Fire result of transmission failure

harleypap57

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So my new wrangler JL with the 3.6l and the 6 speed manual decided to self detonate. It happened on 12/21/2019 and as of today FCA and Jeep refuses to speak with me whatsoever. After researching night and day and doing a lot of digging, it appears this is not as uncommon as people think. This incident almost took a family members life and am only trying to make people aware. I see a lot of people try to come out and tell their story when an incident like this happens, but almost immediately get shut down. This is not a Jab at Jeep and has no underlying meaning. There is an obvious issue with the 6 speed manual in the new wrangler and just because you haven’t seen it or heard of it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I’ve been a Jeep enthusiast my whole life and planned on buying the new gladiator after this happened. After being completely ignored after several e-mails and phone calls to Jeep and the FCA, It’s really disappointing the way they’re handling this case. I’ve tried all the top executives and ceo Mike Manley as well but I believe it’s not reaching them as all my emails to them get automatically forwarded to [email protected] with zero response. I’ve tried contacting them through twitter and Facebook and as soon as I mention my case number I get zero response. I have been going through my insurance to get this covered but as some of you may know they don’t cover everything. I walked away with nothing and no way to get into another vehicle, and to top it off FCA refuses to give me a rental but luckily my dealership didn’t hesitate when I asked for a loaner vehicle until this is resolved. Any help to get this to reach someone to help me would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Jay

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I'm going through the same thing now with my 2018 with an automatic. Transmission let go taking out my driveshaft, transmission lines and others resulting in a fire under the vehicle. Now the dealership is playing a insurance company game and here I sit. My insurance company gave me a rental, 2021 Toyota Corolla for 30 days. I just want my Jeep back and not some stupid car.
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Rodeoflyer

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Well.. you know.. transmissions are the only I've had to deal with with on my last 5-7 vehicles in 30 years.. You would think it could be helped.. it's just wear item and you have to deal with it.

That said, I've had FAR fewer issues with manual transmissions.
 

roaniecowpony

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The manual transmission fire is why I object to the way Jeep put a plastic fuel line up along side the transmission and up to the engine thru the tunnel. My guess is that that fuel line was compromised in the cited fire and the fuel tank fed the fire. It's a poor design choice. Fuel lines should be metal and routed away from electrical and hot engine and rotating driveline components. If someone is trapped in a vehicle from an accident, the last thing you want is a small fire melting the plastic fuel line and making it into an inferno. Brian Panish would have a field day.
 
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Toycrusher

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The manual transmission fire is why I object to the way Jeep put a plastic fuel line up along side the transmission and up to the engine thru the tunnel. My guess is that that fuel line was compromised in the cited fire and the fuel tank fed the fire. It's a poor design choice. Fuel lines should be metal and routed away from electrical and hot engine and rotating driveline components. If someone is trapped in a vehicle from an accident, the last thing you want is a small fire melting the plastic fuel line and making it into an inferno. Brian Panish would have a field day.
To be fair, most vehicles built in the last couple decades have plastic fuel lines routed through the tunnel.
 

roaniecowpony

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To be fair, most vehicles built in the last couple decades have plastic fuel lines routed through the tunnel.
When an industry does something like this as a matter of SOP, it just makes the big lawsuits so much bigger. It's a poor design choice and disregards safety in accidents involving trapped occupants.

If you crawl under your JL and look at the fuel feed line, it goes from the tank toward the center of the vehicle, in alongside the transmission, which is right next to the catalytic converter, and up the tunnel to the back of the engine. You don't need a lot of imagination to figure out what happens if that plastic fuel line is compromised. There are at least two poor choices for safety considerations: the plastic fuel line and the routing.

I'm guessing the reason FCA was not responding to the member that stated his family member was nearly lost in the fire, was because they have either litigation from other events or their corporate legal staff is sucked up pretty hard, knowing the design is deficient in more than one way. The auto industry has taken a lot of good lessons in safety from the aviation industry. They missed this one.
 
