Certain Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator owners could get extended warranties and cash back on certain types of repairs if they paid out of pocket in connection with what’s commonly referred to as the Jeep’s “death wobble.” .
This information is part of a proposed settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit limited to owners or lessees of the 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler and 2020 Jeep Gladiator.
A warranty extension of up to eight years or 90,000 miles would cover “all parts and labor required to replace a failed front suspension damper,” according to the proposed contract. The general term of a limited warranty is one year or 36,000 miles.
FCA US, the U.S. unit of Stellantis that owns the Jeep brand, will pay plaintiffs up to $3.95 million and attorneys’ fees of up to $4,000 to each of the six class representatives. The proposed contract stipulates that the company refuses to admit liability or wrongdoing.
This agreement allows owners or lessees of affected vehicles to submit a reimbursement claim at www.fcarecallreimbursement.com if they have paid for the repair related to the front suspension steering damper.
Final approval of the proposed agreement related to the lawsuit, which was first filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit in 2019, is pending an impartiality hearing scheduled for April 19 in Detroit. It’s not clear how many vehicles were involved, but an amended complaint in the lawsuit filed in January 2020 said the company “has about 192,000 owners and is suffering from a defect that manifests itself as a ‘death wobble’. We have identified a Jeep vehicle that is known to “
Stellantis spokesman Eric Mayne said the company does not comment on the ongoing lawsuit.
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A message seeking comment has been sent to plaintiffs’ attorneys.
What has come to be called the “death wobble” usually occurs when the affected vehicle hits a bump at highway speeds, leading to a vibration or shudder that drivers often describe as frightening. The lawsuit describes it as “an uncontrolled side-to-side sway of the front-end steering components, and thus the steering wheel, of Jeep vehicles.”
The company has consistently maintained that the issue is not a safety issue, a point many owners have disputed.
The “death wobble” sounds dramatic, and the phenomenon has a long history of complaints online and to federal regulators, but the company, which prefers to use the term “vibration,” reported deaths and deaths associated with it in 2019. He said he was not aware of any injuries. .
That was the year FCA announced a fix for the problem.A new steering damper for the affected Jeep Wrangler, a part also known as a stabilizer.Many owners refer to the damper as a “band-aid”. calling.
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In 2019, Mark Chernoby, FCA’s chief technical compliance officer at the time, said the vibrations weren’t unique to Wranglers and could occur in any firm front-axle car. He described the problem in 1 as “resonance” and compared it to striking a tuning fork.
In 2018, the Free Press reported that several complaints about similar issues had been filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the 2018 Ford F-250.
However, complaints about the “death wobble” associated with FCA and Jeep go back more than a decade.
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US Congressman Anna Eshu and then-US Congressman Henry Waxman, both California Democrats, wrote to the late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne and NHTSA officials on the issue in 2012.
This followed an article on San Francisco’s KGO-TV (Channel 7), which stated, “Since 1995, the NHTSA has received more than 600 complaints about wobbly and vibrating jeeps, and not a single fatality. No, but five people have been reported injured,” the Free Press previously reported.
On Tuesday, Free Press contacted NHTSA to launch a 2019 investigation into 2018-2019 Jeep Wranglers under the theme of “Welding Quality Defects.” As part of that case, the agency’s Defects Investigation Office had sought additional information from FCA “regarding reports of steering shimmy or wobble, steering looseness, and steering lockup.” His response from NHTSA this week was that he generally does not comment on public investigations.
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Complaints about this issue continue to be posted on the NHTSA website. For example, regarding his 2020 Jeep Wrangler in Utah, which occurred on December 29th.
“While driving 80 mph on a highway in southern Utah, I hit a regular bridge or road seam three times, causing my Jeep to “death wobble.” This is well known among Jeep owners, but as a new owner I had no idea what was going on. After slowing down, the wobble stopped. I thought it would break. “
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