Popular sport utility vehicles manufactured by Jeep, a division of FCA US, previously Chrysler, continue to pose a serious safety hazard to drivers and passengers. The vehicles are equipped with a rear fuel tank that is insufficiently protected from impact during rear-end collisions. As such, even minor rear-end collisions can rupture the fuel tank and cause vehicles to burst into flames. The Center for Auto Safety -- an auto safety advocacy group -- estimates that there have been as many as 395 fatal crashes related to this defect. Earlier this month a jury in Georgia award the family of a four-year old boy who died in a jeep fire $150,000,000 in damages, finding that Chrysler knowingly manufactured the car with the defect and did not take necessary steps to remedy it.
Many of these vehicles were previously recalled in 2013, but Chrysler has not been taking necessary efforts to make the changes they agreed to with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) at that time. A reopening of the matter has been requested. The vehicles at issue are:
The Jeep Liberty from model years 2002 to 2007 and Jeep Grand Cherokees from 1993 to 1998.
Owners can confirm whether their individual vehicle is part of the recall by using NHTSA's free VIN look up tool on www.safercar.gov. NHTSA is urging owners of to contact their local dealer to arrange a service appointment to receive the free remedy repair for their vehicles now, without waiting for a letter.
Spangenberg, Shibley and Liber is investigating a potential action on behalf of all owners of these vehicles – whether they have been involved in an accident or not. The suit would relate to the reduced value of the vehicles given the discovery that they are unsafe. If you own one of these vehicles and are interested in learning more about the litigation, please contact Spangenberg, Shibley and Liber.