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Toycrusher

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When an industry does something like this as a matter of SOP, it just makes the big lawsuits so much bigger. It's a poor design choice and disregards safety in accidents involving trapped occupants. I'm guessing the reason FCA was not responding to the member that stated his family member was nearly lost in the fire, was because they have either litigation from other events or their corporate legal staff is sucked up pretty hard, knowing the design is deficient in more than one way. The auto industry has taken a lot of good lessons in safety from the aviation industry. They missed this one.
I could be wrong but I have a feeling it has to do with non-plastic lines corroding and spraying fuel leading to fires. There's only so much you can prepare for when it comes to accidents. Replacing flammable fuel with flammable batteries or hydrogen doesn't exactly move the goal post all that far. Balance the risks in life and only take the ones you need to
 

roaniecowpony

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I could be wrong but I have a feeling it has to do with non-plastic lines corroding and spraying fuel leading to fires. There's only so much you can prepare for when it comes to accidents. Replacing flammable fuel with flammable batteries or hydrogen doesn't exactly move the goal post all that far. Balance the risks in life and only take the ones you need to
There are plenty of metal options to prevent corrosion. And I will disagree with you about "...only so much you can prepare for..." design improvements. In the aviation industry, it's not only a practice, it's the law, that safety be continuously improved by review of all events and discoveries. Events like the OP's would go into a review and real corrective measures would occur.

My product safety and regulatory experience is in aviation, and I'm not familiar with regulations of automobiles any more than most laypersons. But, the auto industry, in general, continuously improves safety and the public demands it. That's why there are seatbelts, airbags, crush zones, good headlights and tailights, and all the other improvements. Not because the manufacturers decided on their own.
 

ALRUI

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I could be wrong but I have a feeling it has to do with non-plastic lines corroding and spraying fuel leading to fires. There's only so much you can prepare for when it comes to accidents. Replacing flammable fuel with flammable batteries or hydrogen doesn't exactly move the goal post all that far. Balance the risks in life and only take the ones you need to
Corrosion factor likely plus moving them inboard makes them less like to be damaged in a side impact accident. I'm sure the design engineers didn't envision clutches exploding as they were designing a 4X4 not a dragster:)
 

Toycrusher

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There are plenty of metal options to prevent corrosion. And I will disagree with you about "...only so much you can prepare for..." design improvements. In the aviation industry, it's not only a practice, it's the law, that safety be continuously improved by review of all events and discoveries. Events like the OP's would go into a review and real corrective measures would occur.

My product safety and regulatory experience is in aviation, and I'm not familiar with regulations of automobiles any more than most laypersons. But, the auto industry, in general, continuously improves safety and the public demands it. That's why there are seatbelts, airbags, crush zones, good headlights and tailights, and all the other improvements. Not because the manufacturers decided on their own.
I won't claim to have any extraordinary experience in much of anything. I do have a strong background in Marine environments. Like aviation, many components have an expected lifespan and the maintenance interval is scheduled well before the component is expected to "need" service.

In accidents/collisions however, bumpers are designed to handle roughly 5mph impacts. Crumple zones are designed for 30-ish mph accidents. Roof strength likewise for a certain speed. A crash at 55mph or getting t-boned by a Semi... sometimes your just along for the ride
 

roaniecowpony

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Corrosion factor likely plus moving them inboard makes them less like to be damaged in a side impact accident. I'm sure the design engineers didn't envision clutches exploding as they were designing a 4X4 not a dragster:)
Engineers can't foresee everything. That's why there are regulations that require manufacturers to report events like the OP's and regulations that require corrective actions on safety issues. But to your comment, the engines in these things can run to 6k rpm, the super heated catalytic converter is inches from the fuel line and the manufacturer may now have learned of a hazard in their design from events like this one. If so, under the law, they have to mitigate the risk to an acceptable level (to NHTSA).

I won't claim to have any extraordinary experience in much of anything. I do have a strong background in Marine environments. Like aviation, many components have an expected lifespan and the maintenance interval is scheduled well before the component is expected to "need" service.

In accidents/collisions however, bumpers are designed to handle roughly 5mph impacts. Crumple zones are designed for 30-ish mph accidents. Roof strength likewise for a certain speed. A crash at 55mph or getting t-boned by a Semi... sometimes your just along for the ride
Unfortunately, you're right about being along for the ride in some events. But the continuous improvement safety philosophy required by law in the auto, marine, and aviation regulatory agencies keeps pushing the bar higher. A guy that rolled his CJ 30-40 years ago could expect serious injury or death. Today, rolling a JL is not only less likely, but we expect to survive it with minimal injury. That happened because of continuous improvement safety philosophy, regardless of whether pressured by litigation, regulation, or market pressures.
 
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