A Jeep Wrangler “death wobble” lawsuit alleges 2015-2018 SUVs are equipped with defective steering dampers and components that cause violent front-end vibrations.
According to the lawsuit, the "death wobble" is the "seemingly uncontrollable side-to-side shaking of a Jeep’s front-end steering components and—by extension—its steering wheel." The lawsuit doesn't say the vibrations cause front-end failure, but "simulates sudden front-end failure."
While FCA and other automakers say this can be a common occurrence with solid front axles in combination with worn or damaged components, the lawsuit alleges the Wrangler axles and damping systems were defectively designed from the beginning.
Attorneys who filed the proposed class-action lawsuit want Fiat Chrysler (FCA) to buy back all 2015-2018 Jeep Wranglers in the U.S. and give drivers compensation for an alleged loss of value and depreciation of the SUVs.
Attorneys also say FCA should reimburse owners for expenses paid to third parties for work performed related to the vibrations. In addition, the plaintiff wants the automaker to give customers temporary replacement vehicles and Chrysler should pay damages for allegedly putting members of the public at risk.
FCA says the vibrations are easily corrected by simply slowing down and all functions of the vehicles remain active. In addition, although Wrangler drivers call it a "death" wobble, no deaths have ever been attributed to the condition.
The lawsuit was filed by Clair Reynolds, New Jersey plaintiff, who owns a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport she purchased in July 2018. By December 2018, she returned the Wrangler to the dealership because the Jeep allegedly began to experience the wobble.
The dealer allegedly kept the Wrangler for about two weeks to replace the steering damper. But Reynolds claims the alleged death wobble returned a few days later.
The Wrangler was taken back to the dealership in February 2019 and again the steering damper was allegedly replaced, with the technician noting the Jeep was “test drove on highway for 19 miles inspected on lift everything working as designed.” But the plaintiff claims the wobble returned within days.