TODAY | June 19, 2013
>>> a stunning reversal by chrysler involving jeeps that the government says could burst into flames after an initial refusal by the auto maker , now a major recall. details now from nbc's john yang .
>> reporter: chrysler threw it into reverse agreeing to recall 1.56 million jeeps. the recall includes 1993 to 1998 jeep grand cheerokee and the 2002 to 2007 jeep liberty which are at risk of fuel tank fires and rear-end collisions.
>> the problem is that the fuel tank is located behind the rear axle.
>> at first chrysler rejected the recall. but hours before the tuesday deadline, chrysler agreed to a recall which is 1 million vehicles smaller than what the government first requested. chrysler will pay to fix the recalled vehicles to better manage crash forces and low-speed impacts. still, the company says it's analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in their model class. if chrysler had fought the recall, regulators could have held rare public hearings, a potential pr nightmare.
>> it would have been a black eye to go through this process.
>> reporter: before the recall some owners were concerned.
>> yeah it should be recalled and it freaks me out a little.
>> reporter: if you own one of the recalled cars like this 2005 jeep liberty , safety experts say don't wait for a recaller. take it to a dealer and have them look at it.