Jeep Liberty Model Involved in Fatal I-81 NB Crash, Recalled

- HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The explosive collision on Interstate-81 Tuesday resulted in the death of West Virginia couple, Joseph and Esther Digiovanni. 

Although the investigation is still ongoing, what's known is that the Digiovanni's were driving a 2004 Jeep Liberty, a vehicle that was recalled by Chrysler several months ago.

"The at-fault driver struck the rear of Mr. and Mrs. Digiovanni's 2004 Jeep Liberty. The impact caused the gas tank rupture," said Lt. Fluharty of the Md. State Police.

Chrysler declined to comment on the accident but the major corporation says it has finalized the replacement part design for the recalled vehicles.

"Chrysler Group has finalized replacement-part design and has initiated the tooling process to deliver the required volume. Launching a safety recall demands complex engineering and close collaboration with NHTSA well before we accumulate replacement parts," said Eric Mayne, manager of media relations for Chrysler. 

Steve Madden, the owner of a 2003 Jeep Liberty, says he questioned the nature of the Tuesday collision after receiving two recall letters for his vehicle from Chrysler.

"It said that the fuel tank on your vehicle has a small chance of experiencing a fuel leak during certain types of rear end collisions. Fuel leakage in the presence of an ignition source can result in an under body fire," said Madden.

Madden also mentioned that his jeep was rear ended in a low speed accident, but there were no problems.

"Its a major concern," said Madden.

The recall has effected 1.5 million vehicles but Chrysler says the Jeep Liberty is one of the safest among its competitors.

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