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NHTSA Clears Jeep in Fire Probe

But agency will continue to monitor Grand Cherokee.

by on Jan.09, 2013

An open road ahead for the Jeep Grand Cherokee after NHTSA clears it in a safety probe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has cleared the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee after an investigation into possible engine fires.

NHTSA began checking 107,000 of the SUVs in July after getting complaints about power steering hoses coming loose and leaking fluid onto the engine.

The success of the Grand Cherokee has been critical to Chrysler’s turnaround over the last three years and there was concern a major recall could slow the momentum of the big Jeep after it went through a complete redesign for the 2011 model-year.

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NHTSA did find 24 cases of loose hoses. The problem was traced to a defect inside the hose that was fixed at the factory by Chrysler’s supplier shortly after the SUVs went into production. The agency says none of the leaks caused crashes or fires, and it’s unlikely that leaking fluid would reach any ignition sources.


NHTSA Investigating 340,000 Jeep, Ram Models

Federal agency tracking variety of potential safety problems.

by on Jul.23, 2012

The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a target in a new probe of potential vehicle fires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched two new investigations that could lead to the eventual recall of several popular Chrysler products.

The probes begin even as NHTSA continues looking into reports that several Jeep models produced between 1993 and 2004 could be prone to catching fire following rear-end collisions.

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The latest investigations target the 2009 and 2010 model-year Ram 1500 pickup and the recently redesigned 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Between them, the probes could impact nearly 240,000 vehicles.

“Chrysler Group takes seriously all customer complaints and is cooperating fully with NHTSA,” the maker announced in a statement confirming the new investigations.

The 2010 Ram pickup.


Feds’ Chrysler Fire Probe Expands to 5 Million SUVs

Critics content three Jeep models prone to fatal gas tank fires.

by on Jun.14, 2012

This 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee is among the models under investigation.

Federal safety regulators have markedly expanded a probe they began nearly two years ago examining whether millions of Chrysler-made sport-utility vehicles face an unduly high risk of catching fire in rear-end collisions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety investigation, launched in August 2010, initially focused on 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokees produced between 1993 and 2004.  The agency has now added another 2.1 million 1993 to 2001 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVs.

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The problem appears to center around the rear-mounted placement of the plastic gas tanks used in the three models which may make them more vulnerable to catching fire.  NHTSA has so far received reports of 15 deaths and 41 injuries related to the potential problem.

According to a government analysis, there is “a higher incidence of rear-impact, fatal fire crashes for the Jeep products.”


NHTSA Investigating Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Cruze Fires

Owners received no advance warning of trouble.

by on Apr.02, 2012

The Chevrolet Cruze is linked to a series of unexplained fires that occurred without warning.

Federal regulators have launched separate investigations into reports of fires affecting two separate Detroit product lines: the Chevrolet Cruze sedan and the Jeep Wrangler sport-utility vehicle.

The government’s concerns about the reports were apparently serious enough for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to take the unusual step of announcing the two investigations on Sunday.

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General Motors says it has received 19 warranty claims involving Cruze fires.  NHTSA, in turn, has been notified of at least two fires that occurred while the compact sedan was being driven.  Both vehicles were destroyed.

At least seven of eight fires reportedly involving the 2010 Jeep Wrangler, meanwhile, occurred while the vehicle was being driven.  Owners report that various vehicle systems failed immediately before they began seeing smoke and flames.


Feds Investigating Fire Risk With Millions Of Jeeps

As many as 3 million SUVs could be targeted.

by on Aug.25, 2010

NHTSA begins an investigation into potential fire risks with the 1992 - 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

A preliminary investigation has been opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into reports that the plastic fuel tanks on as many as 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs could be prone to rupture during a rear-end collision, creating a potential fire risk.

The investigation does not ensure a recall will follow, but if NHTSA does order a fix, it would be one of the year’s largest, dwarfed only by the pair of recalls by Toyota to repair problems that can cause sudden acceleration problems.

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The Jeep investigation was triggered by a complaint by the consumer advocacy group, the Center for Auto Safety, (CAS) which argues that the placement of the fuel tank in 1993 through 2004 Grand Cherokees, behind the rear axle and below the back bumper, means it is vulnerable to damage in a rear-end collision.  Should it leak, a ruptured or damaged tank would create a fire hazard following a collision.

The potential problem does not involve the brand-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, nor the outgoing model, launched in 2005.  CAS data indicate the older Jeeps have a fatal fire rate six times higher than that of the more recent Grand Cherokee – and about four times higher than competing sport-utility vehicles.