Again, "consumer advocate" Ralph Nader and his Center for Auto Safety are using common scare tactics to make a big consumer safety issue -- when there is no issue.
If you haven't heard, Nader is urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Fiat Group to recall 1993-2004 Jeep® Grand Cherokees "because of what he calls their vulnerability to fiery rear-end crashes."
NHTSA is conducting a preliminary investigation into the claims and Chrysler Group is cooperating fully with requests for information and other items.
In complying with NHTSA information, we have studied publically-available data on more than 21,000 rear impact accidents involving 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. From our review – which you can view for yourself on the NHTSA Website (links to a pdf) – it is clear that:
- Rear impacts resulting in a fire are extremely rare.
- Rear impacts resulting in a fire occur no more often in 1993 – 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles than in peer vehicles.
- The 1993 – 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles are at no greater risk of exposure to fire in rear end collisions than peer vehicles. (We have data to show that in the above link.)
In a response to a reporter's inquiry on Nader's crusade, Corporate Communications' Michael Palese reply summarizes Chrysler Group's take on Nader's claim:
Chrysler has concluded that 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
vehicles are neither defective nor do their fuel systems pose an
unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety in rear impact
collisions. As such, Chrysler believes this investigation should be
The 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and has and excellent safety record with more than 300 billion vehicle miles driven.