The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation that could lead to the recall or 136,444 Jeep Commanders because the engine stalls unexpectedly.

Federal safety regulators have received 26 vehicle owner complaints alleging incidents of engine stall while driving in a model year 2006 through 2007 Jeep Commander, according to NHTSA documents.

Some of the consumers complaining to NHTSA told of repeated stalls at times with simultaneous loss of some or all lighting systems including headlamps.

Two stalls resulted in accidents, according to NHTSA.

DaimlerChrylser told the agency that engineers at the automaker have formed a task force to investigate the stalling problem with Jeep commanders.

NHTSA has opened its own engineering analysis to assess the frequency, scope and potential safety consequences of the alleged defect.

Pontiac G6 Sedans

Federal safety regulators at NHTSA have also have opened a preliminary investigation of the Pontiac G6 sedan because of complaints of a loss of power steering in the General Motors vehicle.

As many as 176,968 of the 2005 and 2006 model year cars are covered by the investigation according to NHTSA documents.

NHTSA has received 19 complaints of power steering failure in the Pontiac G6 including two accidents and one injury.

An investigation is the first step in the NHTSA safety review process. Roughly 40 percent of the agency's preliminary investigations lead to recalls.