DETROIT (Reuters) -- Chrysler Group LLC said on Friday it was not satisfied with the speed of repairs of recalled Jeep SUVs that face a heightened fire risk and will enhance dealer communication and owner contact to accelerate the process.
Responding after U.S. safety regulators said on Thursday that Chrysler has to get its "act in gear" on the repairs, the company said the recall had been completed on about 13.2 percent of the 852,140 Jeep Liberty vehicles and 3.5 percent of the 746,588 affected Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Chrysler had already said it was intensifying its effort to reach owners of the 1.56 million older-model recalled Jeep SUVs because so few were bringing them in to dealerships to have trailer hitch assemblies installed to protect them in lower speed rear-end crashes.
After initially resisting NHTSA requests for a recall, Chrysler in June 2013 announced the Jeep SUV recall. They were the model years 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty and 1993-1998 Grand Cherokee, with rear fuel tanks.
The issue with the fix re-emerged in Detroit following a tragic accident on a local freeway that took the life of a 23-year-old pregnant woman whose 2003 Jeep Liberty caught fire in a rear-end accident.
The vehicle was a part of the 2013 recall. The woman's lawyer told The Detroit News that her family is considering a product liability suit against Chrysler.
Marchionne also has been ordered to give a videotaped deposition for a related lawsuit that is pending in a Georgia court.