Jeep Liberty, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are a fire risk in car accidents. Lawsuits have forced millions of gas tank recalls. Talk to a lawyer if you’ve been injured.
Jeep Gas Tank Recalls Due to Car Accident Fires
Have you lost a loved one due to a Jeep fuel tank fire? If so, you may need an experienced injury lawyer or attorney to help you wage a Jeep gas tank fire lawsuit on your family’s behalf and claim the payments and justice that you deserve.
Such Jeep lawsuits are needed due to millions of defective Jeep vehicles being on America’s roads, and with few of them being repaired despite a Jeep recall. The situation is so bad that the U.S. government is considering an investigation into Chrysler’s handling of Jeep gas tank fires, following an April 2015 lawsuit, which found Chrysler negligent.
If your family has been harmed by Chrysler’s mistakes in making and selling defective Jeep vehicles, delaying a Jeep recall and then failing to make repairs promptly, contact us today. The Willis Law Firm is experienced in handling defective vehicle cases on a national basis and will be glad to help you explore your prospects for a Jeep fuel tank fire lawsuit.
Cause of Jeep Gas Tank Explosions
What is the cause of Jeep gas tank explosions? The devastating and catastrophic problem stems from the original design of the vehicles, which is alarmingly similar to that of the disgraced Ford Pinto. Like that recalled vehicle from the 1970s, Chrysler’s Jeep Liberty, Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Grand Cherokee have comparable gas tank defects.
In such Jeep vehicles, the gas tank is positioned below the Jeep’s rear bumper and behind its rear axle, leaving it exposed in the event of a rear-end crash involving a lower vehicle. (Jeeps are higher vehicles known as “high-clearance.”)
When a Jeep is rear-ended, its plastic gas tank can be ruptured and can explode with the smallest of sparks by the force of the impact or by an electrical source in the vehicle.
Occupants of the Jeep then can be trapped inside an exploding and burning vehicle. Many have been killed or severely injured due to this design and manufacturing defect -- a defect which Chrysler has been slow to acknowledge and to fix. Indeed, at least 70 persons are known to have died due to an exploding Jeep gas tank.
Jeep Gas Tank Recalls
Despite years of calamitous incidents claiming lives and property, Chrysler has dragged its feet in making Jeep gas tank recalls. Finally, in 2013 Chrysler agreed to recall just over 1.5 million Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs, while still refusing to recall around a million Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
Federal officials had been expressing concerns about post-collision fuel-fed fires in Jeeps since 2010 -- while Chrysler denied any responsibility. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, then demanded Chrysler recall over 2.5 million Jeeps for defective designs of their fuel tanks.
Chrysler refused to budge -- at least until its 2013 Jeep gas tank recalls. But those recalls did not include the one million Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVS from 1999-2004 model years. Chrysler only issued a Jeep recall for 1.56 million older SUVS: Jeep Cherokee vehicles from the 1993-2004 model years, and Jeep Liberty vehicles from the 2002-2007 model years.
Of course, getting a recall announced is just part of the battle -- especially with Chrysler. U.S. safety officials expect repairs by Chrysler on such vehicles to take at least five years at the slow rate that it’s going. And as Chrysler delays, stalls and restricts Jeep fuel tank recalls, Americans keep dying from the dangerously defective vehicles.
Chrysler’s Jeep gas tank repairs have been woefully inadequate as well as slow. Initially the automaker only agreed to install trailer hitches at the rear of Jeep gas tanks as a “quick fix” of the problem. However, Chrysler performed no crash tests to see if installing a trailer hitch would prevent an exploding Jeep gas tank in a rear-end collision.
Not only that, but a full 18 months after Chrysler embarked on this meager strategy to fix the problem, just over 10 percent of Jeeps had received the trailer hitch installation.
Safety experts disagree with Chrysler’s strategy, saying that only a skid plate or shield of metal could keep Jeeps’ plastic gas tanks from a fuel tank rupture after being rear-ended.
Later Jeep Models
If you have a Jeep made after 2007, the last model year for Jeeps to be recalled for gas tank ruptures, you may be wondering about later Jeep models’ safety. Though Chrysler has denied that its rear plastic fuel tanks were dangerous, in 2005 it added the recommended metal skid plate to Jeeps as part of their standard equipment. Chrysler also began repositioning gas tanks in Jeeps to be in front of the rear axle, not behind it.
These Jeep fuel tank revisions do not guarantee that you won’t be injured in a rear-end collision if you’re riding in a Jeep. But at least Chrysler is belatedly making recommended fixes that could save lives for owners of newer Jeep vehicles.
Meanwhile, older Jeeps are still on the roads and are killing innocent Americans.
Jeep Liberty Fire Lawsuit
Americans whose family suffers due to Chrysler’s negligence may be eligible for a Jeep Liberty fire lawsuit or a Jeep Cherokee fire lawsuit. These legal services can be provided by an experienced injury attorney or lawyer provided by the Willis Law Firm.
The Willis Law Firm has experience on a national level tackling major automotive defect and recall cases. These include a landmark case in which Ford recalled millions of Firestone tires with which its Ford Explorers had been equipped.
Already, a major victory has been achieved. In April of 2015 a Georgia jury awarded $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old boy, who died while riding in a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was hit from the rear, exploded and caught on fire. That verdict was the first of what may be many in Jeep fuel tank explosion lawsuits.
Does your family qualify for a Jeep gas/fuel tank explosion lawsuit? One way to find out is to contact us today. We’ll quickly provide you with a free legal review of your case and size up your chances for a successful Jeep Liberty or Jeep Cherokee gas tank lawsuit.