• Nov 12th 2009 at 9:28AM
  • 19
The position of the plastic fuel tanks in 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees makes them potential fireballs, argues the Center for Auto Safety. The nonprofit organization says that the fuel tank's location makes the pre-2005 Grand Cherokees prone to catching on fire when involved in an accident. Located behind the rear axle and hanging down below the bumper, shorter vehicles can impact the tank directly, says the Center. The fuel filler neck has also sheared off during some of these incidents, leading to fuel spills and the increased potential for fires.

The Center is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation and recall some three million vehicles. Chrysler says the Grand Cherokee will come out of the study having met or exceeded any applicable standards. The organization also notes that NHTSA's files reveal 1993-2004 Jeeps involved in 172 crashes with fires and 254 deaths, while just one post-'05 Cherokee has had a fatal fire incident. The defect petition got underway with NHTSA on November 6, and could take a while, though this isn't the first time the agency has looked at problems with these Jeeps.

NHTSA's "defect petition" process began earlier this month, but a resolution isn't immediately forthcoming – such investigations can take many months – possibly years.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The position of water heaters, stoves, ovens, and electrical outlets in EVERY home in American makes them "potential" disasters waiting to happen.

      Why not concentrate on REAL problems instead of fear mongering about something different every day!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry...When Obama took over, part of the "change" was that you can't sue for cars made before GM and Chrysler was taken.
        • 5 Years Ago
        to artandcolor - enough of blaming bush for everything that is wrong today, it goes back much farther than that. every president for years has made mistakes, and if you think that this is all because of bush then you need to go back and check out your history. no, everything is not the black mans fault, but it seems that you want to blame the white man for everything that happens to you. step up and take some responsibility for your own actions for a change
        • 5 Years Ago

        You are mistaken. It was Bush who was responsible for Jack the Ripper's murders and the 1918 flu. Didn't you get the moveon.org memo? :-) As for the rest of us we will have to re-elect Obama in 2012 before we can hold him accountable for anything. Until then, it all "Bush's fault".
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not a change, that's how bankruptcy reorganization works- the reorganized company is freed from certain obligations of the bankrupt company. That's the entire purpose of bankruptcy reorganization.
      • 5 Years Ago
      From Chrysler Group:

      Chrysler Group is aware of the defect petition and will cooperate fully with NHTSA in the investigation process. Statistically, rear impacts that result in serious injury are rare occurrences. Chrysler Group is confident that a study which considered all factors in all collisions -- including rear collisions with fire -- would show that the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees perform as well as or better than other vehicles in their class. The 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and has an excellent safety record. There are many millions of 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees on the road whose owners and families continue to enjoy tens of millions of miles and hours of safe vehicle operation each year.

      The data cited by the Center For Auto Safety does not discriminate the cause or origin of a fire. Nor does it contain accurate critical real world accident data that takes into account significant factors that influence crash outcomes, such as the speed of a rear impact and the weight of the vehicles involved. As such the conclusions and comparisons reached by the Center are invalid and their use to draw alarming conclusions about a product with an excellent safety record is misguided and irresponsible.

      Michael Palese
      Corporate Communications
      Chrysler Group LLC
      Tel: 248 512-2682
      Email/bberryl: michael.palese@chrysler.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      I had a 98 GC Limited and i got rear ended by an f-150 going 55 and i was a dead stop...when i was hit (I didnt have my foot on the brake as i was just moving my foot from brake pedal to the gas)... i flew 300 feet into a power pole. ..no gas tank leak or fire. Of course I'm just one person and I walked out of it just fine..besides the fact that the impact made my shoes fall off?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is going to do wonders for the GC's reputation, especially with a new model right around the corner.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like Jeep owners will be looking at cars slowing behind them with anxious eyes in the future!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey Carlito Benito, 98% of cars do NOT have a gas tank mounted behind the rear axle/ in the rear of vehicle...unless you're talking about the 1950's ...... These Jeeps and the Ford Crown Victoria and Ford Mustang -(early 90's) did.... You would've though that after the Ford Pinto Chrylser would've known better... And Aaron...there's no way that F150 hit you at 55 mph....your Jeep would've went up in flames...there's one person who burned alive in your model that was hit at only 30 MPH!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dang! It takes this long for NHTSA to discover a problem? We're almost into 2010 and the vehicles involved are '93-2004. Did someone just wake up? This also assumes all accidents are the same, you know, same speeds, same types of vehicles, same angles, etc., etc, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "The organization also notes that NHTSA's files reveal 1993-2004 Jeeps involved in 172 crashes with fires and 254 deaths, while just one post-'05 Cherokee has had a fatal fire incident."

      Uhh... From '93-'04 millions of GC's were sold, especially in the early to late 90's when they would sell 2-300,000 + a year. Since 2005? Not so much. So it's not surprising that there is only 1 fatality since '05. It may have nothing to do with design. Unless you work out some kind of ratio of fires to number of vehicles sold the raw number don't mean anything.

      Question: Wasn 't the Center for Auto Safety founded by Ralph Nader?
      • 3 Years Ago
      How many recalls has there been and what are they foe? For a 2001 Grand Cherokee Larado
      • 5 Years Ago
      And to think the Pinto was accountable for 27 deaths by fire, relatively tiny by comparison.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looking at that picture... the only thing worth recalling were those horrible Goodyear Wrangler Radials. =D
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