The Wrangler’s popularity may come at a price for the company.
The infamous so-called ‘death wobble’ is a widely known alleged trait of certain Wranglers in some circles. Complainants say their Jeep’s suspension tries to shake the thing like a Polaroid picture above certain highway speeds. A class-action lawsuit has now been filed against FCA about the issue, landing with a dull thud on the desk of Detroit’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, according to those in the know over at The Detroit News.
Some drivers of these rigs have complained about this type of behavior for ages. What is new, however, is an FCA ‘customer satisfaction’ campaign for the new JL which seeks to address that model’s steering damper. Is Jeep looking to head things off with their new cash cow? Maybe.
The JL’s campaign bears the number V41 in a column labelled ‘recall’ on this Mopar Recall & CSN Status guide found here and shown above with the appropriate part highlighted in red. It was issued about a week ago. A quick Google search of those part numbers reveals they include steering components for the new JL. The document’s color key indicates these parts aren’t VIN specific and have restricted quantities.
All this could indicate the company is looking to head off JL complainants before they’re hit with a kerfuffle about that model’s behaviour, too. As for the class-action lawsuit mentioned above, it was filed on behalf ofNew Jersey resident Claire Reynolds, saying the company offers drivers a “Band-Aid fix” in the form of replacing the steering damper if the vehicle is under warranty. This person’s Jeep was apparently in the shop six times over a three month period for the problem. The lawsuit seeks damages for affected drivers in the form of a buyback program.
The so-called ‘death wobble’ isn’t exactly a new alleged phenomenon, especially since the Wrangler has had a solid log front axle since approximately the beginning of time. Die hard Jeep fanatics know this. With Wrangler sales through the roof, they are now also being driven by folks who press them into daily commuting duty and perhaps expect them to act like a car-based crossover vehicle.
Massive popularity – and massive profits – are a double-edged sword for Jeep, it seems.