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Jeep Grand Cherokee Catches Fire After Crash

The driver of a 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee was trapped inside her burning vehicle after she collided with a tractor trailer last week. Rescue workers were able to free the driver and she was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment.

Although the driver was cited for the side-impact crash, the resulting Jeep fire may be related to a known defect with that model year. The 1993-1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty have caught the eye of federal regulators after the deaths of at least 51 individuals in post-collision fires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended that the Liberty and Grand Cherokee be recalled because of design and performance defects that make it more likely that specific models will go up in flames after a collision. In June, Chrysler offered to install a hitch system to serve as additional protection to the fuel system in the event of a collision.

Unfortunately, there has been at least one rear-end crash involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a trailer hitch system. Cassidy Jarmon died in 2006. The hitch on the Jeep in which she was riding bent during the crash and punctured the fuel tank on the SUV. Jarmon was killed; she was four years old at the time of the crash and was unable to escape the burning vehicle.

The NHTSA closed its investigation into the post-collision fires earlier this year. Chrysler has maintained that its vehicles are safe.

Source: The Evening Sun, "Jeep catches fire after two-vehicle crash; woman flown to hospital," March 3, 2014

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