The Center for Auto Safety is requesting a recall of millions of Jeep Grand Cherokees due to flaws in the models manufactured from 1993 to 2004.
According to the center, a non-profit organization founded in 1970, the vehicles are prone to fuel leaks when struck from behind. In a review of three rear-impact crash tests – using 1995, 1996, and 1999 Grand Cherokees – the center observed two serious problems leading to an increased risk of fire. The tests were conducted by Karco Engineering, which also does testing for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One of the vehicle's problems is the location of the fuel tank. The gas tank is located behind the rear axle and below the bumper, which puts it in an area called the 'crush zone.' A second issue concerns the fuel filler pipe. It is positioned so that it easily can rip away in a rear-impact collision, thus causing gasoline to leak from the tank.
The agency found that 254 people died in Grand Cherokees in accidents from 1992 to 2008. There were also 172 fatal fire crashes involving the vehicles.
There were approximately three million Jeep Grand Cherokees built with the similar fuel systems as the ones in the crash tests over a 12-year time span. About 2.2 million are still registered. The Center for Auto Safety is calling for a recall of the Grand Cherokee and not the Cherokee.
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