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Jeep Grand Cherokee cleared in fire probe

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 08 2013 11:29:20 AM CST
2012 Jeep Cherokee

2012 Jeep Cherokee

DETROIT -

U.S. safety regulators have cleared the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee after an investigation into possible engine fires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began checking 107,000 of the SUVs in July after getting complaints about power steering hoses coming loose and leaking fluid onto the engine.

The agency found 24 cases of loose hoses. The problem was traced to a defect inside the hose that was fixed at the factory shortly after the SUVs went into production. The agency says none of the leaks caused crashes or fires, and it's unlikely that leaking fluid would reach any ignition sources.

The agency says the problem hasn't caused an unreasonable safety risk. It will continue to monitor the SUVs.

SUVs with the problem were fixed under warranty by Chrysler, which makes Jeeps.

All of the problems happened in Grand Cherokees made between Nov. 22, 2011 and Dec. 23, 2011.

"There have been no reports of loss of steering control, crashes or injuries as a result of this condition," NHTSA said in documents posted on its website Tuesday. "There is no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect."

NHTSA said that changes by the company that makes the hoses have eliminated the likelihood that the hoses will come loose. Still, the agency said it will continue to monitor the vehicles.

The investigation found five reports of engine fires, but NHTSA determined that all were caused by other factors.