The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
has upgraded an investigation into certain Jeep
models to an engineering analysis, according to Bloomberg Businessweek
began investigating certain Jeep Grand Cherokee
models with fuel tanks positioned behind the rear axle in late 2010. Regulators say fires tied to rear-impact crashes may be responsible for 15 deaths and 46 injuries. The results of the engineering analysis will determine whether or not Chrysler
is required to issue a recall
for the defect. If that happens, the automaker could be looking at recalling
5.1 million vehicles, making the campaign one of the largest in U.S. automotive history
says it's uncertain how many of those models are still on the road today, though it is certain NHTSA
will find the SUVs neither defective nor unsafe. Even so, that hasn't stopped some consumer advocacy groups from lambasting the vehicles. The Center for Auto Safety proclaims that the vehicles are a "modern day Pinto
for soccer moms." Chrysler has analyzed crash data in Grand Cherokee
models and says it has found no greater incident of post-accident fire than in vehicles produced by other manufacturers.
The investigation covers 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee, 1993-2001 Cherokee
and 2002-2007 Liberty models.