(NBC) -- After a public disagreement that threatened to blow up into a larger battle, Chrysler said Tuesday that it has agreed to recall 2.7 million Jeep vehicles that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said could potentially erupt into fire if rear-ended.
Chrysler had been expected to file papers Tuesday refusing to comply with a NHTSA voluntary recall request sent earlier this month. That request covered Jeep Grand Cherokees in model years 1993 to 2004 and Libertys in model years 2002 to 2007.
NHTSA had warned after investigations that a crash from behind on these vehicles could puncture the fuel tank, located in the rear of the models, spill fuel and potentially cause a fire. NHTSA said the defect may have been responsible for up to 51 deaths.
Chrysler had disagreed with NHTSA's assessment.
"As a result of the agreement, Chrysler Group will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts," Chrysler said in a statement.