Motor vehicle safety starts with proper manufacturing. Automakers are responsible for testing vehicles to ensure that they are safe for consumers. If a feature malfunctions or if a vehicle is found to be dangerous for drivers, passengers or other motorists, the National Highway Safety Administration may demand a recall. Despite evidence that Jeeps made between 2002 and 2007 could be posing significant hazards, Chrysler Group has refused to a recall requested by the NHTSA.
The recall would involve nearly 2.7 million SUVs that could have a dangerous tank design. Chrysler admits that it has been cooperating with the agency after complaints have been made regarding the potential for fire and explosions. According to the automaker, the design, which places the tank behind the rear axle, could pose a potential fire hazard. Any fatal accident demands an independent and comprehensive investigation. Our Charlotte car accident attorneys are experienced in handling complex claims involving defective automobiles and parts.
The recall process was initiated after a public interest group reported that the there were 201 fire crashes and 285 deaths involving Grand Cherokees. In addition to the Jeep Grand Cherokee accidents, there were also 36 accidents and 53 deaths involving the Liberty. Chrysler has challenged these numbers, claiming that the numbers are overstated.
This is the first time since 1996 that an automobile manufacturer has challenged a request for a recall from the government. In that case Chrysler also challenged the request after seat belts were found to be dangerous in over 91,000 vehicles. The automobile manufacturer challenged the decision in court and ultimately won in a dispute two years after the NHTSA demand.
In this case, Chrysler asserts that the fatalities occurred because of high-speed accidents. The automaker also claims that the conclusions are false and do not incorporate a complete set of data. Though Chrysler has challenged the recall, it also has agreed to continue working with the agency in further analysis and to work towards a resolution of the disagreement.
The NHTSA is charged with ensuring vehicle safety on the road. The agency takes complaints and calls and has investigated 17,000 calls involving 500 million vehicles since 1966. A spokesperson for the agency wants to alert the public on the Jeep issue and is encouraging Chrysler to proceed with the recall.
In addition to the pending Chrysler recall, Ford Motor is recalling 465,000 current model year vehicles due to a fuel leak that also poses a significant risk of fire. This recall also involves SUVs, including the Ford Explorer and the Interceptor Utility. Though Ford is following through with the recall, it also claims that it is not aware of any accidents or fires caused by a fuel leak. There were, however, over 600 complaints since March 31.
If you or someone you love was involved in an automobile accident, it is important to work with an advocate who can determine the cause of the accident and identify all responsible parties. In addition to pursuing claims against negligent drivers, you may also be entitled to significant compensation from negligent entities, including automobile manufacturers.