US opens probe into Jeep Compass SUV engines shutting down

Jeep logo. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DETROIT – U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the engines on some small Jeeps can shut down while being driven.

The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 229,000 Jeep Compass SUVs from the 2019 and 2020 model years.

Documents posted Tuesday by the agency say it has 15 complaints that drivers have gotten dashboard messages saying their coolant temperature is too high, followed by an immediate engine shutdown.

The agency says that in most cases the messages corrected themselves or were temporarily fixed when the Jeeps were stopped and restarted. One complaint said a Compass wouldn't restart and had to be towed.

Stellantis, which makes Jeeps, said owners who see a dashboard warning light should contact dealers. The company says it's cooperating in the investigation.

The agency will determine how often the problem happens and the safety consequences. It could seek a recall.