NHTSA Investigating Chevrolet Cruze, Jeep Wrangler for Fires

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2010 Jeep Wrangler are being investigated for fires after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received two complaints about the compact sedan and eight reports regarding the SUV.

Both Cruze models were being driven when the fires began. After noticing smoke coming from the engine bay, the driver of a Cruze Eco pulled over about the same time flames appeared. The complaint says that within five minutes the car was “totally engulfed” in flames. The driver said a warning light on the dashboard didn’t illuminate until after the incident begun. Both Cruze models were a total loss, Automotive News reports.

According to the complaints, seven of the eight 2010 Jeep Wranglers were running when the fires began. In August 2009, the NHTSA began investigating the SUV after three Wranglers reportedly caught on fire. Chrysler recalled the Wrangler in February 2010 citing overheated transmission fluid in the four-speed automatic that could leak onto hot surfaces and possibly ignite. Extreme off-road driving increased the risk.

One driver complaint noted the appearance of “an unknown liquid burning down to the ground from the engine area," but despite attempts to extinguish the fire with water, the Jeep was a total loss within minutes.

Both automakers are cooperating with the NHTSA.

"We are conducting our own investigation and will share any findings with the government," GM spokesman Alan Adler told Automotive News.

"Vehicle fires are very complex and can occur for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with the vehicle itself," Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa told Automotive News. "Poor maintenance, improper vehicle use, or installation of after-market equipment often are causes of vehicle fires."

No injuries or deaths stemming from the fires have been reported.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

Arienne Libbrecht
That's GM for ya... being a student in a college that has an GM ASEP program, and working on primarily GM vehicles all through college, I've learned that GM aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the tree. No offense to GM drivers, but it's true.
Greg, ...do you have any clue as to what cause the fire...have you talk to an auto technician about it.....I own a 2012 Cruze and I am concern for my wife since she drives the car ....I have the 1.4 liter turbocharge engine in mine...
I am/was the owner of the car mentioned in the above article. Let me first start off by saying GM has showed zero interest in viewing the vehicle in an attempt to determine a cause. In fact GM stated that they would not be interested in viewing the car unless I was willing to pay for their expert to view the vehicle. The car had under 11,000 miles, was dealer serviced, and until this fire did not have any other mechanical malfunctions other than a torn CV boot. I find it hard to believe GM made the statement they are investigating when they have never viewed the vehicle.

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