Chrysler, Government Compromise On Potential Car Defect Recall.

June 19, 2013

While most personal injury accidents in Buffalo involve negligent driving, not car defects, some motor vehicle designs fail to properly protect occupants when a motor vehicle accident occurs.  Several weeks ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Chrysler to recall approximately 2.7 million Jeeps.  This request was based on an alleged design defect that the government claimed had led to 51 deaths in fires caused by rear-end collisions.

Chrysler initially refused to issue a recall and claimed that the NHTSA’s analysis was faulty.  This refusal could have resulted in the NHTSA conducting public hearings to determine if a recall could be forced.  Early this week, Chrysler reached a compromise with the NHTSA that allows them to avoid these public hearings.

Under this compromise, Chrysler will recall 1.56 million 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberties.  Chrysler does not have to admit that these vehicles are defective as part of the recall, which should help the automaker in any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.

Also, many of the Jeeps dropped from the original recall request will be the subject of a “customer service action.”  Under the compromise, both recalled and “customer service action” vehicles will be inspected to see if an approved trailer hitch has been properly installed.  Recalled vehicles without an approved hitch will have one installed for free, while owners of “customer service action” vehicles will be required to pay for installation of a hitch if their vehicle did not originally have one.  The hitch will presumably help protect the fuel system in rear-end collisions.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one and suspect a car defect was to blame, we would be happy to answer your questions regarding your legal rights at 716-400-0000.