Chrysler said today that it does not intend to call-back roughly 2.7 million vehicles to make repairs despite the government requesting a recall.
“Chrysler Group has been working and sharing data with the Agency on this issue since September 2010. The company does not agree with NHTSA’s conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective,” the company said in a statement.
The requested recall would affect Jeep Grand Cherokees ranging from the 1993 through 2004 model years and Jeep Liberty SUVs from 2002 through 2007.
Potentially fatal fires following rear-end crashes are at the center of the dispute. NHTSA began its investigation in 2009 and in June, 2012 moved to an engineering analysis citing 15 deaths and 41 injuries said to be caused by rear-impact crashes.
The gas tank in both SUVs is located between the rear bumper and axle and is made of plastic; both of which were cited as possible reasons for the apparent frequency of fires caused by rear-end crashes.
But Chrysler’s statement maintains that the vehicles in question “met and exceeded all applicable requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, including FMVSS 301, pertaining to fuel-system integrity.”
The company also said its test show the issue in question occurring once for every million years of vehicle operation, which it says is similar to comparable vehicles sold at the time.
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