Regulators have expanded their probe examining whether millions of Chrysler-made sport-utility vehicles have a high-risk catching fire in rear- end collisions. The investigation began in August 2010 and originally focused on 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokees that were produced from 1993 to 2004. Now the investigators have added 2.1 million Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Liberty SUVS to the list.
They are investigating a problem they think to be around the rear-mounted placement of the plastic glass tanks used in three models. The National Highway Safety Administration believes that this may make the SUVS more vulnerable to catching fire. NHTSA has received reports of 15 deaths and 41 related injuries to the suspected problem. Government analysis says there to be “a higher incidence of rear-impact, fatal fire crashes for Jeep Products.”
In general Chrysler officials have been playing down the situation. However a recent quote by the head of Chrysler’s product investigation acknowledges the problem, “Grand Cherokee may have more of these events than their competitors,” but insisted that,” those vehicles are essentially performing the same as their peers. “
The Center for Auto Safety claims that the older model of Jeep Grand Cherokee has four-time greater fatal fire rate than that of other competitor cars, and six times greater rate than that of newer models not covered by the NHTSA investigation.
The newer models (2005-2013) have been constructed so that the gas tank is forward of the rear axle and inside the protective frame.
In response to the problem Chrysler has settled numerous lawsuits connected to the fire problem, but demanded that he plaintiffs sign confidentiality agreements. They proclaim this is a legal practice. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident involving fire in or with one of the under investigated Jeep Grand Cherokees or Jeep Liberty please contact Begam & Marks as soon as possible for representation.