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US Regulators Investigate Jeep Grand Cherokee Fires

Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating three consumer reports of ceiling fires in 2012 model Jeep Grand Cherokees.

Consumers described a "burning odor and visible smoke coming from the headliner while the vehicle was being driven," according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The burning odor was followed by flames, only intensified by wind from windows lowered to clear the smoke.

All three vehicles continued to burn after they had been turned off and had to be put out by the fire department or fire extinguishers. In one case, flames spread to the passenger seat after the sun visor fell. There were no injuries.

In each incident, the cars had to be towed to dealerships for repairs.

The preliminary report makes no mention of a recall, only an evaluation of "the scope, frequency and consequence of the alleged defect."

However, Clarence Ditlow from the Center of Auto Safety tells ABC News it's only a matter of time.

"The only question is how soon will they announce a recall. There's a long history of occupant compartment recalls caused by electrical shorts," Ditlow said.

Chrysler recalled 2.7 million Jeep models in June after a NHTSA investigation found faults in the fuel tanks.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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