Interior carpet catches fire, excessive heat on passenger side, funny smell - Heat Shield Falls Onto Muffler on Jeep Commander

Problem Data
Average mileage: 96,389 (49,557–164,000)
3 model years affected: 2006, 2007, 2008
4 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 4 of 4 comments
Car caught fire while I was driving. Heat shield fell on the catalytic converter and caused the wires to melt under the carpet which then caused an electric fire and totaled my heep
Heat shield fell onto catalytic converter causing electrical fire in wire harnes right rear seat
Jeep Commander smelled bad and floor at rear passenger was smoking - burned a hole through the carpet.
There is a heat shield above the muffler to dampen the amount of heat transferred into the passenger side area through the floorboards. This heat sheild is composed of aluminum sheet and heat dissipative material. It is adhered to the floorboard pan via inexpensive nuts that look like they were made from stamped sheet metal. I think there was also some kind of adhesive compund, but that had dried up and is not doing its job anymore. On my jeep, over time, these nuts cut into the aluminum sheet causing one whole side to drop down and make contact with the muffler. In my case, the aluminum melted and caused a hot spot, which caused a hole in the top of the muffler. Other than a slight rattling sound, we did not suspect anything was wrong until we started smelling burnt vinyl in the interial...only to find the floorboard had gotten so hot, that a hole was burned in the carpet under the passenger side seat!

4 of the six nuts had caused cracking in the aluminum sheeting, with 2 of them giving way completely.

IF YOU OWN A 2005 or LATER JEEP COMMANDER - CHECK THE AREA AROUND THE RETAINING NUTS ON THE HEAT SHIELD!!! Inspect for cracking. Regardless, install large flat washers between the retaining nuts and the heat shield to prevent the whole assembly from dropping and causing serious safety problems.