Defective Fuel Tanks Lead to Post Accident Fires - Fiat Chrysler Faces the Heaviest Fine in the NHTSA's History

Defective Fuel Tanks Lead to Post Accident Fires - Fiat Chrysler Faces the Heaviest Fine in the NHTSA's History

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC recently failed to timely complete 23 recalls encompassing more than 11 million vehicles which led the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to fine the company with a civil penalty of $102 million, the heaviest fine ever levied by the administration.

Among the largest groups of potentially affected drivers are those of Dodge Ram pick-up trucks, the Chrysler Aspen, Dodge Durango SUVs, Dodge Dakota pickups, and mid to late 1990s model Jeeps. Many of the Jeeps have fuel tanks located behind the rear axle with barriers inadequate to shield them during a rear crash. The vulnerable tanks can rupture, spew gasoline, and cause fires. At least 75 people have died in such crash-related fires.

Fuel fed fires result in numerous preventable injuries and deaths each year. These are motor vehicle accidents that are otherwise survivable but, due to a design or manufacturing defect, the fuel system becomes involved with devastating results. There are design steps that can and, oftentimes are, taken to protect your fuel tank during a collision but some automobile manufactures choose not to put those safety protections in place due to the cost. Hare Wynn has been a pioneer and leader in this specialized area of litigation since its involvement in the landmark Ford Pinto case – the most storied fuel fed fire lawsuit in history. The firm continues to investigate cases and represent families in fuel fed fire cases resulting from design and manufacturing problems like seam weld issues, improper and unsafe placement of the fuel tank, fuel tank punctures due to poor design and fuel siphoning issues. Hare Wynn is committed to holding manufactures accountable in taking the certain known safety steps to prevent fuel fed fires. This recall involving Chrysler Jeeps involves precisely the type of defect that Hare Wynn has litigated many times – the location of the fuel tank in a vulnerable position in rear end collisions. Hare Wynn continues to be recognized as a national leader in this litigation and stands ready to answer your questions. If you or someone you know may have been injured as a result of these defective vehicles, give us a call at 1-800-568-5330 or visit


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