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2010 Jeep Wrangler, 2011-2012 Chevrolet Cruze Investigated For Engine Fires (UPDATED)

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2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

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UPDATED: See below

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced investigations of the 2010 Jeep Wrangler and the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. According to official bulletins posted on the NHTSA website, a total of eight fires have been reported in the Wrangler and two in the Cruze. All ten began in the engine compartment.

Worryingly, the investigation bulletin on the Jeep Wrangler (PDF) states that seven of the eight incidents occurred while the vehicles were being driven. If this extends to a full-scale recall, it could affect some 100,000 Wranglers from the 2010 model year.

The investigation bulletin on the Chevrolet Cruze (PDF) details two customer complaints about engine fires. Though the bulletin doesn't go into detail about whether the cars were being driven at the time of the incidents, it does say that both complaints were received within the past month, and both incidents resulted in the vehicles being declared total losses. If the situation escalates, 177,330 Cruzes from the 2011 model year could be subject to recall.

The Detroit News reports that both automakers are aware of the consumer complaints and of the NHTSA investigations, although both say that they're unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem. Both GM and Chrysler are cooperating fully with NHTSA; GM is also conducting its own investigation of the Cruze to help expedite the process.

UPDATE: As of May 24, NHTSA's probe has expanded to include 2012 models of the Chevrolet Cruze, according to Detroit News. That brings the total number of Chevrolet vehicles under investigation to about 370,000.

We'll keep you posted as the investigation progresses.

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