The infamous Jeep “Death Wobble” could have landed the automaker in some monetary trouble. The owners and lessees of 2018-2020 Jeep Wranglers and 2020 Jeep Gladiators may reportedly be getting a warranty extension and possibly cash back if they paid out of pocket for Death Wobble repairs. It’s part of a proposed settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit against the automaker. The proposed agreement also stipulates that Jeep denies any admission of liability or wrongdoing.
According to The Detroit Free Press, the beefed up warranty would be extended for up to eight years of 90,000 miles. It would cover “all parts and labor needed to replace a daily front suspension damper,” the outlet learned from the proposed agreement. That’s a big jump over the three year, 36,000 mile warranty the vehicles come with from the factory.
FCA US is the operating arm of Stellantis (Jeep’s parent company) in the U.S., and it would reportedly also pay attorney fees for the plaintiffs of us to $3.95 million and $4,000 for each of the six class representatives.
As for how many vehicles are involved, well it’s just speculation right now. However, an amended complaint for the suit filed in January 2020 said that the company had “identified approximately 192,000 owners and their Jeep vehicles known to suffer from the defects that manifest as the ‘Death Wobble.’” So, a fair guess is that this’ll impact a hell of a lot of Jeeps.
Basically, the agreement will allow owners and lessees of impactor Jeeps who paid for a repair related to a front suspension steering damper to submit a claim for reimbursement at fcarecallreimbursement.com. All they have to do is enter your VIN to see if their vehicle is eligible. Freep reports that final approval of the agreement is pending a fairness hearing that is scheduled for April 19 in Detroit.
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According to the outlet, Death Wobble usually happens when an affected vehicle with a solid front axle hits a bump while traveling at highway speeds. That has the net effect of causing vibration or shaking that can definitely be unnerving to most drivers. The lawsuit says Death Wobble is the “seemingly uncontrollable side-to-side shaking of the Jeep vehicle’s front-end steering components and — by extension — its steering wheel. Despite the spooky nature of the Death Wobble, Jeep has long said it isn’t a safety issue for owners and in 2019 alleged that it wasn’t aware of any injuries or deaths related to it.
That was reportedly the same time FCA said it had a fix for the issue — a new steering damper. However, many Wrangler owners said the stabilizer was merely a “Band-Aid” for the issue.