Were you injured in a Jeep fire in a Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Cherokee, or Jeep Liberty? If so, you are not alone. Until recently, these vehicles were designed with a plastic fuel tank behind the rear axle and in front of the rear bumper — similar to the Ford Pinto. In a rear-end collision, it is possible that the fuel tank could rupture, causing a deadly explosion and fuel-fed fire. Even minor car accidents could potentially cause severe injury, permanent disability, or death.
What You Can Do & How a Jeep Fire Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Jeep fire injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a Jeep fire, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability and Automotive Crashworthiness Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
August 22, 2012 – The NHTSA has also opened an investigation into fires associated with the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The potential problem is with the power steering return hose, which could rupture and leak fluid into the engine compartment and spark a fire. The NHTSA has received 2 reports of engine compartment fires and 1 complaint of a broken power steering return hose.
June 21, 2012 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning that “rear-impact-related tank failures and vehicle fires are more prevalent in the Jeep Grand Cherokee than in the non-Jeep peer vehicles.” At least 15 deaths and 46 injuries have been caused by rear-end collision fires in Jeep Grand Cherokees.
The following brands of Chrysler Jeep are currently under investigation:
- Jeep Grand Cherokee, model years 1993 – 2004. Includes approximately 3 million vehicles.
- Jeep Cherokee, model years 1993 – 2001. Includes approximately 1.1 million vehicles.
- Jeep Liberty, model years 2002 – 2007. Includes approximately 975,000 vehicles.
Concern over the risk of Jeep fires has been growing for several years. The Center for Auto Safety (CAS), a consumer safety lobbying group, was the first to notice an unusually high number of rear-end collision fires and fatalities associated with Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokees in a national database for automotive fatalities.
They attributed the deaths to hazardous design. The plastic fuel tank is located behind the rear axle, in the front of the rear bumper. In a high-riding Jeep, they were concerned that the fuel tank was especially vulnerable in a rear-end collision. Furthermore, they found that the fuel filler neck was prone to rupture, suspension bolts could rupture the tank, and standard Jeeps lacked a skid plate that could potentially protect the fuel tank.
Even in moderate rear-end accidents, the fuel tank could rupture, spilling fuel and sparking a massive fuel-fed fire.
In response to a petition from the CAS, in 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began a preliminary investigation into the Jeep Grand Cherokee fire hazards. In June 2012, they concluded that there were more fatal rear-end collision Jeep fires associated with the Grand Cherokee than other non-Jeep vehicles.
The NHTSA recently announced that they will be expanding their investigation to include Jeep Liberty and Jeep Cherokees in addition to the Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Jeep Fire Recall
May 2012, the NHTSA ordered Chrysler to recall 87,000 automatic-transmission Jeep Wranglers made in 2010 due to a fire hazard. The Jeep Wrangler fires are caused by a different defect than the Cherokees and Liberty SUVs. On the Wrangler, experts were concerned about a lack of clearance between the exhaust catalyst and the automatic transmission skid plate. This could cause an underbody debris fire. No injuries were reported in Jeep Wrangler fires.
The Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Liberty SUVs have not yet been recalled, though they are under investigation.
Jeep Fire Injuries
If you or your loved one was injured or killed in a Jeep fire, you are not alone. If you decide to file a Jeep fire lawsuit, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation for your pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost income, decreased quality of life, and more.
Many people are concerned that Chrysler Jeep fires are due to manufacturing defects. Vehicle fuel-fed fires are far more dangerous than other types of fires. Oil and gas are highly flammable, and there are numerous electrical sources that could spark a fire. Once a fuel-fed fire begins, it can be difficult or impossible to extinguish the flame until the fuel burns off. Vehicle fires are extremely dangerous. They can cause severe burn injuries, permanent disability, or death.
Do I have a Jeep Fire Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, LLP is currently accepting Jeep fire injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a Jeep fire, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability and Automotive Crashworthiness Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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