Ralph Nader Urges Fiat to Recall Jeep Cherokees due to Fire Hazards

Consumer Affairs reports that consumer activist Ralph Nader believes the 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees are unsafe, saying the vehicles are “modern day Pinto for soccer moms with a fuel tank located dangerously behind the rear axle in the crush zone of an impact.”

Nader is referring to the defective subcompact Ford Pinto that was inclined to burst into flames following a rear-end collision before it was recalled by Ford in 1978. Nader was one of the leading advocates to get the dangerous vehicle off the road. Jeep is now owned by Fiat since its purchase of Chrysler. During a speech in Milan, Italy, Nader told the crowd that Fiat has a moral obligation to remedy the location of the deadly fuel tank.

One victim of the defective vehicle is a woman who had dropped her children off at school when she was hit from behind, according to Nader. Because her door jammed shut, she tried to get out of the passenger side but could not and was burned to death in the vehicle. In that death and two others, the vehicle that hit from behind had a low front end that submarined under the Jeep hitting the fuel system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into Jeeps in August 2010 after they were linked to 22 crashes and 14 deaths. The Center for Auto Safety has revised that number and says there have been 64 deaths that resulted from 44 accidents. NHTSA could recall 3 million of the Jeeps. DaimlerChrysler must have known it had a problem when it ordered the fuel tank to be moved beginning with the 2005 models.

As Florida auto product liability attorneys, we have seen far too many serious injuries that result from a defective product or component of an automobile that fails. Our investigators will determine how the vehicle caused your injury or a family member’s wrongful death. When a manufacturer or designer and distributor fail to produce a safe product, they should be held responsible.