Chrysler CEO Marchionne Asked to Show Social Responsibility He Stresses & Recall Jeep Grand Cherokee With Fire Death Rate 20 Times Ford Explorer
September 1, 2011
In a letter sent today to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Center for Auto Safety released a comprehensive analysis of fires in 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees showing the Grand Cherokee with the fuel tank behind the rear axle had a fire death rate 20 times higher than the Ford Explorer with a fuel tank in front of the rear axle. The analysis showed how Chrysler’s own crash tests revealed the deadly design details including a fuel filler hose that pulled loose. It also showed how crash tests at FHWA and KARCO Engineering confirmed that survivable rear impacts produced massive fuel leaks which would result in fires.
Citing a commencement address by CEO Marchionne at the University of Toledo which stressed social responsibility, CAS Executive Director Clarence Ditlow said:
“How apt that you made this address in Toledo the home of the Jeep and where the Grand Cherokee is made because the terrible and rising fire death toll of the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee represents the largest social responsibility facing Chrysler today. Like a toxic waste site, these vehicles are legacy of the old Chrysler which the new Chrysler is called upon to clean up. As you told the Toledo graduates, “The essence of leadership, when all is said and done, is the personal assumption of the moral duty to be proactive in building our future.” The future of the new Chrysler lies in not only the marketability of its new models but also how it handles the legacy of its older models, particularly the toxic 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee depicted in the hauntingly surreal photo of the burned out hulk of the 1997 Grand Cherokee that terribly burned the Austin sisters and burned Jose Sierra to death.”
“The 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee designed by the old Chrysler Corporation and corrected by relocation of the fuel tank in 2005 by DaimlerChrysler has and will continue to claim a terrible toll of burn victims. As the CEO of the new Chrysler Group LLC who has spoken out about the social responsibility of leaders not to close their eyes to problems but to find solutions, the Center for Auto Safety and the families of victims call on you to recall all 1993-04 Jeep Grand Cherokees.”
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Austin-Sierra Post-Accident Photo