Auto recall lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm announce that Chrysler is refusing a request by U.S. safety officials to recall more than 2.5 million vehicles. The vehicles have defective fuel tanks that could cause leakage and fires in rear-end collisions.
The recall would affect Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured from 1993 all the way to 2004, along with Jeep Liberty’s made between 2002 and 2007. Chrysler contends that the vehicles are all safe, not defective, and do not need repairs. The agency requesting the recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), began investigations into these vehicles in 2010 at the request of an advocacy group, Center for Auto Safety.
The advocacy group claimed, as it continues to, that the positioning of the gas tank in these vehicles, located behind the axle, would allow fuel to spill in the event of a collision. Chrysler says this statement and the consequent NHTSA recall request are based on incomplete data, and that it plans to work with the agency to resolve the matter.
According to data through 2010, the NHTSA reports that about 15 deaths (and 46 injuries) have been associated with fuel tank fires in Jeep Grand Cherokees. In the Center For Auto Safety’s 2009 petition, the executive director stated that the Grand Cherokee had a fatal crash fire occurrence rate that is four times higher than SUVs manufactured by other automakers.
Should a recall be initiated, about 5.1 million American vehicles would be affected. This seems like a major possibility, as the final NHTSA investigation concluded with a warning, saying that rear-impact-related fuel tank failures, along with vehicle fires, were indeed more prevalent in the Jeep Grand Cherokee than in similar, non-Jeep vehicles.
Meanwhile, Ford has agreed to a recall of about 465,000 vehicles, all model year 2013. The problems are again centering on fuel tanks, the result of more than 600 customer complaints of fuel leakage since March 31, 2013. The models affected by the recall include the Explorer, Fusion, Flex, Interceptor and Interceptor Utility, Sedan, Taurus, and the Lincoln MKZ, MKS, and MKT.
Replacement parts for the fuel tanks are not expected to be available before September. Fortunately, no incidents of crashes or injuries have yet been reported to the NHTSA. This Ford recall comes in the wake of another in December, again affecting 2013 Fusions, which had engine problems causing them to leak.
Some of these Fusions may also have steering gears that do not include internal retaining clips. Despite these two recalls, the Fusion continues to be one of Ford’s top-selling vehicles. Ford will notify customer and dealers affected by the recall and will have the new parts installed, free of charge, when they are made available in September.
In related news, Toyota just recalled more than 85,000 of its Prius and Lexus 250h vehicles due to faulty brakes. The problem involves the brake pressure accumulator, which may develop cracks on internal parts from constant vibrations. The result of such a crack would be in the loss of braking pressure; fortunately, there have not been any reports of crashes or injuries due to the issue. Owners of the affected vehicles will receive notifications by mail, and will be prompted to go to a dealer for an inspection. If so needed, the dealer will replace the brake booster pump assembly at no cost.
Auto recall lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience in automaker litigation involving recalls and defective products. We will work aggressively to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your family’s injures while ensuring you receive the best representation possible.