Automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a Jeep fuel tank recall in June 2013 due to the risk of exploding fuel tanks in 1993-2007 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Liberty SUVs. More than 70 people have reportedly suffered Jeep fire deaths, including a 4-year-old boy who died in a fire after an accident involving the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee in which he was riding. In April 2015, a jury returned a $150 million verdict in favor of the parents of the boy after a trial in which is was alleged that Chrysler had acted with “reckless disregard for human life.” $30 million of that verdict was attributed to the boy’s conscious pain and suffering before his death.
If you own or know someone who owns one of the models covered by the Jeep fuel tank recall, please share this information with them. For more information, contact Attorney Group. There is no cost to speak with us.
500,000 Jeep Owners Have Not Been Notified of Recall
Despite the acknowledged risks that prompted the Jeep fuel tank recall, media reports suggest that approximately 1/3 of affected Jeep owners have not been notified of the recall. According to WSBTV Atlanta:
A report filed with federal regulators shows of 1.56 million recalled Jeeps, 320,000 are fixed or inspected, but 500,000 owners [could not] be reached.
NHTSA: Chrysler Issued Recall Despite Objection
Reports of Jeep Fire Deaths prompted an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in June 2012. In the summary report issued following the investigation, the NHTSA noted the following:
As of June 2013, ODI knew of 56 post-collision fatal fires, 28 non-fatal fires, and 6 fuel leak incidents (totaling 90 incidents, 75 fatalities and 58 injuries) involving the SVs. Based on this analysis, ODI issued a Recall Request Letter (RRL) on June 3, 2013 requesting that Chrysler recall the Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles due to the rate of fatal, non-fatal fire, and fuel leak incidents when compared to peer vehicles (compact and medium SUVs) built during the same time period. In the RRL, ODI described how the location of the aft-mounted fuel tank made the SVs vulnerable to rear impact crash fuel tank failures. During the analysis, besides the high speed/high severity crashes present in both the SV and peer vehicles, ODI observed a significant number of low and moderate speed rear impact crash related fires and leaks, particularly in the Liberty.
The report further notes that despite the fact that Chrysler “vigorously disputed” the findings, it nevertheless proposed a recall for the models at issue.
Jury: Automaker Acted with “Reckless Disregard for Human Life”
The jury in the Jeep fire death case involving the 4-year-ol boy found that Chrysler acted with ‘reckless or wanton disregard for human life in the design or sale’ of the Jeep SUV and failed to warn that the vehicle was hazardous. According to the evidence presented at trial, the automaker knew that the fuel tank in the Grand Cherokee posed a threat of a fire danger due to its placement at the rear of the vehicle, but that it failed to warn consumers of the danger.
$30 million of the verdict was attributable to the 4-year-old’s pain and suffering, with the remaining $120 million to account for the loss of the boy’s life.
Share with a Jeep Owner. Contact Us for More Information.
If you know the owner of a in 1993-2007 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee or Jeep Liberty, please pass this important Jeep fuel tank recall information on to them. If you would like more information about the recall, or if you have been injured in accident and want to learn about your options, contact Attorney Group. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us.