The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating thousands of Jeep Wranglers made as 2018MY and MY2019 cars in a bid to determine if early examples of the JL-generation model have bad frame welds.
A probe was kicked off by the Office of Defects Investigation in October 2018 after a Wrangler owner complained about a frame that had been improperly welded at the factory. The owner found a number of other issues relating to the welding of the vehicle’s frame.
The Office of Defects Investigation asked Jeep for more information about weld-related problems and the death wobble experienced by some Wrangler owners. While the NHTSA has yet to release its findings regarding the poor frame welds, it has uncovered enough evidence to warrant an investigation.
An NHTSA summary shared online regarding the investigation says the information provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles regarding the issue “did not adequately address whether frame weld quality deficiencies compromise the structural integrity of vehicles, and therefore may pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.” The investigation also aims to determine if the reported ‘death wobble’ is related to the welding issues.
The fourth-generation Jeep Wrangler was recalled last year over separate frame-related issues after it was determined that a bracket could separate from the front part of the frame it’s welded to and cause the driver to lose control.
FCA announced a claimed fix for the death wobble last month, but stopped short of issuing a recall. The automaker claims that the fitment of a new steering damper available free of charge from dealerships resolves the problem.