The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicles after receiving consumer complaints of engine fires that have totaled some SUVs.
With one consumer incident, Chrysler engineers believe that a faulty power steering hose may have leaked fluid onto hot engine parts. However, NHTSA has also received two consumer complaints of Jeep Grand Cherokee engine fires that occurred while driving. The causes of those fires, which destroyed both SUVs, are still unknown by NHTSA's Office of Defect Investigations (ODI).
Last month, the ODI began probing fires in 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees and other models in the Jeep line. In those cases, an older design that placed the fuel tank behind the SUV's rear axle is suspected in playing a role in the Jeep fires.
And in April, the NHTSA announced a recall of 2012 Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs for leaky fuel valves. Of the estimated 1,700 Chrysler Jeep SUVs affected, however, there were no reports of actual vehicle fires.
Although one of the recent consumer complaints also allege leaking fuel during the incident, the ODI has yet to determine if a safety recall for 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokees is needed.