WASHINGTON - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether the gas tank design and placement in MY 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees poses a fire risk, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The action is aimed at determining whether a safety recall is warranted.

NHTSA said that the Center for Auto Safety petitioned for the investigation. The center has alleged that the vehicle's fuel tank is vulnerable to rupturing or leaking in rear-impact collisions, posing fire risks.

A spokesman for Jeep parent Chrysler Group told the newspaper that the Grand Cherokee meets or exceeds federal safety standards, and that the company is cooperating with the investigation.

In a statement, NHTSA said that the "existence of these post-crash fires does not, by itself, establish a defect trend. Further review and investigation into these incidents is needed to determine the existence of any relationship between the alleged defect and each fire or leak."