Chrysler Group announced last month that it is recalling about 68,000 of its 2010 Jeep Wranglers in the U.S. due to a fire hazard associated with the vehicle. Honda reports that 2010 Jeep Wranglers with an automatic transmission include a skid plate, which is a metal plate located under the transmission, that can trap debris. As a result of a change in exhaust system for the 2010 Wranglers, the skid plate is too close to the vehicles’ catalytic converter – the part of the exhaust system that removes harmful chemicals from exhaust fumes. When the vehicle is driven, the catalytic converter becomes extremely hot and any debris that is caught in the skid plate can cause a fire.
Jeep Wranglers built in subsequent years do not pose the fire hazard because Chrysler switched from skid plates to lighter skid bars that do not trap debris.
In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which had been investigating reports of Jeep Wrangler fires, Chrysler acknowledged at least 14 reports of fires.
We recently reported that a Chicago Tribune article explained that, once a defect is found, an auto manufacturer must report the defect within five working days to the NHTSA, even if the manufacturer has not yet determined the cause of the problem or how to fix it. Manufacturers are required to follow such procedures in order to ensure that all motor vehicles meet optimal safety standards. Prevention is the best policy and the safer cars are, the less likely passengers are to be seriously injured in a car accident.
If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of a defective vehicle, you may also wish to consult with an attorney. The Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC is dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products, including defective vehicles. Contact one of our skilled Chicago personal injury and product liability attorneys at (312) 600-0000 if you would like more information on recalled vehicles.