The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUVs following complaints about fires in the engine compartment. About 50,415 Cherokees are being probed as part of the preliminary investigation, which will look into a possible defect that has caused multiple newer Cherokees to go up in flames for no readily discernible reason. The NHTSA is said to also have some field report data from an Early Warning Reporting program on the matter which will be factored in.
The NHTSA has received some reports of serious issues related to this potential problem, including a report from San Diego where one of the Jeeps went up in flames “within seconds of parking” — the fire was said to have flames about 20 feet high. No one was injured.
That’s not the only complaint that has been received, however, with another Cherokee owner reporting that the SUV began smoking shortly after it was purchased. With this investigation, officials will determine whether these incidents were caused by something warranting a recall.
Fiat Chrysler has said through a spokesperson that it is cooperating with the NHTSA as the investigation gets underway. This isn’t the first time Jeeps have been noted for their propensity to catch on fire — and in the past, those issues resulted in recalls.