Georgia jury hands down ruling on faulty fuel tank design which FCA plans to fight.
Fiat Chrysler is in a no-win situation after a Georgia jury ordered it to pay $150 million to the family of a four-year-old boy who died in a Jeep Grand Cherokee fire. The 1999 Grand Cherokee was rear-ended by a truck in 2012, and the accident caused the fuel tank to go up in flames. On that generation the fuel tank is behind the rear axle, making it prone to exploding when struck from behind.Remington Walden tragically perished in the fire and the truck's driver was sentenced to eight years.
The Georgia jury did however say that it felt the fuel tank design was “99 percent” to blame for Walden’s death. Whether that gets the truck driver a reduced sentence is anyone's guess. The faulty fuel tank design killed 75 before a recall for 1.56 million Grand Cherokees and Liberties was issued in 2013. Fiat Chrysler is set to appeal the decision, which makes sense on its end as a success here could open the floodgates for a ton of new cases. Remember, 75 deaths were linked to this issue. The automaker might be smarter settling out of court (if that’s an option) as no good PR can come from arguing over the tragic death of a young child.