A nonprofit auto safety organization is asking the federal government to follow up on its earlier recall of certain older-model Jeep SUVs because the vehicles are reportedly still causing wrongful deaths on U.S. roadways. The Jeeps, which include 1993-1998 Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Liberty SUVs, reportedly have plastic gas tanks that are prone to ruptures, spills and potentially deadly explosions.
The Center for Auto Safety issued the recent call to action after analyzing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data and learning that as many as 11 people have died in fire-related car accidents involving Jeeps since June 2013, when the recall first went into effect. When added to the number of people who died in Jeep crash-related fires before the recall, the total number of lives lost as a result of this particular vehicle defect is at least 86.
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Now the government needs to get involved again, said the Center for Auto Safety, because Fiat Chrysler, which manufactures the Jeep SUVs, hasn’t been doing enough to protect consumers from being seriously injured, or killed, in low-speed car crashes.
Clarence Ditlow, who heads the Center for Auto Safety, said that the situation is urgent. In a letter addressed to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ditlow wrote that Fiat Chrysler is turning a blind eye to the deaths and catastrophic injuries still being caused by the company’s already-recalled vehicles. “As far as Fiat Chrysler is concerned,” said Ditlow, “Jeeps can continue to crash and burn until they are all off the road.”
Instead of simply forcing Fiat Chrysler to recall the defective vehicles and repair the preexisting gas tanks, the auto safety organization wants the government to develop a solution that will actually save lives.
Although the NHTSA has yet to issue an official comment on the auto safety watchdog group’s letter, the federal government has already fined Fiat Chrysler a total of $175 million since the recall was issued because the auto manufacturer has continued to drag its feet on the recall and subsequent vehicle repairs. It is possible that additional fines, as well as other, more severe punishments, could be on the horizon.
For additional information about the Jeep recall, see the Yahoo.com article, “Safety Advocate Asks Gov’t to Reopen Jeep Fire Investigation.”
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