Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been slapped with a class-action lawsuit relating to the infamous ‘death wobble’ involving 2015-2018 Jeep Wranglers.
Filed in Detroit’s U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the lawsuit asserts that the issue occurs because the solid front axle of the Wrangler cannot absorb bumps and vibrations as efficiently as an independent front suspension. It is alleged that the front axle and steering components of the Wrangler can be jarred out of equilibrium, resulting in violent shaking of the vehicle at highway speeds.
The Detroit News reports that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Claire Reynolds, the owner of a 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4×4 who claims the company offered to replace the steering damper if her vehicle was under warranty. She states that this is simply a “Band-Aid fix” and won’t prevent the issue from re-occurring.
FCA is well is aware of the problem. In fact, the Italian-American car manufacturer stated publicly last year that “vehicles equipped with a solid axle are susceptible to vibration” but claimed that it was “not a safety issue” and that “there are no injuries involving Chrysler Group vehicles related to this allegation.”
The lawsuit addresses these assertions from FCA and takes aim at the company for stating that the death wobble is not a safety issue “rather than address it, or disclose its possibility and/or warn drivers at the point of sale” about the issue.
The lawsuit seeks damages for affected drivers in the form of a buyback program which requires FCA to pay drivers for defective vehicles and provide compensation for the loss of value to the vehicles.