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NHTSA Considers Recall Request in Response to Jeep Liberty Fires

Three reports of fires inside the passenger compartments of 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs have prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to investigate the need for a recall, according to a recent Chicago Tribune article. If a recall is issued, it will affect up to 146,000 vehicles warns Denver injury attorneys.

The investigation is looking into reports of fires that started in the sun visors inside the vehicles while they were being driven. Passengers and drivers reported a burning smell and smoke from the sun visor area at first. Those that kept driving report seeing flames coming from the area, which often became worse when passengers rolled down the vehicle’s windows.

Even after the vehicles were shut off, the fires continued to burn. In one vehicle, pieces of the burning sun visor fell onto the passenger seat, setting the seat on fire as well, according to one report. Although no one reported injuries in any of the three burning sun visor situations, the NHTSA and Chrysler, the Jeep manufacturer, are looking into the reports to see if a recall is necessary – and, if it is, what kind of repair would fix the problem.

Dozens of vehicle recalls are issued in the United States every year. Each seeks to resolve a hidden defect that creates an unreasonably high risk of injury, whether in a crash or simply while the vehicle is being driven in its normal everyday use. 

When a recall is issued, drivers whose vehicles are affected by the recall can take their vehicle to a dealer to have the problem fixed free of charge. In this way, vehicles differ from many other recalled products, which are often sent back to the manufacturer in their entirety or are fixed with free repair kits made available to owners of the product. Since vehicles are often too complicated for drivers to fix without specialized training or parts, dealerships and manufacturers are called in to make the repairs in a safe and specific manner.

Drivers who are injured by a hidden vehicle defect have several options. They may seek compensation from the manufacturer, designer, or supplier of the defective parts. If the injury is the result of an accident that occurs on the job, workers’ compensation may also cover some of the costs associated with the injury. If the defect causes a crash, some or all of a driver’s auto insurance policy may also apply.

Chrysler’s recent recalls have included one that affected a number of older-model Jeeps with rear-mounted fuel tanks. That recall sought to reduce the risk of that the fuel tank would explode in a rear-end collision.

If you’re injured by a burning sun visor or another hidden defect in a Jeep or other vehicle, you’re not alone. Contact the experienced Denver injury attorneys at Levine Law. We can help you to understand your legal rights and choose the best course of action for you and your family.

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