Monday, November 24, 2014

        Chrysler heeds demand to speed up Jeep-recall work. The New York Times (11/23, A22, Jensen, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports Chrysler Group on Friday told NHTSA in writing that it agreed with the agency’s assertion – made a day earlier in a letter from Deputy Administrator David Friedman – that some 1.6 million Jeep vehicles recalled due to a deadly fire hazard in rear-impact crashes weren’t being fixed fast enough, and the automaker promised to improve. NHTSA has said the 1993-1998 models of the Grand Cherokee and the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUV are dangerous because “the placement of the gas tank behind the rear axle makes them vulnerable to fast-moving fires in rear-impact accidents,” the Times explains, adding that a minimum of 56 deaths are believed to be tied to the problem. About 139,000 of the 1.6 million vehicles have been fixed, Scott Kunselman, a Chrysler senior vice president, told NHTSA in Friday’s letter.

        KEPR-TV Pasco, WA (11/21, Vedder, 824) reported on the “quandary” facing local Grand Cherokee owner Drew Dillon, who two weeks ago received a “really alarming” recall notice from Chrysler. He called the company, twice, “only to learn that the necessary part for a fix is not available,” KEPR said. He also “worries if he should even be driving, especially after what he says an operator with [NHTSA] told him.” Dillon recalled, “She informed me that as a driver and owner of this vehicle it should be parked.” 

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