Report: NHTSA opens fuel tank investigation on 5.1 million Jeeps

‘Tis the season for recalls…because I’m about to toss another one to you. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration along with the Chrysler Group has opened up a new investigation into 5.1 million sport-utility vehicles.

The models being scrutinized are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Cherokee, and the Jeep Liberty. The issue being looked into involves the fuel tanks behind the rear axle. This comes after collective reports found that rear-impact crashes in these vehicles have caused fires, leading to 15 deaths and 46 injuries.

“With the number of vehicles involved and potential severity of the problem, this could set Chrysler back considerably,” said Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Michigan. “The cost to Chrysler could be considerable, and the cost in terms of reputation would be high.

The investigation’s roots began in October 2010, and since then, reports of fire-related fatalities all point to rear-impact collisions involving these Jeep models.

The NHTISA added that the model year Jeeps potentially infected are as follows: 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees, 1993-2001 Jeep Cherokees, and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty models.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: Bloomberg