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Fire risk scoops up decades-old Cherokees

Burning problem: Jeep Cherokees built between 2002 and 2007 have been recalled over a fuel tank issue that could cause a fire.

Car-maker chases older Jeep model owners over potential crash-and-burn problem

4 Aug 2014

JEEP models dating back 21 years have been scooped up in a recall to fix a problem that could result in them bursting into flames after a crash.

Fiat Chrysler Australia announced today that it had found fault with fuel tanks that could spark an under-body fire.

The company says 12,132 KJ Cherokees built between 2002 and 2007, and a further 6143 ZG Grand Cherokees produced between 1993 and 1998, will be hauled into Jeep dealers to be assessed.

The two notices on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) product recalls website state that fuel could leak from the fuel tank “during low-speed collisions”.

“Leaking fuel in the presence of an ignition source may result in an underbody fire,” the notice reads. “This defect poses a hazard to the driver and occupants of the vehicle, in addition to other road users,” it said.

The car-maker said in a statement that due to the age of some of the vehicles affected, it would work with authorities to confirm contact details for current owners.

A spokesperson for the group said there were no incidents of the issue affecting models locally.

The models dating back to 1996 are some of the first Jeeps to arrive in Australia after the brand re-launched here in 1994 following a long association with Japanese car-maker Mitsubishi.

The Cherokee was the first Jeep to return to the Australian market, followed by the Grand Cherokee in 1996.

This latest recall is the fourth for the Grand Cherokee this year following the discovery of faults relating to the current-generation model, which have included the potential for wiring in the vanity mirror sparking a fire, the risk of a rogue adaptive cruise control system that takes over the accelerator, and instances of wrongly calibrated brake pedal feel.

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