The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating whether or not Jeep Grand Cherokees manufactured between 1993 and 2004 should be recalled due to gas tank ruptures in rear-end accidents. Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham is closely following developments in this case as the Jeep that NHTSA is investigating in the case belongs to an Orlando man who died in a recent accident after his Jeep was struck from behind.
NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana recently wrote in an email that “As part of our open defect investigation, N.H.T.S.A. plans to inspect the Jeep Grand Cherokee that was involved in a recent Orlando area crash.”
The fiery accident occurred on Interstate 4 in Lake Mary when the victim’s 1997 Grand Cherokee was rear-ended by a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer when its driver failed to notice that traffic had stopped. The Jeep burst into flames after the impact, trapping a 24-year-old passenger who died from injuries. Accident investigators estimated that the Mercury was traveling around 65 miles per hour when it struck the Jeep, but they do not know how fast the Jeep was traveling at the time of the accident. Two years ago, the non-profit safety advocacy group Center for Auto Safety formally requested that the NHTSA launch an investigation into Jeep Grand Cherokee models after similar fiery accidents.
The center claims that Grand Cherokees made from 1993 to 2004 have a design flaw that makes the gas tank much more likely to burst open and spill fuel when hit from behind than similar vehicles in its class. In August 2010, the NHTSA notified the Center that it had granted its request and planned to begin its preliminary investigation. There are an estimated 2.2 million Grand Cherokee models made in those years still on the road today, according to Experian Automotive. Chrysler has insisted repeatedly that the gas tanks on Grand Cherokees have no design defects, but the automaker redesigned the Cherokee in 2005, moving the gas tank from behind the rear axle to in front of the rear axle. Chrysler claims that the gas tank was moved due to the relocation of the spare tire, not because of safety concerns.
Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham has a proven record of success helping injured people receive the best possible outcome for their product liability cases. Since 1977, he has taken on large corporations and helped his clients receive damages through court awards and negotiated settlements. If you have been injured by a defective product and would like to learn more about the law, your rights and your legal options, call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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