The whole thing is pretty absurd to say the least. The ZJ gets released in 1992 as a 93 model. Because of a few well publicized accidents, the Center for Auto Safety calls for a recall in 2009, lets see, thats 17 years later. 17 years. What an efficient watch dog. NHTSA did not take notice till CAS made an issue of it. The bigger issue is that they met the old standard when they were built. Then the standard was made much stricter for the 2008 year. But the standard for fuel tank safety, was the same, for more than 30 years. More than 30 keep that in mind. So how concerned were the federal regulators about this, ask yourself that. And there were many other vehicles made with rear mounted tanks, I could give you a list if you want, but one that is still made that way is the ultra pricey Mercedes Benz G-500, yes go look under one, just like the Jeeps but they do have a skid on it.
I'd advise any Jeep owner, if they are concerned, then put a hitch and skid on it. You will never get the total truth out of the gov't on this, and their statistical analysis is plainly flawed if you look at it. Myself, I feel that the hitch and skid should have been standard if they were going to use that design. If you look at how they mount on a ZJ, they add together a flange that is pretty thick on both sides of the tank, which stiffens up that area quite well. Plus if someone goes under your bumper then you are well protected. The factory ZJ skid is very stout.
If you have a lift and no skid then you are exposing yourself to extra risk. The factory hitch goes right behind the tank and the skid fits just below that so together they make it as safe as it can be. If Chrysler made these standard, we wouldn't even be having this discussion all these years later.
2007 WK Limited Hemi QDII
1998 ZJ Laredo 4.0 Selectrac