The Center for Auto Safety, a group founded by Ralph Nader and the Consumers Union, have reportedly filed a 69-page grievance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requesting they investigate the 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Center maintains that in a rear-end collision, the placement of the fuel tank below and just ahead of the rear bumper has made the SUV more prone to fires. According to the Center's figures, that model Grand Cherokee suffers six times more fires than more recent models, and five times more fires than the competition's SUVs.

NHTSA has already begun its inquiry, so far finding that the Jeep SUV's fire incident rate is about the same as with its competition. However, NHTSA is now said to be seeking information on the 1993-2004 Chevrolet Blazer, 1993-2004 Ford Explorer and 1993-2004 Toyota 4Runner hoping to get a better look at defect and warranty claims and lawsuits. None of the other companies, General Motors, Ford or Toyota, has commented on NHTSA's request for information. Chrysler moved the gas tank on the Grand Cherokee inside the frame on the 2005 model, and says it is cooperating with the government's probe.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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