(NEW YORK) — After initially refusing to issue a recall because it disagreed with the government, Chrysler Group now says it will recall older Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs that could be at risk of fuel tank fires.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had called on Chrysler Group LLC to recall approximately 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Liberty model cars after reports of numerous fuel tank fires in rear-end collisions.
The vehicles in question include Jeep Grand Cherokees built between 1993 and 2004, and Jeep Liberty model years 2002 to 2007.
The problem, according to the government, is the location of the fuel tank. It is situated behind the rear axle, and slightly below the bumper. That makes it vulnerable to rupture when the vehicle is hit from behind.
The NHTSA has said gas tanks on the SUVs can rupture, causing fires, and that 51 people have died.
Chrysler says its dealers will inspect the vehicles and add upgrades if necessary, but maintains that its older SUVs are not defective.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN