RENO, Nev.--Chrysler on Tuesday agreed to recall 1.5 million Jeeps after refusing to do so last week. The about-face comes after discussions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which originally suggested a recall of a million additional cars.
The government agency in charge of highway safety says these recalled Jeeps are dangerous, because rear end collisions are more likely to cause deadly fires do to a vulnerable gas tank.
On Tuesday, Chrysler issued a recall for Jeep Grand Cherokee's years 1993 to 1998, and Jeep Liberties years 2002 through 2007.
"You think that people would build cars that keep people safe and they would not overlook small details like that," said Allison Graham who owns one of the 16,000 affected Jeeps that are still on Nevada roads. She was surprised to learn Tuesday, the model had been linked to fiery crashes.
"It's a little nerve wracking, yeah. I mean, no one really expects that to happen," said Graham.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the Jeeps are dangerous because of a low hanging gas tank on the rear end that is not well protected by the cars frame.
Chrysler has admitted no wrong doing, saying the cars are still safe. They have issued the recall only out of customer concern. Not every Jeep will be repaired, but dealers will inspect them to see if they need it.
Graham says she's so surprised hear about the jeep defect, because she's be involved in two rear end collisions.
"Once the other car was a shorter car and it actually just hit my trailer hitch," said Graham.
The trailer hitch is actually Chrysler's solution to the problem. Instead of installing shielding, they'll install trailer hitches which they say will better protect the gas tank.
Still Graham says she'll take hers in for inspection.
"I probably will if I still have it. If I am not shopping around for something new," said Graham
About one million additional Jeep Grand Cherokees from 1999 through 2004 were included in last weeks recall recommendation, but Chrysler decided not to recall those.
Owners of recalled vehicles can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 if they have any questions or concerns.