Jeep Grand Cherokee fire danger under investigation
Jeep Grand Cherokee photo from CC-BY.

There is a new investigation under way by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is being investigated. Up to 3 million vehicles could be affected. A petition for an investigation was turned in by the Center for Auto Safety to look into a possibly serious safety issue. The issue could affect more than 10 model years of the SUV. There may be a defect in the fuel system design that presents a fire hazard.

This may be a grand problem in the Jeep Grand Cherokee

There is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation under way, according to CNN, of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 1993 to 2004 model years are being studied. There may be a fire hazard involving the fuel tank, according to the Center for Auto Safety. There have been 172 crashes involving a fire, resulting in 254 deaths in Jeep Grand Cherokees. Chrysler responded, without addressing the exact design flaw, that the vehicles were totally safe.

The problem with the Jeep Grand Cherokee is with the plastic fuel tank. Jeep fuel tanks of those model years are mounted behind the rear axle. They also protrude just below the bumper. This, according to the Ralph Nader-founded CAS, makes the gas tank’s neck susceptible to rupture in rear end collisions and causes greater risk of fire. According to ABC, the NHTSA has identified 44 crashes where vehicles catching fire caused more damage than the actual crash. There were 55 deaths observed in crashes, where the fire, and not the crash, killed those involved. There were also 10 rear-end crashes in which fire resulted. There were 13 deaths in rear end crashes that resulted in fire.

Jeep stealing thunder from the Pinto

There was a skid plate available for the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s fuel tank. However, it was only offered as an off road accessory. A brush guard was added in 1999. However, in 2005, the Jeep Grand Cherokee got a re-design. The tank was moved to the middle of the vehicle. In a rear ending, both the affected Jeep Grand Cherokee models and the Ford Pinto could have the top of the gas tank sheared off and catch fire.


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