Barry Bressler Interviewed in ABC News Report Investigating Chrysler Jeep Grand CherokeesOn October 2, 2009 by Schnader in News
On October 2, Barry Bressler, a partner in the Firm’s Philadelphia office, appeared on WTVD-TV (Channel 11), an ABC affiliate which serves the areas of Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Mr. Bressler was interviewed as part of an investigation conducted by ABC 11 Eyewitness News on Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured between 1993 and 2004.
The Center for Auto Safety says that Grand Cherokees made during that period had their plastic gas tanks placed in the rear of the vehicle, which may have played a part in dozens of deaths in fiery crashes. Critics say the position of the gas tanks made the vehicles unnecessarily vulnerable in certain types of accidents. Chrysler said that it rejects the Center for Auto Safety’s analysis and that the 1993-2004 models “meet or exceed federal safety standards and have an excellent safety record.” However, in 2005, Chrysler redesigned the vehicle and moved the tank to the middle of the Grand Cherokee. The automaker told Eyewitness News it did that to make more room for storage space inside. But in 2002, Chrysler sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalling 71,000 2002 model Grand Cherokees after discovering that fuel leaked when the jeep was rolled over after a rear impact crash test.
When Chrysler filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, pending product liability suits against the automaker were wiped out in the government deal to keep the company afloat. Mr. Bressler, who was part of a Schnader team that represented the Ad Hoc Committees of Consumer Victims of Chrysler and General Motors, said, “I don’t believe, given the numbers, that it would have made a difference in either the viability of the company or the viability of the deal if product liability tort claims had been assumed.” To view the full report and Mr. Bressler’s interview, please click here.