Chrysler is fighting a government recall of nearly 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty models

Concerns raised about fuel tank safety

Denver - The National Highway Safety Administration is asking Jeep's parent company Chrysler to recall nearly 3 million of its most popular vehicles.

The recall could impact 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models -- rugged vehicles that are favorites of Colorado drivers.

Yet, Chrysler is boldly rejecting the government request.

At the center of the recall push is the placement of fuel tanks in the Jeep models. According to government research, the tanks may pose a fire risk in rear-end collisions. The Department of Transportation is blaming Jeep-related accidents for 51 deaths.

"I think we should believe the government. The government has done quite a bit of work on this, as has consumer groups," said consumer advocate and former head of the National Highway Safety Administration, Joan Claybrook.

Chrysler argues its Jeeps are safe. The head of Colorado's auto dealers association agrees.

 "That decision-making point, that pivot point if you will, is a very low pivot point. It doesn't take much to cause them to be in doubt, then they send it out," said association president Tim Jackson.

"What should drivers do?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.

"It's a terrible conundrum.  And it's very hard to give advice in such situations. I would not drive it. That's what I would do," said Claybrook.

Chrysler has until June 18 to respond to the government's request.