The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a Preliminary Evaluation into the 2015 model year Jeep Cherokee after a single example caught on fire in California. This investigation will decide the cause, scope and frequency of this possible problem and will decide whether a recall is necessary for 50,415 potentially affected examples.

According to Automotive News, the Cherokee's owner only purchased the CUV about two days before the fire, and it had been driven less than 100 miles. The new buyer reported parking the Jeep, and noticed a smell like smoke. Shortly after, the vehicle was consumed in flames. There were no injuries, but much of the incident was captured on video.

NHTSA is also trying to decide whether another report is related. In this case, a driver noticed smoke under the hood of a 2015 Cherokee with just 45 miles on it, while driving at 60 miles per hour. According to the complaint to the agency, "the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired," but FCA was notified. Read below NHTSA's announcement of the Preliminary Evaluation.

CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8
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INVESTIGATION Subject : Engine compartment fire

Date Investigation Opened: JAN 13, 2015
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE15003
Component(s): ENGINE

Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
JEEP CHEROKEE 2015
Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)

SUMMARY:
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received one complaint (VOQ) of engine compartment fire in model year (MY) 2015 Jeep Cherokee vehicles alleging a severe engine compartment fire incident resulting in a total vehicle loss (VOQ # 10672201). The consumer alleges that the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames approximately 20 feet high within seconds of parking the vehicle. The complaint alleged white smoke coming from under the hood immediately after parking the vehicle and while the ignition is off. In addition, ODI has identified field report data submitted as part of Early Warning Reporting that relate to the alleged defect. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the cause, scope and frequency of the alleged defect. The following VOQ numbers are associated with the issues discussed in this opening resume: 10670034, 10672201.

Date Complaint Filed: 01/05/2015
Component(s): ENGINE
Date of Incident: 01/04/2015
NHTSA ID Number: 10670034

Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
JEEP CHEROKEE 2015
Crash:No Fire:Yes Number of Injuries:0 Number of Deaths:0
Manufacturer: Chrysler (FCA US LLC)
Vehicle Identification No. (VIN): 1C4PJLAB4FW...

SUMMARY:
TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2015 JEEP CHEROKEE. WHILE DRIVING 60 MPH, THE CONTACT NOTICED SMOKE UNDER THE HOOD. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 45.


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