FILE – This undated record print supposing by Chrysler shows a 2005 Jeep Liberty Renegade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is accusing Chrysler of relocating too solemnly to repair some Jeep SUVs in a remember announced some-more than a year ago that enclosed 2002-2007 Libertys . (AP Photo/Chrysler, File)
The U.S. government’s highway reserve group is accusing Chrysler of relocating too solemnly to repair some Jeep SUVs in a remember announced some-more than a year ago.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in a minute expelled Wednesday, is seeking a automaker since it’s holding so prolonged to repair as many as 2.5 million comparison Grand Cherokees and Libertys with gas tanks mounted behind a back axles. The tanks could detonation in back collisions, trickle fuel and means fires.
The minute is a latest push in a prolonged quarrel between a automaker and group over a reserve of a SUVs, all built before a 2008 indication year. Initially NHTSA wanted a association to remember 2.7 million of them, though Chrysler refused, observant they were as protected as identical vehicles. They eventually worked a understanding to remember 1.56 million, with 1.2 million others placed in a debate to be legalised for hitches. Last year NHTSA pronounced a three-year review showed 51 people had died in burning crashes in Jeeps with gas tanks behind a back axle.
In a letter, NHTSA pronounced Chrysler will send notices to owners of 1.5 million Grand Cherokees from a 1993 to 1998 indication years, and to another 1 million owners of 2002-2007 Libertys.
But a minute says prolongation of a trailer hitches didn’t start until May of this year, and a gait is so delayed that it will take Chrysler 4.7 years to get adequate hitches if all owners respond to a recall. If usually half respond, it will take Chrysler dual years to get a parts, a minute said.
“For many owners, a remember pill deferred by tools accessibility simply becomes a forsake pill denied,” NHTSA wrote. “The group has no goal of permitting Chrysler, or any other manufacturer, to check remember execution to a wreckage of safety.”
Chrysler expects to start repairs on Aug. 1, according to a letter. The association has until Jul 16 to respond to a agency’s ask for information or face adult to a $35 million fine, a group said.
At slightest partial of a delays might be attributed to NHTSA contrast a trailer join remedy. The group did pile-up tests to establish if a hitches would work, and on Jan. 13, it told Chrysler that it had no reservations about a fix.
The association says NHTSA has had full believe of a work on a remember and that a association complied with all sovereign regulations. Chrysler is assured that it will be means to furnish adequate hitches to prove demand, and there could be some arrange of disagreement with NHTSA, orator Mike Palese said.
Chrysler maintains that a SUVs are not poor and says it concluded to a trailer hitches since a matter “has lifted open concern.”
But Clarence Ditlow, conduct of a nonprofit Center for Automotive Research, pronounced in a minute to NHTSA Wednesday that a group should immediately force Chrysler to speed adult a recalls. While NHTSA and Chrysler argue, 4 some-more people have been killed and dual some-more severely burnt in Jeep glow crashes, according to Ditlow.
Affected business have been told a remember and use campaigns are coming. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company, now partial of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, pronounced it will hit them again “when a time is suitable to report service.”
Automakers have 60 days from when they forewarn NHTSA of a remember to hit car owners. But aside from that, there’s no tough deadline on when repairs have to be finished. NHTSA monitors recalls for during slightest 1 ½ years to make certain they are progressing.