Chrysler pressed to issue wobble warning on Jeep Wrangler
NHTSA has received 402 complaints out of a total vehicle population of 542,134 Wranglers.
WASHINGTON — Two House Democrats are pressing Chrysler Group to launch a campaign warning Jeep Wrangler owners about a potential "wobble" condition in the SUV's front suspension.
In a letter to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne this week, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., urged Chrysler to notify owners of late-model Wranglers of the vibrating effect, as well as possible ways to repair and prevent it. The letter concerns complaints involving 2005-10 Wranglers.
Chrysler, in a statement, said its vehicles "meet or exceed" every government safety standard and have an excellent safety record.
"All manufacturer vehicles equipped with a solid axle can be susceptible to this condition, and, if experienced, it is routinely corrected with a change of tires or installation of a simple steering dampener," Chrysler said.
The two lawmakers first sent a letter in March to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urging the agency to look into reports of shaking in the front suspension and determine if a defect exists.
At the time, NHTSA responded that it had received 402 complaints out of a total vehicle population of 542,134 Wranglers in the model years under consideration.
It cited two crashes linked to the complaints, one of which involved non-fatal injuries.
The complaints typically describe a "shimmy" or vibrating effect when the vehicle is at speeds above 45 miles per an hour or over bumps, such as potholes and roadway joints, NHTSA said.
NHTSA reviewed the condition and found it didn't indicate the likelihood of a safety-related defect that would warrant a formal investigation.
The two lawmakers, after meeting with Chrysler officials about their concerns, continue to believe it is serious enough to notify consumers.
"The anecdotal evidence from our constituents indicates that many Jeep owners have not received consistent guidance from Chrysler representatives about how to approach this problem, even when owners report a relatively consistent set of symptoms," they said in the letter.
The letter also urges Chrysler to make its technical service bulletins, which advise dealers of problems and repairs, available to the public.
NHTSA, responding to the most recent letter, said it is aware of the condition and continues to monitor it.