7 Jun 2013

No fires involved in Chrysler jeep crashes in NZ

2:53 pm on 7 June 2013

The Transport Agency says crash data shows Jeep Cherokees in this country pose no real risk to drivers.

Chrysler is refusing a request by the United States government to recall 2.7 million Jeeps.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested a recall in the United States, saying an investigation had found 51 deaths were caused by the vehicles catching fire when hit from behind.

It asked Chrysler to voluntarily recall Grand Cherokees from 1993-2004 and Jeep Liberty models from 2002-07, which are sold in New Zealand as the Cherokee.

Transport agency spokesperson Andrew Knackstedt says none of the crashes involving the vehicles over the past 10 years involved a fire in the jeep.

Mr Knackstedt said there had been one fatal crash over the decade, 13 crashes resulting in serious injury and 56 in minor injuries. "The numbers over a 10-year period certainly aren't alarming."

The managing director of Fiat Chrysler New Zealand, Clyde Campbell, says it is taking the same stance as its parent company by not ordering a recall.

Mr Campbell says he's not aware of any fire incidents in this country.