Crash Tests Suggest Jeep Fire Risk, Safety Group Says

By CHRISTOPHER JENSEN
6/15/11

MILLIONS of Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 1993 through 2004 model years are particularly susceptible to fires when struck from behind and should be recalled, an auto safety group says, based on its review of three independently conducted crash tests, including one performed last month.

The Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit safety advocacy group founded in 1970 by Ralph Nader, says the Grand Cherokee’s fuel system is clearly more dangerous in a rear-impact collision than those of competing vehicles, like the Ford Explorer, produced in the same era.

About three million Grand Cherokees with similar fuel systems were built by Chrysler over 12 years; some 2.2 million of those sport utilities are still registered, according to Experian Automotive. The center’s recall request is specifically for the Grand Cherokee, not the Cherokee, a different model.

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