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Auto blogThu, 15 Aug 2013 19:00:00 EST
Well, no one should ever accuse the government of not giving things plenty of thought. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still debating whether it will retest any of the 1.56 million 1992 to 1998 Grand Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 Libertys that were part of a recall regarding fires after rear-end collisions. And yes, this debate has been going on for over a month. In other news...
The recall dustup started in early June, when Chrysler took the unusual position of refusing a recall request from NHTSA regarding placement of the fuel tank on the effected vehicles. NHTSA said a collision could cause a fire, a position Chrysler took issue with. Extensive negotiations ensued, with Chrysler agreeing to fit certain Jeeps with trailer hitches, which it said would provide some protection to fuel tanks mounted behind the rear axle in the event of a collision.
Part of the issue rests with the amount of data that needs to be processed, according to The Detroit News. NHTSA administrator David Strickland said during a Washington Auto Press Association meeting, "There's a lot of data and Chrysler is being very cooperative in giving us more data." Until that information has been sorted, it looks like re-testing will still be up for debate.
Chrysler's spate of successful products is about to be marred by a trio of recalls. The Pentastar is recalling 51,477 Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been no reported accidents, injuries or deaths related to the affected vehicles.
The largest action covers the Ram 1500, which is seeing 45,961 trucks being recalled. Models built between June 26, 2012 and February 5, 2013 are being recalled due to a potential software issue in the electronic stability control. Apparently, the system can be randomly deactivated upon vehicle startup.
Chrysler is also recalling 4,458 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee models. Covering everything but the SRT models, the potentially defective SUVs were built between January 14 and March 20, 2013. This recall focuses on "premium headlights," which means cars equipped with LED running lights. During the switch from the bright daytime running lamp setting to the low-intensity parking light setting, an electrical spike can cause one of the Jeep's computers to go into a safe mode, turning off the LEDs. This violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hauling a multitude of modified models to the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas this November, and the company is releasing the first teasing sketches of many of them.
Unfortunately, FCA isn't giving many solid details on any of the concepts other than saying the vehicles from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat all benefit from tuning from its Mopar performance brand. The teaser photos include a sinister-looking Chrysler 200S, Fiat 500 Abarth with two-tone paint and a scorpion on the hood, a red and black 500L, seemingly two different takes on the Jeep Renegade, a green Dodge Challenger wearing the T/A badge, an orange and black Dart, a very neon Charger, just the outline of a red and black Viper, a Ram ProMaster in Mopar livery and a Ram pickup called the Outdoorsman.
Take a look through the gallery to see what you think of the sketches for these concepts, and scroll down for the full announcement from FCA.