NHTSA Probes Chrysler on Grand Cherokee Recall
The government has ordered Chrysler Group to explain why it has taken so long to provide a fix for recalled Grand Cherokee and Liberty models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is worried that Chrysler is dragging its feet on this safety issue. After refusing a government request to recall certain Jeeps for a fire problem, Chrysler eventually caved and designed a trailer hitch to protect the gas tank. NHTSA complained that Chrysler waited until December 6, 2013 to select a hitch supplier and did not issue a purchase order for the new hitches until January 29, 2014. Dealers will finally begin installing the fix this August. On top of the timing problems, NHTSA is also concerned Chrysler will not be able to produce enough hitches. According to Chrysler's current rate of production, it will take Chrysler at least 4.7 years and 2 years to produce enough hitches for all the recalled Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles respectively.In a statement last week, Chrysler defended its timeline regarding the Grand Cherokee recall. "Launching a safety recall demands complex engineering and close coordination with NHTSA well before an automaker accumulates replacement parts," the statement read in part. "To accommodate the high-volume production required for this campaign, Chrysler Group had to find and enlist multiple new supplier partners to supply volume of this part that far exceeded normal demand." According to Chrysler, its suppliers have agreed to work three shifts per day six days per week for most of the time during production of the necessary assemblies. Chrysler will cover all costs associated with the recall. Sources: Automotive News, NHTSA, Chrysler Group
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