MY2015 Cherokee fire prompts NHTSA to launch probe

Article by Christian A., on January 19, 2015

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a probe into a possible defect into 50,415 MY2015 Jeep Cherokees after one unit burst into flames two days after purchase. According to a complaint posted on NHTSA’s Web site, the vehicle owner purchased the Cherokee on January 2. Two days after on Jan. 4, the owners noticed an oily smell while driving.

The driver then parked the Cherokee and then white smoke seeped from the hood. Within seconds the entire car was engulfed in fire, with “flames 20 feet high.” According to the complaint, a 50-yard trail of burning oil or fuel ran down the street following the fire.

NHTSA probers are now trying to find out the cause of the incident and the frequency and scope of the potential issue. The agency’s Office of Defect Investigations has also received early-warning report data related to the alleged issue, according to investigation’s opening document posted on its Web site.

Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said in an e-mail to Automotive News that the carmaker is aware of this incident and its own investigators are cooperating fully with NHTSA's Preliminary Evaluation.

NHTSA also received another complaint in which an owner noticed white smoke under the hood of a MY2015 Cherokee, which only has 45 miles on the barometer.

No injuries or death resulted from the two incidents. So far, there have been no reports of fires involving MY2014 Cherokees. A “preliminary evaluation” is launched in case of customer complaints or service bulletins suggesting the possibility of a safety-related issue.

Depending on the results of the evaluation, NHTSA will either commence an engineering analysis that may lead to a recall or close the inquiry.

As intended, the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is gifted with a new exterior that is designed to appeal globally and for the future. Its designers were inspired to create a vehicle that takes the brand into a new era with an efficient shape that still boasts of Jeep DNA and design heritage. Overall, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is efficient and capable, both in looks and performance, in any road, trail or weather condition.

The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee features an aerodynamically efficient upper body marked by fluid, sleek exterior lines, as contrasted by a rugged, protective lower body that faithfully expresses its capability as a true Jeep.

Expectedly, the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee boasts of a powerful stance, a commanding on-the-road presence, an assertive wheel-to-body proportion as well as aggressive approach and departure angles. Its front end sports a waterfall bonnet and the signature peaked, seven-slotted grille with a crisp, horizontal snap. This clearly defined bonnet is separated from the front fenders. Interestingly, this one-piece hood and grille assembly help ensure a precise build.

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee extensive employs advanced LED lighting technology. On the front, the daytime running lamp (DRL) takes a unique shape that makes the headlamp seemingly slim. On the rear, full LED tail lamps form an integral part of the rear backlight graphic, thereby making the Cherokee appear stronger yet harmonious. This rear backlight graphic links the upper and lower sections of the rear end.

Meanwhile, the Trail Rated 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk offers rugged design and capability, but on an entirely new level. Its rugged exterior look is defined by exclusive exterior and interior colors, Jeep signature red front tow hooks, skid plates as well as aggressive front and rear fascias. Furthermore, the Cherokee Trailhawk comes with exemplary approach and departure angles to deliver best-in-class 4x4 capability.

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