KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Caillie Cletcher depends on her Jeep Liberty every day but recently it’s been a big source of stress.
“I was driving to and from work 45 minutes each way on 435 in the middle of rush hour and I was questioning it,” says Cletcher.
Cletcher and millions of other drivers are stressed out over a settlement between the federal government and Chrysler over claims that the automaker was too slow to respond to safety problems. Cletcher's 2005 Liberty is part of that huge Chrysler recall. Regulators say the gas tank hangs below the rear bumper in an accident; the tank can rupture and turn into a deadly fire.
“I called the Jeep dealership back then. They gave me static about it. They turn around and just put it off for two years. I finally got it fixed two months ago,” says Cletcher.
The automaker could have pay up to $105 million in fines and penalties as part of the settlement. And to get those recalls off the road there are incentives like buybacks and $100 gift cards.
But Cletcher says she’s still afraid for her safety.
“This is the government stepping in and stating that there’s a major problem with this and that they’ve known about it for far too long,” Cletcher says. But she also says that her family doesn't have much choice but to keep their vehicle.
“The way we are with finances, we’re just going to keep it. That’s the bad part. They’ve kind of got you over a barrel on this situation,” she says.