Alabama drivers should be aware that, despite making an agreement to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seven months ago, Chrysler Group has failed to begin recalling 1.56 million older Jeeps containing parts that federal officials have deemed a fire hazard. Instead, the company says that it is only beginning to prepare to build repair parts for the recall. Chrysler claims to have finished designing the replacement parts and is currently entering the tooling process.
Recalls are complex and important events that help prevent car accidents caused by vehicle malfunctions. In this case, the potential problem involves trailer hitches used on Jeep Grand Cherokees from 1993 to 1998 and Liberty SUVs from 2002 to 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declined to comment on whether it will sue Chrysler to make them get to the recall faster.
However, the head of the Center for Auto Safety has spoken out that his advocacy organization may fight to get Chrysler to comply. He said that if the time has been spent designing an improved trailer hitch assembly that protects the Jeep's gas tanks, the lag could be forgiven. Otherwise, the seven month period is not understandable. The NHTSA believes that the rear-mounted fuel tanks on the Jeeps are a potential hazard because of the possibility of leaks and fires from rear-end collisions. Chrysler disagrees but agreed to do a recall nevertheless. Originally, the NHTSA asked the car company to recall 2.7 million vehicles. The company refused. The lower number of recalled vehicles was a compromise between Chrysler's CEO and the NHTSA administrator at the time.
Injuries suffered in car accidents can cause people significant financial setbacks. Anyone who has been a victim of a car accident because of a faulty vehicle part might have a case against the manufacturer. An attorney may reveal options to a person who decides to seek compensation.
Source: USA Today, "Jeep recall from last June still not begun", James R. Healey, January 09, 2014