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Jeep Cherokee Fire Spurs Federal Probe

A Jeep Cherokee fire in San Diego has prompted an investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. A complaint report submitted to the agency described a 2015 Jeep Cherokee fire with flames reaching “20 feet high within seconds” after parking. The probe will examine the fire risks of 50,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles after the agency received several complaints about smoke and fire from the fuel tanks.

Details of the Jeep Cherokee Fire

The first Jeep Cherokee fire complaint of the year came from a driver who purchased the SUV on January 2. Two days later, the vehicle had traveled less than a hundred miles when the driver noticed the smell of burning fuel and oil. Local television stations posted videos of the Jeep Cherokee fire as the vehicle trailed burning oil for 50 yards. No injuries were reported from the incident, but the videos showed the charred vehicle and the melted personal property inside.

NHTSA Investigates Jeep Cherokee Fire

The numerous safety recalls of the past year has reportedly spurred the NHTSA to take a more aggressive role in investigating incidents such as the San Diego Jeep Cherokee fire. The agency received criticism from Congress and consumer groups about its slow responses to both the defective GM ignition switch and the exploding Takata airbags. These problems were among those that contributed to a record of more than 60 million recalled vehicles in 2014, more than double the previous record.

Could Jeep Cherokee Fire Prompt First Big 2015 Recall?

The agency also received a compliant from a driver about an incident related to a potential Jeep Cherokee fire. On January 5, a driver was traveling at 60 miles per hour when he reported seeing white smoke under the hood. The SUV had been driven less than 50 miles when the driver stopped and reported the problem. The NHTSA’s aggressive new stance may prompt the agency to issue a safety recall to help other drivers avoid potentially dangerous Jeep Cherokee fires.

Jeep Cherokee Fire Could Spark New Battle With Chrysler

The Jeep Cherokee fire marks the latest safety incident facing the automaker. In June 2013, Chrysler issued a recall on more than 1.5 million vehicles due to the risk of gas tank ruptures and fires in a rear-end collision. However, the automaker did not start its repairs until August 2014. In November, the agency sent a letter to Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne to get the company to speed up its repair processes. The agency reported that 32 rear impact crashes led to Jeep Grand Cherokee fires, which contributed to 44 fatalities.

Source: Detroit News

Know Your Rights in a Jeep Cherokee Fire Lawsuit

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