Three Grand Cherokee drivers said they noticed a burning odor and smoke coming from the sun visor while their SUVs were in motion; flames around the sun visor followed. The fires continued to burn after the vehicles were turned off.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the sun visors are mounted to the roof of the vehicle with three screws, and one of the screws could pierce the wiring during assembly causing an electrical short and ultimately a fire. The fires, ranging from minor overheating to an open flame, appeared to be caused by an electrical short in the sun visors’ lighted vanity mirrors, the NHTSA said.
Due to the increasing number of reports — including three alleged injuries, on the Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, the NHTSA has upgraded their investigation calling for an engineering analysis of sun visor-related fires. In some reports, damage included the front seat and door panels of the vehicle. Results of the engineering analysis will help determine if a recall in necessary. The investigation affects nearly 600,000 Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs, model years 2011 through 2013.
Fortunately, these fires have not resulted in any serious injuries or death – yet. And, fortunately, our legal system encourages companies to recall products proactively instead of waiting for something serious to happen. Let’s hope Chrysler acts more aggressively to correct this problem rather than waiting for the results of the investigation. Any delay could impact cause additional injuries – even serious, or death.
We have said this before, but it is worth repeating. Vehicle safety is important. Make sure that your car is as safe as possible by checking for recalls before purchasing and while owning your vehicle. Do not assume that if you are not having problems, that you don’t need to act on the recall and have the problem fixed. If you ignore an identified problem and a situation happens after the recall, you as the owner are at fault. It is the manufacturers’ responsibility to make you aware of the recall; it is your responsibility to have your auto fixed. To check for vehicle recalls, visit www.nhtsa.gov or autorecalls.org.
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.