According to a recent New York Times report, a large group of Jeep Cherokee owners has asked for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate a common petrol tank problem.Yesterday, the NHTSA announced it has began the investigation.

Jeep Cherokee 1997

The issue is associated with Jeep Cherokee models ranging from 1993 to 2004. Owners say the concern is down to the rear-mounted petrol tank, which is supposedly prone to catching fire in a rear-end crash. The Motor Vehicle Fire Research Institute of Charlottesville says there's a factory-mounted bolt that secures the stabiliser bar that comes within three centimetres of the plastic petrol tank.

Owners, and the Motor Vehicle Fire Research Institute of Charlottesville, say this poses a high threat to the tank as the bolt could easily penetrate through the tank, leading to leaks and a possible fire during a crash. The Institute says that this manufacturing miscalculation is accountable for 64 deaths out of 44 crashes that have been reported, presumably due to fire trauma.

Chrysler hasn't said anything about the specifics of the matter, but has emailed the New York Times, saying,

"Chrysler Group is cooperating fully with NHTSA regarding an investigation into 1993-2004 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles. It is important to note that this is an investigation, not a recall. The 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety and has an excellent safety record."

The investigation affects one million Cherokee models that have been sold during the specific period.