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A Note on Automobile Cruise Control Faults and Sudden or Unintended Acceleration

by Dr Antony Anderson C.Eng FIEE


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9.5.4 CHRYSLER SUDDEN ACCELERATION INCIDENTS (Chrysler Jeep Cherokee)     ( Google )

  • Sudden Unintended Acceleration - A personal perspective by Doug Newman - mainly relating to sudden accelerations in car wash units in the USA
  • November 13th 2007 Jeep takes off at Autobell carwash. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — A “runaway” Jeep busted out of an Autobell carwash and careened through several fast food parking lots before finally crashing into a brick wall at an auto part store .
  • June 15th 2006 Another Car Wash, another Jeep sudden acceleration incident  West Chester OH.
  • June 13th 2006 Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal calls upon NHTSA to investigate Jeep Cherokee sudden accelerations    Other articles:
  • March 1st 2006: Jeep Grand Cherokee ICA Announces Jeep Cherokee Sudden Acceleration Roundtable for Tuesday March 14th.
  • August 7th 2004 :Chicago: Five Pedestrians struck by SUV The driver of an SUV lost control of the vehicle, striking five people, a tree and a suburban hotel. The man behind the wheel said the accelerator on his 1993 Jeep Cherokee malfunctioned. The injuries do not appear serious and no charges have been filed so far. 
  • March 19 2004: Chrysler Grand Cherokee: Alleged sudden acceleration incident    Sandy, Utah
  • Feb 24 2004: Chrysler Grand Cherokee: Alleged sudden acceleration incident  Salt Lake City Utah.
  • January 22 2003 : International Carwash Association Issues Jeep Cherokee Reminder : CHICAGO - Special Report – Over  the years, the International Carwash Association (ICA) has tracked and reported on many incidents of "sudden acceleration" by Jeep Cherokee models (Grand, Laredo and Sport) in professional carwashes. This problem has caused a considerable amount of damage to both our business and other vehicle's. In some cases the most unfortunate incidents involve our employees or innocent customers.

  • 09/09/2002 : Santosa v Chrysler : Court of Appeals Division 1 Washington Indrasanti Santosa was seriously injured when a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Ida Gerstel suddenly accelerated and struck her. Following a trial in which Chrysler and Gerstel were both defendants, the jury found that a defect in the Jeep was the sole cause of the accident, and excused Gerstel from liability.  Finding no error, the Appeal Court affirmed the judgment on the verdict.  []
  • September 20 2002 : CHRYSLER JEEP AND JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE: NHTSA Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition   59330A [Federal Register Vol. 67, 183 Friday, Sep 20, 2002] This notice sets forth the reasons for the denial of a petition submitted to NHTSA under 49 U.S.C. 30162 by Mr. William Sayler, requesting the Agency commence a proceeding to determine the existence of a defect related to motor vehicle safety in certain Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles. After a review of the petition and other information, NHTSA has concluded that further investigation of the Agency’s investigative resources on the issues raised by the petition does not appear warranted. The agency accordingly has denied the petition. The petition is hereinafter identified as DP 02-0005 [Petition submitted April 11 2002] Document can be found in PDF downloadable form at:
    • Motor Vehicle Petition DP 02-005  [Jeep Cherokee & Grand Cherokee]  An overview of Research and Findings in the Investigation of Sudden Acceleration Incidents involving Model Year 1991 through 1995 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokees. March 27 2002. Formal Defect Petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Authors: Sayler, Walter D., Bizzak, David J., Nocivelli, Robert A. Document can be found in PDF downloadable form at:
    • Previous requests for NHTSA investigations
      • Centre for Auto Safety request to NHTSA 23/04/96 for higher level investigation
      • Centre for Auto Safety request to NHTSA 13/07/90 for higher level investigation

  • February 12 2003 : Chrysler Grand Cherokee: Alleged sudden acceleration incident Wednesday  Fort Worth Texas. Star Telegram On-Line Reporter Deanna Boyd <>. "A 37 year old car wash employee was critically injured when she was struck and dragged by an out-of-control Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by another employee. Witnesses say an employee was driving the Grand Cherokee out of the car wash bay when it suddenly accelerated striking the woman and three other employees before coming to a stop...The 18 year old driver said he wasn't able to stop the SUV until he threw the transmission into Park." Articles at: and [subscription only]
  •   January 27  2003:  1991 Chrysler Grand Cherokee: An alleged sudden acceleration incident occurred on in Paris Texas. Report by Mary Madewell in Paris News on 11 February 2003:  "Pete Patterson hadn't heard of sudden unintended acceleration two weeks ago, but after experiencing it first hand the former state legislator wants Daimler Chrysler to make sure other Jeep Grand Cherokee owners know of the dangers it poses..."  [ ]
  • March 28, 2000: Driver's fault vs. auto's fault By Amy McLaughlin Chicago Daily Herald Staff  Writer  A car crashes through a building. Someone must be asleep at the wheel, right? Not necessarily, says a Des Plaines car wash manager  whose employee drove a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee through a neighboring restaurant. Two people had minor injuries as a result of that crash Tuesday and police are classifying it as an accident. But John Imreibe, manager of Royal Touch Car Wash in Des Plaines, says there  is a lot more to the story. Imreibe said there are well-documented problems with the Jeep Grand Cherokee that date back for years. 
  • 1998: Strategic Safety. Special investigation Chrysler Cherokee . [ ] Presents the facts from Strategic Safety's 1998 investigation including 5 incidents from Chrysler's own files and 4 other documented case histories. Two of the documented case histories relate to vehicles suddenly accelerating from a car wash facility.  
    • Case History 1: Hoffman Car Wash. Albany, NY. 3/26/94. 1992 Jeep Cherokee Laredo. VIN 1J4FJ5880NL246884.
    • Case History 3: Nashua, NH. 3/19/97. Reported by the Nashua Telegraph, 3/20/98. 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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Last updated May 15th 2012

Antony Anderson