Government Investigates Possible Defect in Jeep

The federal government is investigating a possible defect in Jeep Grand Cherokees that may cause the popular sport-utility vehicles to lurch into reverse--usually when idling with the gearshift in the "park" position.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received at least 48 complaints of what it terms "inadvertent rollaway in reverse" involving 1995 to 1999 Grand Cherokees, according to an agency document. The incidents have led to 32 crashes and 14 injuries. No deaths have been reported.

DaimlerChrysler Corp., maker of the Grand Cherokee, said it's cooperating with the agency in its preliminary inquiry.

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