Chrysler recalls 2.7 million Jeeps, defuses powder keg

June 18, 2013 at 3:21 PM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 18 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Chrysler said Tuesday it would recall 2.7 million Jeeps after first snubbing regulators on the issue.

In what could have blown up into prolonged public battle, Chrysler at first said no to recalling the older model Jeeps that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said were a fire hazard if they were involved in a rear-end collision.

NBC News reported Chrysler was expected to make file papers on Tuesday to make its case.

NHTSA has said the Jeep Grand Cherokees from model year 1993-2004 and Liberty vehicles of model years 2002-07 included the risk of a rear-end collision puncturing the gasoline tank, which would be a fire hazard.

The regulator has also attributed 51 deaths to the problem.

Chrysler said Tuesday in a statement that "in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicles [the company] will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts."

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