Jeep SUVs under investigation over possible fires during rear end crashes

Jeep SUVs under investigation over possible fires during rear end crashes

Jeep SUVs under investigation over possible fires during rear end crashes

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by ABC News

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM

(ABC News) -- There are troubling new safety questions about some of the most popular SUVs on American roads after an investigation into whether gas tanks in certain models of Jeeps run a greater risk of catching fire.

More than five million various types Jeep models made between 1993 and 2007 are under the microscope.

Safety advocates are issuing a warning to drivers of certain Jeep models about rear end accidents. Apparently, deadly fires can erupt if the plastic fuel tank is ruptured during a crash. The fuel tank is located behind the rear axle, and if you are rear ended the axle could puncture the fuel tank.

The government is now investigating not only the Grand Cherokee from 1993 – 2004, but two other Jeep models - the Cherokee models from 1993 - 2001 and the Liberty made from 2002 - 2007.

The government said 15 people have burned to death in rear impact crashes, including two children.

Remi Walden died when his mother's Jeep Cherokee was rear ended, bursting into flames, trapping  him in the back seat. Tom Kline lost his wife after their Jeep SUV was rear ended.

“Imagine someone you've been with, that you’ve loved dearly for 33 years being burned to death. It's just not a good picture,” Kline said.

Chrysler insists its SUV safety records in rear collisions are as good as those of other carmakers. They said no recall is necessary because they're not defective.

Safety advocate Clarence Ditlow  said the there is a problem and it's got a simple fix - installing a shield around the gas tank.  He said it would cost Chrysler no more than $100 per vehicle.

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