DETROIT -- U.S. auto safety 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 to the government 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, NHTSA said in documents posted on its website.