If the English-speaking world changed the name of the common cold to "fatal sniffles," the ubiquitous ailment would sure get a lot more attention from drug companies and the media -- but the symptoms would remain.
The common cold is an effect of our body's design, the cost of living in a world filled with viruses and having a nose.
Such is the case with the named-for-TV-news Jeep "death wobble," a condition inherent to any vehicle with straight front axles which has jumped back into the news.
To consumers whose videos showing the condition litter YouTube, the ill-named "death wobble" is a violent shaking of the steering wheel and front steering linkage at certain speeds. If a driver fails to react, it potentially could cause loss of control.
Two members of Congress -- one of a select few professions held in lower regard by the public than journalists and car salespeople -- have now taken up the cause of the "death wobble." They've asked Chrysler to alert owners of straight-axle Jeeps, like the Wrangler and 1984-2001 Cherokee, of the condition and suggest methods to repair and prevent the problem.
But to engineers, the potential for "wobble" is an inherent design limitation of all vehicles with straight front axles and transverse steering -- designed for rugged applications -- and is related to the interaction between its steering geometry and suspension. Engineers can work to minimize the effects of the wobble in solid-axle vehicles, but they can never eliminate it entirely.