The Connecticut Attorney General is telling federal regulators that they ought to investigate unintended acceleration in the Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee after a 52-year-old man was run over and killed by a Grand Cherokee in a Connecticut car wash.
Connecticut authorities have received several reports of Jeep Grand Cherokees suddenly accelerating out of car washes while changing gears to "drive" from "neutral," according to Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
Blumenthal also urged the Chrysler group to release any information or history of Grand Cherokees suddenly or unexpectedly accelerating.
"The rate and severity of these sudden acceleration incidents suggest a severe structural flaw -- certainly more than simple coincidence," Blumenthal said.
"These incidents -- in one case killing a Connecticut man -- call for aggressive and vigorous action to prevent another needless, preventable tragedy," he said.
In a 2003 complaint to ConsumerAffairs.com, Beth of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, said her mother was driving her 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee into her driveway and had just applied the brake to stop.
"Instead of the car stopping it accelerated and the brakes didn't stop her, she crashed through the yard, over patio furniture through a table and into a large maple tree."
Annette of Holdsville, New York, wrote: "My sister went to back my car our of her driveway. She had her foot on the brake, put car in reverse and it took off out of control smashing into a house and causing major damage."
Blumenthal held a news conference at a car wash in Milford, Connecticut along with Doug Newman who owns a chain of car washes in the state.
Newman claims to have seen the Grand Cherokee suddenly accelerate at his car wash chain on several occasions.
"I have been operating multiple car wash locations for almost 20 years. Over that period of time and the few million or so cars washed, I have had only four sudden acceleration incidents and all four of these incidents involved Jeep Grand Cherokees," he said.
Blumenthal warned that Chrysler should advise car wash owners, auto repairers and insurers about reports of sudden or unexpected accelerations by the Grand Cherokee. He also asked that any findings of sudden acceleration be reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration using its online complaint form.