Chrysler Group recently announced a recall affecting nearly 1.56 million 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty SUVs.
However, the company allegedly only reluctantly agreed to to the final recall after nearly 1.1 million 1999-2004 Grand Cherokees were excluded from NHTSA’s original recall request for 2.7 million vehicles. According to Chrysler, the government was incorrect in its original analysis regarding which vehicles were affected.
The recall is reportedly due to an issue with the fuel tank, which can rupture and lead to an explosion and or fire in the event of a rear end collision.
The recall excludes 1999-2004 Grand Cherokees, which are of a different design than the earlier models that NHTSA had initially suggested would be subject to the recall. However, concerned customers can contact their local jeep dealership for information regarding the safety of their vehicle.
The most publicized cases of issues with the Jeeps occurred when rear end collisions resulted in fires which caused death. In those cases, the Jeeps were either stopped or driving at a slow speed, and were hit from the rear by vehicles traveling at highway speeds.
While detailed information was not readily apparent, the conclusion was that the safety issue comes down to the hitch. Apparently the sturdy structure of a trailer hitch fastened into the vehicle’s rear frame helps to absorb some force from a rear crash. As part of the recall, Jeep will inspect and in some cases install rear hitches for the affected vehicles.
Harmful and defective products, such as with the defective gas tank construction alleged by these reports, fall within the purview of products liability laws, which provide protection to people who are harmed by consumer products. In addition to providing a potential financial remedy, these laws further provide an incentive for companies to ensure that their products are safe. The general policy behind these types of laws is to make sure that the businesses responsible for putting defective products into the market bear the costs when those defective products later cause injuries or other damage. Thus, for example, the individuals killed in rear end collisions that led to fires and death could potentially bring products liability actions against Jeep for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and even potentially wrongful death.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death as a result of a defective consumer product, you should contact an experienced products liability attorney as soon as you can in order to discuss your claim. You may be entitled to damages for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. The hardworking personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have many years of experience in representing the rights of individuals within the Washington, DC area who have suffered injuries due to defective or dangerous products. Call us today in order to schedule a free and confidential consultation. You can reach us through our website, or by calling (800) 654-1949.
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