The “death wobble” has always been a long standing issue for owners of a Jeep – for those who are unaware, a death wobble is when a vehicle’s front axle is susceptible to wobbling and causes the steering to shake violently – this is usually caused when the car hits a bump or pothole at high speed.
However, now there is another issue that Jeep and Ram are having to deal with. Car Complaints recently reported of a class action lawsuit being filed this week by an ownership group, who claim that the automaker is aware of an issue with regards to the sway bar being prone to failure, therefore putting owners and other drivers at risk.
This issue is believed to be affect the following vehicles:
• 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JK)
• 2007-2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (JKU)
• 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (JL)
• 2018-2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (JLU)
• 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
• 2005-2010 Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon
• 2011-2020 Ram 2500 Power Wagon
The sway bar, part of the suspension, is used to help keep the vehicle level during turns – it is especially useful with bigger vehicles which might be more top heavy that their smaller counterparts. However, if one is to use the vehicle off road the sway bar is of far less use to the driver.. thankfully owners are able to temporarily disconnect the bar when taking the car to the trails. By disconnecting the sway bar, it allows the car for greater suspension articulation, effectively allowing all four wheels of the car to stay on the ground in uneven terrain.
The law suit states:
“the electronic circuit board for the sway bar disconnect is in a housing with seals that are prone to failure and is located in an area that is likely to get wet or sprayed under ordinary or expected conditions, such as driving over puddles or in the rain. Failure of the circuit board occurs when liquid or contaminants breach a seal of the housing, resulting in a disconnected or malfunctioning sway bar. In some instances, the electronic sway bar disconnect will fail and not reconnect, forcing the driver to drive on roads and highways without a sway-bar.”
The plaintiffs of the case also claim that FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) is aware of the issue but has not taken any action to fix it, with the lawsuit arguing that FCA should either buy back defective vehicles or at the very least set up an initiative to repair broken sway bar modules as part of a post purchase scheme.
This suit is still evolving and we will keep you updated as it develops.