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HomeHarris CountyCHRYSLER REFUSES TO RECALL JEEP CHEROKEES- MAN DIES AS ONE EXPLODES tuesday...

CHRYSLER REFUSES TO RECALL JEEP CHEROKEES- MAN DIES AS ONE EXPLODES tuesday afternoon

The national Traffic Safety Administration request for a recall of 2.7 million SUV’s is refused by Chrysler Corporation.

The government agency says the gas tank design used in 1993 to 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002 to 2007 Jeep Liberty;s is unsafe.

It is the first time since 1996 that an automaker has challenged a recall demand from the safety agency. That case, also involving Chrysler, was over the seat belt system on 91,000 cars. Chrysler — which was an independent U.S. company at the time — won a federal court decision on that dispute two years later.

Chrysler — now controlled by the Italian carmaker Fiat after the 2009 U.S. government-sponsored bailout — said it has been working with the agency over concerns over the vehicles in the current dispute since 2010.

Chrysler says that the design of the gas tank cited by NHTSA — placed behind the rear axle — is a commonly accepted design used in many other vehicles. It also says that the fatal accidents that occurred involving the vehicles were almost all high-speed, high-energy accidents in which a different design would have made no difference.

For example, it said one accident involved a tractor-trailer truck traveling 65 miles per hour that hit a stationary Grand Cherokee.

Tuesday afternoon an elderly man was southbound on the East Sam Houston Toll Road feeder just south of West Lake Houston Parkway when his 1993 Jeep Cherokee broke down. The man called his son to inform him of the situation and was told to stay with the vehicle as the son responded to the scene to assist him.

As the man sat in the moving lane of traffic a Repo Wrecker slammed into the rear of the Grand Cherokee causing it to burst into flames and explode. Passerby;s were able to get the elderly man out of the vehicle, however he passed away.

Officials are waiting on autopsy reports to determine the cause of death.

According to witnesses the wrecker was traveling at or about the posted speed limit as traffic was starting to get heavy.

The wrecker driver never saw the vehicle until it was to late.

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