In our last post we discussed a recent massive recall initiated by Chrysler Group. Evidence indicates that many Chrysler Jeeps have a design defect which makes the vehicles more susceptible to car accident fires in low-impact crashes.
Chrysler initially took the unprecedented step of refusing to comply with the NHTSA’s recall request, but the company reversed its position after it realized its failure to recall a dangerous product was a PR nightmare.
“If at some point it appears to consumers that the brand is picking dollars over safety, the loss of brand equity could outweigh the cost of making repairs,” one analyst said.
“It strikes me that Chrysler underestimated the negative publicity they’d get out of fighting, and that they decided it was better off to go ahead and do the recall,” another analyst said, calling the refusal a “very risky gamble.”
The company is offering to inspect the 2.7 million Jeeps subject to the recall and upgrade the rear structure of the vehicles if necessary.
The fix can involve three things:
- Installing a metal shield on the gas tank to shield it from low-level rear-end crashes.
- Installing a check valve in the tank to prevent gas from continuing to flow in the even to a crash.
- Providing a stronger filler hose that may be less likely to fail.