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.