(USA Today) -- Chrysler Group has done an about-face and says it will recall 2.7 million Jeeps, as the government had requested.
Affected: 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says those are involved in deadly fires after rear crashes too often. Chrysler had been insisting that was untrue.
ABOUT-FACE: Jeep had been expected to refuse recall request
Chrysler says it will have dealers conduct "visual inspection of the vehicle" and "will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts."
Chrysler is taking the step to avoid prolonged bad publicity that would result in an ongoing dispute with NHTSA.
The automaker notes that "this matter has raised concerns for its customers" event though, Chrysler continues to assert, the Jeeps are among the safest vehicles among their peers.
NHTSA could have convened public hearings in which its staff unreeled the most damning information possible, accompanied by a parade of people who lost loved ones in Jeep fires, often accompanied by gruesome video and photos of the fatalities.