Personal Finance

Regulators review reports of fires inside Jeep Grand Cherokees

Jeep investigation

Regulators are investigating complaints that the ceilings can catch fire in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. The probe, announced Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers an estimated 146,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles. Three customers complained that their ceilings caught fire near the passenger-side sun visor while they were driving. Initially there was a burning smell, then smoke and flames. The customers lowered their windows to clear the smoke, but that increased the fire’s intensity. Investigators will decide if the problem is serious enough for a recall.

E-cigarette ban?

The Food and Drug administration is considering a ban on online sales of electronic cigarettes as part of a package of regulations the agency is readying for the increasingly popular devices, according to The Wall Street Journal. The agency is expected to formally unveil its proposals in October. Analysts estimate that e-cigarette sales in the U.S. will reach $1 billion this year.

Airlines add services

As their profits increase, U.S. airlines are adding services again after years of deep cuts. The airline industry plans to add service every quarter this year after a full year of capacity reductions in 2012, according to Airlines for America, an industry trade group. In the fourth quarter, carriers are scheduled to offer 14 percent more seats compared with a year earlier.

Possible washing machine defects

Sears must face consumer class action litigation over alleged washing machine defects, a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled after being asked to reconsider the issue by the U.S. Supreme Court. Consumers accused the retailer of selling appliances with faulty computer control systems. They also alleged that the front-loading machines, made by Whirlpool Corp. and sold under Sears’ Kenmore brand, accumulate mold. “There is a single, central, common issue of liability: whether the Sears washing machine was defective,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner said in a ruling reiterating that two classes be recognized.