be tasked with installing the trailer hitches.
"But I am happy to-see that the company and NHTSA were capable to work things out and keep the-public safe."
Chrysler Group's evaluation of the data verifies that these vehicles aren't faulty and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group understands this question has raised issues for the clients and desires to take more steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the security of its vehicles.
Chrysler Group regards safety as-a paramount concern and doesn't compromise on the safeness of our clients as well as their families.
Chrysler Group LLC Manufactuing Footage
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