Posted by mike on 1998/10/6 0:00:00 (901) reads
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the 16th most popular vehicle purchased in the United States through September 1998 as reported by the automakers. This year's total of 166,255 is significantly lower than the 1997 total of 188,652 (when it was ranked 14th) - this is probably attributed to buyers waiting for the redesigned 1999 Grand Cherokee.
Okay, so this next story doesn't have anything to do with any Jeeps, but it was too interesting to ignore. We found this article at the Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge Central Chrysler news page. You have to read this to believe it...
Chrysler was ordered to pay $64 million in damages by a Texas jury due to a 1996 accident involving an altered, 20-year-old Dodge pickup. Chrysler attorney Ken Gluckman called the verdict ``a complete abdication of personal responsibility.'' In June, 1996, while traveling at 74 miles per hour (speed limit 55), a driver hit the Dodge Ram, tearing off the left wheel, causing the pickup to flip over several times and land upside down. The pickup caught fire, resulting in the deaths of the drivers. The open bed of the pickup was carrying at least 40 gallons of gasoline stored in World War II-vintage containers. Chrysler claimed that the owner had taken a hammer to fuel system, and replaced the original gas cap with a 40 year old one that did not fit. The jury held Chrysler 80 percent responsible, and the driver who hit it 20 percent responsible. The owner was not found at all responsible. Gluckman said "The message the jury sent is that you can take a hammer to your fuel system, turn your vehicle into a moving firetrap, and still not be held accountable for your irresponsible actions.''
The hammering of the fuel system had been to widen the opening, and the old gas cap came from a passenger car. There was also a second battery in the engine compartment, which was not secured, and wires to trailer lights which had no fuse. Either could have created sparking to light the fire. Experts for both sides agreed there was no evidence that the fuel tank was punctured during the accident.
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