The recall of 1.56 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUV models built from 1993 to 2007 was one of the largest single recall campaigns in Chrysler's history. It was made even more historic by the company's unprecedented resistance to NHTSA's request, claiming that the vehicles met all applicable federal safety standards at the time of their original manufacture. Ultimately, Chrysler agreed to fix the affected vehicles, but according to a Reuters report, the federal agency is now looking for answers as to why the recall campaign is going so slowly.
Reviewing data charting the pace of the recall fixes, the agency estimates it would take up to five years for all affected vehicles to be fixed. The agency has issued an order to Chrysler mandating that the company produce documents explaining the slow pace of the campaign by July 16.
Chrysler says its suppliers are working six days a week to produce the trailer hitch assemblies, a fix initially agreed upon by both NHTSA and Chrysler in June 2013 to remedy the alleged danger of fuel tank rupture in severe rear-end collisions. The company selected a supplier in December and did not issue a build order until January 2014. The first units didn't start coming off the line until May 2014. Because of the high number of units needed to comply with the recall, Chrysler claims it had to enlist multiple suppliers to meet the demand.