For 20 years there have been reports of some Jeep SUV models bursting into flames after being hit in the back. Further, at least 51 people have died as a result, reports indicate.
Early in June federal safety regulators asked Chrysler to issue a recall of some 2.7 million vehicles affected by the defect. Chrysler has refused to issue such a recall, and now has a deadline of June 18 to formally respond to the request for a recall.
"Our data shows that these vehicles may contain a defect that presents an unreasonable risk to safety," David Strickland, NHTSA administrator, said in a statement. "NHTSA hopes that Chrysler will reconsider its position and take action to protect its customers and the driving public."