1. #1
    southtj's Avatar
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    JK's catching fire coverup

    Apparently, according to the website Jalopnik, there is an ongoing problem with the JK's catching fire and Jalopnik is implying that Chrysler is overpaying owners to not talk about it.

    Sean Heiney of Ann Arbor, Michigan was driving his 2010 Jeep Wrangler home when all of a sudden the brakes failed. Then his power steering went. Then he noticed smoke. Within a minute his car was surrounded by flames.

    His was not the first late-model Jeep to catch fire, as a number of incidents of Wranglers experiencing massive system failures with no warning before bursting into flames have been reported to the Department of Transportation. Owners have also mentioned this issue on forums.

    Heiney even claims he was offered more money than the value of his car — an amount Chrysler termed "generous" — in return for never discussing the matter publicly. So what's going on here?
    "I was driving for about five minutes from a cold start near downtown — and it's unusually warm in Michigan so I wasn't running the A/C or anything — I was driving around 25-35 mph on a busy city street and the brakes failed — I noticed the light was turning yellow — I ran the red light because my brakes weren't stopping," Heiney explains.

    "I thought my car stalled and I noticed the dash was still lit up," he says. "I see smoke coming up the dash and I see flames coming up the window."

    Heiney was able to get the car off the road and bail before it was completed engulfed in flames. It took just a minute for the fire department to arrive but at that point it was too late.

    Heiney's situation isn't unique.

    The 2008-2010 Jeep Wrangler — part of the JK series of Wranglers — has the unfortunate distinction of being an American vehicle that was banned from import by the Chinese government over fires, an issue Chrysler says it resolved.
    At the time, Chrysler said they were aware of the fire and said they issued a recall in February 2010 to deal with an issue where transmission fluid could overheat under "extreme and/or abusive driving conditions under rigorous off-road conditions."

    Chrysler in their statement went on to say that "Outside of China, Chrysler Group is not aware of any vehicle fires related to this condition once the recall was completed."

    Except reports of fires have continued. A search of the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration's (NHTSA) Office of Defect Investigations (ODI) going back to October 2010 — eight months after the recall — shows five reports of 2010 MY Jeep Wranglers experiencing fires similar to Heiney's.
    ...
    After the incident occurred with Heiney he said he banged his head against the wall trying to get someone to answer him. He looked into the issue and discovered all the other customers with similar issues.

    Eventually, he heard from Chrysler and says they offered to buy his Jeep back at full sale value plus some additional funds — but he'd have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. He refused, saying he demanded to know why this keeps happening and what Jeep planned to do about this.
    Anyone around here hear about JK's going up in flames?

    Full story here.

    Last edited by southtj; 03-20-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  2. #2
    bugleboy's Avatar
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    ive never heard anything of it but it doesent seem to be a frequent problem

  3. #3
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    lots of vehicle fires recently, across a broad range of manufacturers. it sucks jeep was trying to cover it up though. thats a serious safety issue
    I love my old jeep.

  4. #4
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    the only time i heard of a jeep bursting into flames it was a cherokee on cherokeefm, the owner took some really cool pictures lol

    JK's catching fire coverup-image-4257111048.jpg

    i wish i could link it to you guys oh well at least i saved a pic lol

  5. #5
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    that would suck
    I love my old jeep.

  6. #6
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    its a sad picture :'(

  7. #7
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    I just got around to watching that video. Did anything new come from Jeep on this?

    southtj - are you going to put an aftermarket tranny cooler on your new JK?

  8. #8
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    I use to manage the parts department at a Honda dealership and main reasons of car fires were do to people installing aftermarket parts wrong...especially electrical ones...the jeep has to be one of the most altered vehicles out there so i wouldn't be surprised if it occurrs more with jeeps.

  9. #9
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    If your looking southtj take a look at PSC's cooler and mount system. This is one that I am going to to buy for my jeep when I add hydro assist since it holds the trans and a second for my power steering.

    blatant jokessubliminal sarcasmsexual innuendo

  10. #10
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    Quote Originally Posted by untamed View Post
    I use to manage the parts department at a Honda dealership and main reasons of car fires were do to people installing aftermarket parts wrong...especially electrical ones...the jeep has to be one of the most altered vehicles out there so i wouldn't be surprised if it occurrs more with jeeps.
    I hear what you're saying, but I believe that this time it's only automatic Wranglers that are catching fire. From what I've read the stock tranny cooler doesn't cut it.

  11. #11
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryMason View Post
    I hear what you're saying, but I believe that this time it's only automatic Wranglers that are catching fire. From what I've read the stock tranny cooler doesn't cut it.
    In the one picture the JK was sitting on 35 inch tires, a lifted vehicle with bigger tires puts a lot more strain on any transmission, but with automatic transmissions the movement of fluid is the main propulsion means that power is transfered, thus adding more stress, I.E. heat to the system. With any lifted vehicle with an automatic transmission a secondary transmission oil cooler should be required.

    Jeep designed its system for a non-altered vehicle, and any modifications done after purchase it is the owners responsibility to correct the system deficiencies that his or her modifications altered.

    blatant jokessubliminal sarcasmsexual innuendo

  12. #12
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    Quote Originally Posted by Utah_jeepster View Post
    In the one picture the JK was sitting on 35 inch tires, a lifted vehicle with bigger tires puts a lot more strain on any transmission, but with automatic transmissions the movement of fluid is the main propulsion means that power is transfered, thus adding more stress, I.E. heat to the system. With any lifted vehicle with an automatic transmission a secondary transmission oil cooler should be required.

    Jeep designed its system for a non-altered vehicle, and any modifications done after purchase it is the owners responsibility to correct the system deficiencies that his or her modifications altered.

    True, but the first couple of minutes of that video are about a stock (as in no non-dealer installed accessories) Jeep JK that burned to the ground.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails JK's catching fire coverup-capture.png  

  13. #13
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    It looks that way but those were not stock tires. Larger tires alone add to the heat load on the transmission. I could be wrong here in my assumption. But I am only going by what I think I see.

    Sent from my PG86100 using Jeepz

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  14. #14
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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    Look around 1:22 in the video, I think those are stock tires.

    JK's catching fire coverup-capture.png

    However you stack it though, if a dealer installs 33s on the Jeep then I'd expect a Jeep warranty to not deem that a user installed accessory.

  15. #15
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    I remember a few years back a friend of mine had a lifted Chevy truck. His tranny went out and the dealership said the lift kit voided his warranty. Being curious I jumped online. I could swear I found a website that essentially said SEMA was created to support aftermarket equipment manufacturers. It essentially said aftermarket equipment are not supposed to void warranty if installed properly. It is the dealers responsibility to prove the aftermarket equipment is the sole cause for any failure. They even gave a contact for any issues arising from aftermarket equipment and warranty voiding.
    I may be wrong. Please chime in

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    Re: JK's catching fire coverup

    Originally posted by TerryMason
    I just got around to watching that video. Did anything new come from Jeep on this?

    southtj - are you going to put an aftermarket tranny cooler on your new JK?
    I've not heard anything else about it since I read that original article.

    Terry, I won't be putting one on my new JK since it's a manual tranny. (REordered today by the way)
    Last edited by southtj; 09-11-2012 at 04:40 PM.

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    We have been replacing lots of skid plates with a skid bar under a recall for grass and mud getting caught between it and trans and exhaust.

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