U.S. expands probe of fires in Jeep Wrangler SUVs
DETROIT -- U.S. safety regulators are expanding their inquiry into fires involving the 2010 Jeep Wrangler SUV after receiving another complaint of a blaze in or near the engine compartment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking Chrysler Group to turn over any customer complaints or fire reports involving 2007-09 and 2011-12 model year Jeep Wranglers.
To date, NHTSA has received nine reports of fires on the 2010 Jeep Wrangler and continues to focus its investigation, launched March 28, on the 2010 model.
In a letter sent to Chrysler, the agency said it wants the company to hand over any other information related to the alleged defect for these additional model years.
The automaker must respond by May 22.
“Chrysler Group LLC is cooperating fully with NHTSA,” the company said in a statement. “It is important to note that this is a preliminary investigation, not a recall.”
The company also stressed that NHTSA has not officially expanded its investigation to include the 2007-09 and 2011-12 Wranglers, but is merely seeking more information about Wranglers from those model years.
NHTSA opened its investigation on the 2010 Jeep Wrangler last month after receiving eight reports of an engine area blaze. The probe covers about 100,000 SUVs.
No injuries or fatalities had been reported with the incidents. But in one case, a driver saw an unknown liquid burning down to the ground from the engine area and reported the Wrangler as a total loss, according to the complaint.