This has been brought up the past year or so...hey I hope they have to give us a recall, odds are it would be a skidplate or something free lol.
People need to realize cars were made to the safety standards of their era and can't be held to the same standards as today...every time my girlfriend says "OMG your car is such a deathtrap!" I remind her it was totally safe in 1995, and that a car is only as safe as the person driving it.
What is it about the Jeeps fuel tank design that seems to be raising the stats for fires after rear end collisions? Why is this designs tank compromised when other cars are less so?
The attached report says that Jeeps up to and including 2004 Cherokees and 2007 Liberties are concerned. Although 9 and 6 years old, they are hardly what you would call an 'old car'.
It is a case of the NHTSA making something of nothing. All these vehicles were built to the safety standards of the time they were made. The actual number of crashes resulting in fire from this and fatalities is very low a grand total of 37 crashes and 51 fatalities out of 2.7 million vehicles and over 20 years that works out to 0.000014% of vehicles sold being involved in such a collision. Even the NHTSA stated that this is not significantly higher than other vehicles from the same time period but still tried to get a recall .
The NHTSA trying to apply current standards to 20 year old (or even 7 years old in the case of the Liberty) vehicles is ridiculous and likely illegal (this would be an example of an ex-post-facto law which the constitution specifically prohibits, not that the current administration cares about that pesky thing). What's next recall every vehicle made before air-bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, seat belts, etc. ? If you want a vehicle with all the that meets all the current safety standards and has all current technology, buy a new one.
In my 1970 f-100 standard cab, the tank is in the cabin behind the seat. Lol, when I fill up all the way the top seal leaks. So I smell gas till about 3/4 of a tank. How bout that for a safety feature.
Even if, hypothetically, the ZJ had the worst rear end collision fuel tank rupture rate leading to vehicle fires it wouldn't legally matter as long as it met the safety standards of the day. That's why there are safety standards. Otherwise every vehicle would have to meet the standards of the safest vehicle and we'd all be driving identical Volvos. Won't stop you from getting sued though.
There just really isn't a safe place to mount a container holding gallons of gasoline. Lots of cars have them behind the rear axle and both Pintos and Crown Vics have already run through that gamut. A lot of trucks have side mounted tanks and Chevy already got dragged through the mud on that. No one wants to put the tank very near the passenger compartment or anywhere it interferes with interior space or can be damaged in an accident. Where does that leave?