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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.

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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.

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