— Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) is fighting a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia that alleges defects in a 2007 Jeep Wrangler caused the fire and resulting death of the driver.
According to the lawsuit, Tristan Anderson, 19, was driving the Jeep Wrangler in January 2016 when the vehicle left the road and hit several trees, finally hitting a ditch and a culvert. The Wrangler landed on its side and burst into flames.
Anderson and a front seat passenger lost consciousness, but the passenger woke up and escaped. Mr. Anderson also regained consciousness and did get out of the burning Jeep, but his clothing caught fire and he sustained burns to 90 percent of his body.
As a result of his injuries, Tristan Anderson died days later in the hospital.
Anderson's parent allege the 2007 Wrangler had defects of the fuel system and components that created a high risk of post-crash fires. The lawsuit alleges Mr. Anderson should have survived the crash, but defects in the fire wall failed to protect the occupants.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges Chrysler failed to properly test the vehicles and failed to warn drivers about the allegedly faulty fuel systems.
The plaintiffs claim the Jeep's gas tank wasn't protected and was likely punctured by a rock, causing the fuel leak that ignited the fire. According to the lawsuit, the skid plate didn't cover the entire fuel tank which left it vulnerable to punctures.
FCA allegedly should have known the design of the Jeep would cause or contribute to fires that could result in permanent injuries and death.
The 2007 Jeep Wrangler wrongful death lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division - John Anderson, et al., v. FCA US, LLC.