Jeep Drivers Find Steering Wheels & Suspensions Wobble on Bumpy Roads
What would you think if you hit a bump in the road and suddenly your steering wheel and front tires began to wave back and forth? Would you panic or think maybe it was dangerous? Fiat Chrysler is ignoring the Jeep Wrangler “death wobble”, claiming that a little shaking never hurt anyone. But many Michigan motorists disagree.
Michigan has more than its fair share of bumpy roads. When Jeep Wrangler owners hit those bumps, they are taking a risk of setting off the “death wobble” in their suspension and losing control of the vehicle. The death wobble is a result of the Wrangler’s solid front axle design. When one tire hits a bump, pothole, or piece of debris, it can start the whole front suspension shaking violently. See for yourself:[Rare Parts Inc Jeep Death Wobble Experiment Video]
The shaking resonates right up through the steering wheel, affecting drivers’ ability to control the car. And that makes the defect dangerous. Safety advocates have been pushing for a fix since 2012. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received numerous complaints and is investigating the situation.
State and Federal Lemon Law Cases Put Fiat Chrysler on Notice
Many Jeep owners aren’t willing to wait until FCA gets around to admitting there is a problem. Instead, they have filed lawsuits in Michigan’s state and federal courts, asking the court to rule that there was a defect in the Jeep Wrangler’s design that the company knew about and failed to fix. The lemon law lawyers at The Liblang Law Firm, PC, have already helped Jeep owners take FCA to court, seeking compensation for our clients who have had to take repeated trips to the dealership, only to be told there was nothing to repair. Under Michigan law, consumers have the right to be compensated, or even have their vehicles bought back by the manufacturer.
Jeep Announces Recall, Plaintiffs Call It a Band-Aid
Two months after the federal class-action lawsuit was filed, Fiat Chrysler finally announced it would recall the 2015-2018 Jeep Wranglers affected by the death wobble. The company says no one has been hurt by the defect, which it calls a vibration, but it is now offering to install a stabilizer in affected vehicles to help hold the steering wheel in place. Fiat Chrysler still insists there is no safety problem.
That could be because the stabilizer won’t fix anything. It acts as a shock absorber, but does nothing to address the dangerous feedback within the suspension system, making it a Band-Aid fix. The death wobble will only be fixed with substantial revisions the Jeep’s suspension systems.
In the meantime, Fiat Chrysler’s spokesperson Mark Chernoby, says the parts are not defective. It’s just a combination of “the design and manufacturing process”. His suggestion to stop the wobble: slow down or speed up.
But that can put Jeep drivers in real danger. Sudden shifts in speed can catch nearby drivers unaware, resulting in serious injury accidents. One driver told the Detroit Free Press after multiple attempts to fix his Jeep Wrangler, it still wasn’t right.
“Unfortunately (or fortunately), FCA ended up buying back our Jeep after the fourth time that the steering damper broke and we’d had enough. By the time we turned it in, the part was so gone that if I hit any kind of bump on the highway I ended up having to put my hazard lights on and slow down to 40 mph or less to get the shaking to stop.”
That’s no solution to a dangerous design defect.
At The Liblang Law Firm, PC, we don’t think you should have to put up with suspension that sends your car into a “death wobble.” If you own a Jeep Wrangler and have had to repair your steering stabilizer often, we can help. Our lemon law attorneys have been helping consumers fight back against auto defects for over 30 years. We will review your case and help you get relief for your trouble. Get started now. Contact The Liblang Law Firm, PC, for a free consultation.