Is highway driving safe?
The infamous "death wobble" has been a long-time issue for Jeep owners despite claims from the automaker it's been resolved. And now there's another problem that Jeep and FCA stablemate Ram will have to deal with.
According to Car Complaints, a class-action lawsuit was filed earlier this week by a group of owners alleging the automaker is aware of a situation where the disconnect mechanism for the electronic sway bar, aka anti-roll or stabilizer bar, is prone to failure which could put occupants and other drivers at risk.
The affected vehicles are listed as the following:
• 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 is part of the suspension, helping to keep the vehicle level during turns. However, it's of far less use off-road and owners are able to temporarily disconnect it when hitting the trails. Deactivating it allows for greater suspension "articulation." The lawsuit states that "articulation allows the vehicle to keep all four tires in contact with the ground on rough terrain, which in turn provides better stability and traction." There is a dash-mounted electronic sway bar disconnect switch in these vehicles, and these owners claim it's defective.
The 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 further claim FCA is aware of the defect but has taken no action to fix it. The lawsuit argues the automaker should set up a program to repair broken sway bar control modules or buy back defective vehicles.