Chrysler has announced an auto defect recall for thousands of Jeep Wrangler SUVs because of a potential fire hazard. According to a report in The New York Times, 68,000 Jeep Wranglers from the 2010 model year are being recalled because of reports of vehicle fires. Officials say there is not enough clearance between the exhaust catalyst and the automatic transmission skid plate. If debris gets in that space, there is the potential for an underbody debris fire to occur. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began an investigation after eight complaints of vehicle fires. A Chrysler spokesperson says the company is now aware of 14 complaints of fires but there has been no report of injuries.

Chrysler Recalls

The Jeep Wrangler is not the first vehicle in recent years to be recalled by Chrysler. Nearly 300,000 minivans were recalled in August of 2011 for heating and air conditioning issues that resulted in inadvertent airbag deployment. In June 2011, Chrysler Group LLC recalled more than 11,000 vehicles because of a manufacturing error that led to steering failures.

Defective Auto Parts

Based on this news report, eight vehicles caught fire before an investigation even took place. By the time an announcement of a recall was made, there were 14 vehicles fires that may be linked to the vehicle’s defective design. This report serves as a reminder that there are many potentially dangerous vehicles on the roadway that have not been recalled. If you have been injured in a single vehicle crash that you believe resulted from a defective part, it may be in your best interest to preserve the damaged vehicle for a thorough inspection – regardless of whether the vehicle has been recalled.

Liability Issues

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a defective vehicle, an experienced California personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled auto defect cases can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Injured victims can file a auto product liability claim seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, loss of wages, cost of hospitalization and pain and suffering. The family of a deceased victim can file a wrongful death claim seeking damages as well.