2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee NHTSA investigation EA14001

Jeep Engineering Analysis EA14001: Headliner Fires

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Headliner Fires

Electrical System
Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
Electrical System:Wiring
Electrical System:Wiring:Interior/Under Dash
Interior Lighting

Summary
On July 1st, 2014 Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) notified the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) that it would conduct a safety recall to remedy a wiring-related fire hazard on the headliner of approximately 661,888 model year (MY) 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles manufactured between January 5, 2010 and December 11, 2013 (see NHTSA Safety Recall 14V-391), with notifications to begin in August 2014. According to Chrysler, the fire is caused by an electrical short in the vanity lamp wiring for either one of the sun visors mounted on the vehicle. The sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle through the headliner with three metal screws. It is possible for the sun visor wiring to be pierced by one of these screws either during initial vehicle assembly or later headliner area repairs which may cause an electrical short potentially resulting in fire.ODI opened an investigation involving MY 2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango vehicles based on consumer reports of headliners catching fire at the front of the passenger's compartment near the sun visors. Complainants reported failure symptoms that ranged from discoloration to open flame burning of the headliner and/or sun visor material. Complainants reported a burning plastic smell and smoke from the headliner, often occurring while the vehicle was in motion. Damage ranged from a small burn spot on the headliner to a near complete burn of the vehicle resulting in a total loss; sunroof damage/glass shattering occurred in some cases. Incidents are more likely to occur when the ignition key is in the on position.However, several vehicles continued to burn after the key was turned off, and key-off fires, while highly unlikely, cannot be fully eliminated as a potential problem. The earliest incidents chronologically were often associated with vehicle assembly or in-plant repair procedures. Chrysler revised assembly and in-plant repair procedures for the headliner which reduced the number of fields incidents.However, anytime a repair is made to the headliner of the vehicle there could still be a risk of shorting the wiring and creating a hazard.Dealership technicians will inspect the vehicles for damaged wiring caused by an improper service procedure and repair any damage. Also, all vehicles will have a plastic guideway installed on each sun visor that routes the wiring away from the attachment screws preventing the wiring from being shorted. All MY 2011-2014 Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango built before December 11, 2013 are affected by the recall; vehicles manufactured after this date had the guideway installed during vehicle production.ODI received a total of 6 complaints as of June 2014, all of which reported a fire and two of which alleged related injuries. All 6 incidents occurred while the vehicle was being driven. In each case the driver smelled smoke and witnessed the headliner burning on either the driver or passenger side. Two complaints indicate smoke inhalation injuries to the driver. In response to ODI's information request letters of 8/28/2013 and 2/26/2014, Chrysler provided consumer and warranty data which was received by ODI on 10/7/2013 and 3/19/2014. Analysis of the Chrysler data indicated a total of 91 unique incidents related to the investigation of which about two thirds reported an open flame and smoke, the remaining showed only small burn marks with no visible flame. Three Chrysler reports indicated injuries consisting of minor burns on the customer-s hands and smoke inhalation.The investigation is closed on the basis of the recall action the manufacturer has undertaken which is sufficient to address NHTSA-s concerns related to the investigation. The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues under the following identification numbers: 10556110, 10536895, 10522665, 10522159, 10515592, 10561002.
Documents (12)

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Date Opened
JAN 10, 2014
Date Closed
AUG 12, 2014
NHTSA Recall #
14V391000
  • Status:
    RECALLED
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