Home / Auto News / News article: Congress Requests NHTSA to Address Jeep Wranglers Death Wobble - Video - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Mar 21 2012, 12:01 PM

Back in February, San Francisco, California-based KGO-TV had a news report on a “death wobble” affecting 2005-2010 Jeep Wrangler owners. A month later, two members of the House of Representatives have written a letter to NHTSA to get some answers as to what’s going on.

The members of Congress are describing the death wobble as a “serious safety issue” and aren’t demanding an investigation or a recall but simply want to know more about it through a series of questions to NHTSA. According to complaints, the death wobble is “a powerful shaking of the steering wheel and front wheels after a driver hits road bumps at speed,” and apparently NHTSA has received over 600 complaints about it since 1995.

Chrysler has already issued out the following statement about the death wobble:

Chrysler Group vehicles meet or exceed every applicable government safety standard and have excellent safety records. All manufacturer vehicles equipped with a solid axle are susceptible to vibration and, if experienced, it can be corrected by performing minor maintenance items, such as properly balancing or changing the tires, or a front end alignment, installing a new steering dampener, or by tightening or replacing other loose or worn parts. In fact, most reported incidents – in all manufacturer vehicles equipped with or without a solid axle – are often linked to poorly installed or maintained after-market equipment, such as lift kits, oversized tires, etc. This is not a safety issue, and there are no injuries involving Chrysler Group vehicles related to this allegation. Indeed, the name you’ve given to this condition has no basis in fact.

We wouldn’t expect any other response from the automaker, but it appears that the two members of Congress want to ensure NHTSA is doing their due diligence in evaluating the underlying cause and whether or not the death wobble could result in serious injury.

“The Jeep ‘death wobble’ is a serious safety issue that must be evaluated by NHTSA. It is also representative of the problems involving lack of transparency and access to reliable repairs that are present in other safety and defect cases,” the letter said to NHTSA.

The two members, Anna Eshoo and Henry Waxman are requesting a response in writing no later than April 2nd, 2012. We’ll be sure to follow up as to what they hear back.

Watch one of many videos on YouTube about the Jeep Wrangler Death Wobble below along with the news report.

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  • bill cadwallader

    i have a 93 grand cherokee,my daughter has a 2001, and my friend has a 96 and we all have that damn death wobble, thank you chrysler,i won’t own another one

  • Charles Fogle

    I own a 2008 Wrangler and it is doing the “death wobble” when I go over bumps at 40 to 60 mph. It wobbled so bad the other day all I could do was to hold the wheel tight to one side to keep from being pulled into the adjacent lane. Anybody who says this is not a safety issue is more than welcome to come on a ride with me. My Jeep is going back to the dealer Monday. more to follow.

  • Mikey Taylor

    I have a 2008 Wrangler that has the “death wobble”. A call to my dealership service department seeking an answer to this condition resulted in the service tech telling me that “It’s not a safety hazard, it’s just normal wear on the parts. Jeeps have had this since the 70s, but we can replace the parts with a new and improved part that will correct this. It’s not covered under your warranty and you’ll have to pay for the repairs.” To the estimated tune of $900. I’m going in for an oil change now… and some mysterious recall that they can’t tell me over the phone. Perhaps we’ll have a death wobble discussion. 

  • Connie Wodoward

    I have a 2010 Wrangler Unlimited 4×4……The DEATH WOBBLE IS GOING TO KILL SOMEONE!  I have experienced it several times.  Of course on interstate, There is nothing you can do, but slow down. The first time, I thought I had a blow out….walked around, nothing wrong with tires. Second time, I was getting on interstate and hit a bump, I had to slow down, as cars slammed on their brakes and cautiously went around. I have experienced about 4 other times since. The last time, my 24 year old son, 18 year old daughter and myself, were going Christmas shopping. Of course, on the interstate, went into the worse DEATH WOBBLE! It was hard to control, thank goodness not many people on the interstate, by the time I had to slow down….we were all three scared!  Oh, I have taken it to the dealership where I purchased it, and they wanted to charge me just to check it. He told me he had never heard of the DEZTH WOBBLE, NOR HAD THEY EVER HAD A COMPLAINT….hmmmm. I don’t know why they won’t admit and fix the problem, before someone dies!  Oh, another additive….all of my parts are factory, nothing altered. All 100% factory!!!!!! 

  • Angie

    I own a 07 Jeep Wangler first time I experienced it was year ago, to my surprise SHOCKED, it felt like I fell in huge ditch or the tires blew out. Didn’t happen much at first, now it’s gotten to the point I can’t speed over 45mph on the expressway. The smaller cars even go passed me >( IT’S FRUSTRATING! Com’on this is a JEEP, it’s supposed to be made for rugged road. Still dealing with the problem, afraid to find out how much it’s going to cost! Hmmmm WHAT WENT WRONG FROM 2005-2010 and its NOT a recall?

  • List the facts

    First, the video with the article shows a modified suspension including sway bar disconnects. That being said, death wobble is an old term for the bouncing wheel caused by a failed or failing, steering damper. The shock connecting the steering linkage to eliminate wobble. Maybe there is a new problem, but the new steering damper solved my issue for $100. installed.

  • biglou1964

    I have replaced all the major components in the front end, still have the wobble. Our 07 wrangler unlimited is completely stock. Service garages can’t find a way to stop it. This is a bad design for an everyday driver. Off road, there is no better system. They need to fix the problem or remove the vehicle from sale.

  • Vgoulie

    I have the death wobble in a 2012 model wrangler it’s a known problem that they are ignoring! At my ass its not a saftey issue !

  • Agould

    I have taken my 6 month old wrangler in to jeep today not looking forward to what they have to say by the sounds of everyone’s comments. You Bastards Chrysler !!!! Saftey issue I think so! so my new car is a death trap waiting to happen ill fuken haunt you from the grave!
    they told me this morning they’d never heard it? Bullshit!!
    I want my money back now

  • TERRIFIED DEB

    I have a used 2008 wrangler and just experience the death wobble. I knew NOTHING about it or I would have NEVER bought this vehicle. I AM TERRIFIED TO DRIVE IT. IT HAS NOW DONE IT THE LAST 3 TIMES I HAVE DROVE IT!!!! WHAT JEEP!!! I CAN’T DRIVE BETWEEN 40 AND 60!!!! SOMEONE WILL DIE EVENTUALLY!!!!! I HOPE IT ISN’T ME OR MY CHILDREN!!!!!

  • Jackie

    2007
    Jeep Wrangler unlimited. Bought new and barely drive it, it now has
    about 40,000 miles. The first death wobble experience was last year and
    was scarey as SH$$#@T for me and my daughter driving over 55 in heavy
    traffic in NYC Van Wyck! Then I quickly researched this situation.
    Unfortunately now it happens extremely frequently and I haven’t taken it
    to mechanic because I don’t have a mechanic I trust. Before I bought
    this Jeep I basically gave away my LandRover because I was so screwed
    over by mechanics and figured I’d get a Jeep. hmm.