The concern lies with the off-roader's solid front axle.
Owners of late model Jeep Wranglers are taking to the courts over the so-called “death wobble” that’s been reported to affect some versions of the popular off-roader. The Detroit News reports that a class-action lawsuit was filed on June 12 in the Detroit’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, targeting FCA and alleging the automaker knew about the issue but neither addressed it nor warned buyers at the time of sale about a potential problem.
In a statement to Motor1.com, a Jeep representative said the following:
"FCA US has not been served with this lawsuit and cannot comment on its allegations at this time. However, we note that any manufacturer vehicle equipped with a solid axle can experience steering system vibration and, if experienced, it is routinely corrected.
Indeed, most reported incidents of steering system vibration are linked to the following:
- Modifications to a vehicle, such as poorly installed or maintained after-market equipment, such as lift kits and oversized tires.
- Damaged or worn steering system components.
- Incorrect tire pressure.
As we previously reported, Wrangler owners identify the crux of the problem as a vibration in the steering wheel that can get quite bad. It usually occurs at higher speeds after hitting a bump, with the only remedy being to slow down. The Detroit News further elaborates on the matter, saying an “uncontrollable side-to-side shaking” can result as well. It’s apparently nothing new, though the class-action lawsuit specifically identifies 2015-2018 model-year Jeep Wrangler.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists numerous complaints of a violent shaking of the wheel in Jeep Wranglers, though no official investigation is presently underway. However, The Detroit News reports says safety advocates in Washington have campaigned for a closer look at the potential issue as far back as 2012. The lawsuit alleges Jeep has replaced steering dampers for some owners experiencing issues under warranty, but that it doesn’t fix the problem. Throughout all of this, there’s no mention of the new Jeep Gladiator experiencing problems.