Nader to Fiat Chief Engineer on Grand Cherokee Fuel System Recall, 2-8-11

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Harald Wester                            February 8, 2011
Viale Alfa Romeo
Rho, MI 20020

Dear Mr. Wester:

    That was a good discussion the other day at the Quattroroute event. Have you ever seen their museum of antique cars, including a 1903 electric car, at their headquarters? Quite remarkable and informative about what was available back then.

    It was good of you to indicate that you would take a look at the materials I presented to you regarding the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is hoped that your review will be a de novo one because we already know what Chrysler’s response has been, as does NHTSA which has granted a defect petition from the Center for Auto Safety and opened a safety investigation into fuel fed crash fires on these Jeep Grand Cherokees. Auto companies can dig in their heels and need rescue by their new owners.

    As I noted, it was instructive that Mercedes ordered a relocation of the fuel tank etc. for all Grand Cherokees built from 2005 forward.

    There have been enough fires and incinerations of innocent people. The relatively simple technical fixes are ready for deployment and will provide Fiat with a fresh impression by the public in the U.S.

    I invite you to review the materials put together by the Center for Auto Safety including crash tests which show the vulnerability of the Grand Cherokee’s fuel system in otherwise survivable crashes but for resultant fuel fed fires. (Consumers Union and I founded the Center for Auto Safety in 1970.)

    Looking forward to your response.

                                Sincerely yours,

                                Ralph Nader

PO Box 19312
Washington D.C., 20036

CC: Clarence Ditlow—Center for Auto Safety