Feds Probe 5.1 Million Jeeps For Gas-Tank Fires – 6/14/12

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

WASHINGTON — Federal safety regulators have expanded an investigation into gas-tank fires involving Jeeps, saying they will now look into an estimated 5.1 million vehicles built over a 15-year period from 1993-2007, including the 1993-2001 Jeep Cherokee and the 2002-’07 Jeep Liberty. The probe originally included just the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Such an action sometimes leads to a vehicle recall.

NHTSA is studying whether the Jeeps show a higher incidence of rear-impact fatal fire crashes than “peer vehicles,” including the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner.

“NHTSA has conducted extensive analysis of the data regarding fuel tank integrity for the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee,” said NHTSA in a statement as it opened an engineering analysis into Jeeps on June 12. “As a result of that work, the agency has decided to upgrade its safety defect investigation to an engineering analysis and to expand the scope of vehicles included in the investigation.

“NHTSA’s assessment of the data collected during preliminary evaluation indicates that rear-impact-related tank failures and vehicle fires are more prevalent in the (Jeep Grand Cherokee) than in the non-Jeep peer vehicles.”

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