Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been served a class-action lawsuit over suspension concerns in the Jeep Wrangler, which owners often call the Jeep "death wobble."
According to the lawsuit, which The Detroit News reported on last Wednesday, it was filed in Detroit's U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and alleges FCA knew of the problem and failed to warn would-be owners of 2015-2018 Wranglers. The problem stems from the solid front axle that can cause the steering wheel to shake violently at higher speeds.
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The litigation claims the solid front axle cannot absorb road imperfections such as bumps as effectively as an independent suspension. The solid front axle leads to steering components falling out of equilibrium. Jeep owners have complained about this issue for decades and it's been a regular problem for Jeep owners throughout this decade. The Center for Automotive Safety urged the federal government and NHTSA to look at Jeep suspension problems in 2012 and noted it's a "serious safety issue."
FCA noted that any vehicle equipped with a solid front axle can experience these issues and the problem is "routinely corrected." For owners, that's not enough.
The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Claire Reynolds, who said a dealer provided a temporary fix with a new steering damper replaced under warranty. The problem, however, will return, according to the lawsuit, and it demands FCA fix the problem with revisions to the suspension and repairs for customer vehicles.
The lawsuit seeks to award owners a buyback program that will require FCA to pay owners for the defective vehicles and compensate them for any loss of value. Further, it seeks replacement vehicle for owners who want their Wranglers repaired as part of the best-case-scenario outcome.