Jeep gas tank recall finalized after more than a year

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13 Investigates has learned more information about auto recalls that affect thousands of motorists.

The recall involves older model Jeeps and why Chrysler is taking so long to get them fixed.

It's been more than a year since Chrysler agreed to recall one-and-a-half million Jeep Libertys and Grand Cherokees. Thirteen months later, Jeep owners are still waiting.

But we've learned that wait is about to end.

The concern is that some older model Jeeps can easily burst into flames when they are hit from behind. Federal investigators determined the Jeeps' rear-mounted gas tanks can be easily punctured and investigators linked the gas tanks to dozens of deaths nationwide. That prompted government regulators to ask Chrysler to take action.

Chrysler denies any safety problem at all, but it agreed to install a trailer hitch to the Jeeps to help reduce the chances of injury and death during a rear-impact crash.

Again, that was more than a year ago.

13 Investigates has now learned Chrysler will begin sending final recall notices to affected Jeep owners later this week. It means starting next week, Jeep owners can get their vehicles to a dealer for what the company calls a structural enhancement.

Friday, Chrysler will start sending out about 2.5 million recall notices. If you have a 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty or a 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, you should get that notice sometime next week with instructions on how to get your trailer hitch.

Federal regulators have been furious with Chrysler that it's been taking so long to offer the recall and that it would take years to get enough parts to fix all of the affected vehicles.

13 Investigates just obtained this response from Chrysler. Following the criticism, Chrysler says it has been able to increase production and can now make all of the recall repairs by mid-March of next year.

It's important to point out, this is different from the Jeep recall announced last week involving 800,000 older Jeeps that have faulty ignition switches. This recall involves concerns over gas tanks that can rupture and burst into flames when hit from behind.

Bottom line, if you have one of the Jeeps, keep an eye on your mailbox because starting next week, you can finally get a repair.