Dems To Chrysler: Talk To Owners About Jeep Wrangler 'Death Wobble'

July 6, 2012
2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have asked Chrysler to address an issue that hundreds of Jeep Wrangler owners have complained about.

The problem is known colloquially as the "Jeep Death Wobble", and according to a report in Detroit News, it's been associated with Wrangler vehicles from the 2005-2010 model years. It tends to appear at speeds above 45 miles per hour, often after the Wrangler has hit some kind of obstruction, like a pothole or bump in the road, which causes the Wrangler to "shimmy". Chrysler has confirmed that at least one death has been linked to the problem.

But while National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 402 complaints about the issue -- including two crashes possibly related to it -- the agency has refused to launch a formal investigation. NHTSA's David Strickland insists that the agency is monitoring the situation, but he also says that the "death wobble" doesn't cause a loss of control for drivers.

Chrysler rep Michael Palese admits that there could be a "wobbling" problem with the Wrangler, but points out that all vehicles with solid axles can experience the same issue. He blames the wobble on improperly installed tires and aftermarket equipment.

Now, two elected officials have formally asked Chrysler to talk to Jeep Owners about fixing it. Anna Eshoo and Henry Waxman -- both Democrats from California -- sent a letter to Chrysler's Sergio Marchionne earlier this week, encouraging the CEO to launch an outreach campaign. Both complain that Chrysler has failed to give owners consistent guidance about fixing the problem.

So far, Marchionne has not formally responded to the Representatives' letter.

Do you drive a Jeep Wrangler? If so, have you experienced the "Death Wobble"? Has it gotten worse over time (as many complaints allege)? And what, if anything, have you done to fix it? Share your tips with us via email or in the comments below.

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