It was called a "rare and risky" move to refuse a recall after the government requested it, but it seemed Chrysler was poised to do just that today.
Now, the automaker says executives have "resolved their differences" with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will voluntarily recall the vehicles in question.
As a result of the agreement, Chrysler Group will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.
The company will recall 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Jeep Liberty vehicles.
NHTSA says the vehicles perform poorly in rear-end crashes. The rear-mounted fuel tank can leak causing fire. Fifty-one deaths were blamed on the flaw.
Chrysler maintains the vehicles are safe:
Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles.
Chrysler Group regards safety as a paramount concern and does not compromise on the safety of our customers and their families.
Michigan Radio's Kate Wells is following this story and will have more for us later.