Jeep Wranglers recalled for potential fire hazard

Jeep Wrangler models from 2010 are being recalled by Chrysler due to a flaw in the design of the skid plate that protects the transmission, which could ultimately result in a fire.The problem affects 67,872 vehicles.

Bryan Snyder/Reuters/File
A "Sold" tag sits on the windshield of a Jeep Wrangler at Grava Chrysler Jeep and Dodge dealership in Medford, Massachusetts January 5, 2010. Chrysler Group is recalling 67,872 Jeep Wrangler sport utility vehicles from the 2010 model year to fix a transmission problem that it said could lead to vehicle fires.

Chrysler has issued a recall for 2010 models of its popular Jeep Wrangler. At issue is a flaw in the design of the skid plate that protects the transmission, which could ultimately result in a fire.

The Jeep recall affects 67,872 Wranglers equipped with automatic transmissions. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, studies of those vehicles have shown that debris can accumulate in the transmission skid plate.

The problem is that the skid plate is located very close to the catalytic converter. If debris builds up, the heat from the converter can cause it to catch fire.

The company notes that the Wrangler owner's manual instructs owners to clear debris from the underbody, which would presumably reduce the risk of such fires.

Chrysler replaced the skid pan in late 2010 with a skid bar as a weight-reduction measure, so only 2010 models are affected. The company had relocated the catalytic converter that year, bringing it closer to the transmission.

Chrysler has said that it will begin addressing the problem immediately, and owners should receive official notices about the recall later this month. At that time, they'll be able to take their vehicles to a Jeep dealer, who will replace the skid plate with a skid bar.

If you have questions in the meantime, you're encouraged to contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall M22. Or, if you prefer, you can ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about campaign #12V216000. 

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