Chrysler has announced that it is denying the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s call for the American carmaker to recall 1.56 million vehicles due to an alleged increased risk of drivers and passengers experiencing fiery deaths if the suspect vehicles are struck from behind.
NHTSA has asked the third-largest American auto maker to install trailer hitches on Grand Cherokee’s from model years 1993 to 1998 and Jeep Liberty’s from 2002 to 2007 to protect the vehicles’ delicate rear ends. However, striking a blow for freedom, Chrysler replied to the NHSTA request with a written statement saying that the trailer hitches:
“…cannot, and will not, mitigate the risk of the high energy rear collisions identified in your recall request letter. [Instead, the hitches will only] incrementally improve the performance of certain of the subject vehicles in certain types of low-speed impacts.”
Meanwhile, the executive director of Center for Auto Safety, Clarence Ditlow, says that NHTSA is right on the mark and is calling for the agency to formally declare the defect so that Chrysler will have to recall the vehicles. In fact, the aptly-named Ditlow says that the explosive problem may be include other Chrysler vehicles that have fuel tanks behind their rear axles.