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Safety Group Wants NHTSA to Reopen Probe into Fiery Jeeps

Ralph Nader is one of the most well-known auto safety advocates in the country. That’s one of the reasons why he’s now using his voice and resources to work on developing a remedy for the Jeep vehicles tied to fuel tank ruptures and fires.

News sources say that the advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader is urging federal regulators to reopen the investigation into the incidents associated with the Jeep vehicles, claiming that extensive modifications should be made so the safety of consumers can be preserved.

According to the advocacy group Center for Auto Safety, Jeeps roaming the streets across America are still at risk of experiencing fires and other issues due to the vehicles’ design.

In one of the accidents tied to the vehicles, Center for Auto Safety suggests, offers proof that the company must do more to protect consumers. The occurrence took place in 2014, and it killed the driver. The investigation into the Jeeps in question was launched in 2010. At the time, the NHTSA found that the placement of the plastic fuel tanks was not secure. Since the tanks sit behind the rear axle, the these tanks were more likely to rupture in the event of crashes, which also makes fires more likely to occur.

Fiat Chrysler insists that the vehicles are safe, especially when compared to other vehicles. The company has also indicated that the design meets federal safety standards. But in June of 2013, the company launched major recalls. Vehicles impacted included the 1992 through 2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002 through 2007 Liberty units. The recall campaign was launched so that the company could fit the recalled Jeeps that didn’t have trailer hitches with new hitches. According to Fiat Chrysler, the move prevents potential explosions since the hitch protects the gas tanks. But the fix is only for for low- to moderate-speed crashes.

To Nader and his advocacy organization, what Fiat Chrysler has done to address the concerns is not enough. In a letter sent to regulators in February, the advocacy group argued that, since the recall was launched, 14 more people died in auto crashes involved with Jeep vehicles fitted with the fuel tank behind the rear axle. In all incidents, fire was to blame for the deaths, not impact. To the advocacy group, the NHTSA should pressure the company to develop another remedy.

After the letter was received, a NHTSA spokesperson said that the agency is reviewing the letter and that regulators will study the request in order to respond it.

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