Why are Jeeps catching fire?

3 major fires in Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs have prompted a federal safety investigation.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is launching an investigation into 146,000 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs made by Chrysler. The Detroit News reports the agency received 3 reports from consumers alleging the headliner of the vehicle caught fire near the area of the passenger side sun visor.

"The customers reported a burning odor and visible smoke coming from the headliner while the vehicle was being driven. This was followed by flames from the headliner itself. Customers lowered the windows in an effort to clear the smoke but this increased the fire's intensity. All three vehicles had to be extinguished with a fire extinguisher or by the fire department as they continued to burn after the vehicle was turned off," NHTSA said. "The fire also caused the sunroof to shatter in one incident, and in another, the fire spread to the passenger seat when the burning sun visor fell onto the seat. In each case, the incident resulted in the vehicle being inoperable requiring it to be towed to the dealership."

A Chrysler spokesman said the company is working with NHTSA.

For more on the story from The Detroit News: