The fuel tanks of more than 5.1 million Chrysler/Jeep sport utility vehicles have come under closer scrutiny from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after several reports of gas tanks exploding in rear-end collisions.
The agency, in a June 14 website post, says it has upgraded a preliminary investigation of Jeep Grand Cherokees and added Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Liberty models with fuel tanks behind the rear axle to an engineering analysis.
The investigation, which began two years ago, now includes the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee, the 1993-2001 Cherokee and the 2002-2007 Liberty.
The NHTSA reports that 15 people have died in 26 Grand Cherokee fires.
NHTSA, speaking with the Detroit News, said its investigation has emphasized the fact that "the fuel tank is located at the rear of the vehicle, between the bumper and axle, and is manufactured from a plastic material."
David Dillon, a Chrysler rep, demurred, saying that its vehicles are "neither defective nor do their fuel systems pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety."
by RTT Staff Writer
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