Own a Wrangler or Gladiator? You might be getting a warranty extension.
Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator owners who paid out of pocket to repair the "Death Wobble" might be getting a warranty extension and maybe even some cash back as part of a potential class-action lawsuit settlement. The "Death Wobble," as owners have come to call it, has been known to happen when these vehicles hit a bump at over 40 mph, leading to a vibration or shaking in the steering wheel that's violent enough to scare drivers.
The lawsuit describes it as "seemingly uncontrollable side-to-side shaking of the Jeep vehicle's front-end steering components and - by extension - its steering wheel."
The proposed settlement agreement, which awaits final approval, would be limited to owners or lessees of the 2018-2020 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited and the 2020 Gladiator.
The warranty extension would be for up to eight years or 90,000 miles. It would cover "all parts and labor needed to replace a failed front suspension damper." To compare, the standard warranty is for three years/36,000 miles.
Stellantis, or rather FCA US, would also pay the plaintiffs' attorney fees of up to $3.95 million and $4,000 for each of the six class representatives. The automaker would deny any admission of liability or wrongdoing, the proposed agreement states.
Equally important, owners who paid out of pocket for repairs, such as a front suspension steering damper, can submit a reimbursement claim to a specific website. This lawsuit dates back to 2019 and could receive final approval as soon as April 19, 2023, pending a hearing.
We don't know exactly how many vehicles are involved, but an amended 2020 complaint, according to the Detroit Free Press, states that "approximately 192,000 owners and their Jeep vehicles [are] known to suffer from the defects that manifest as the 'Death Wobble.'" A Stellantis spokesperson refused to comment because the case is ongoing.
For the past few years, the automaker claimed the issue was not a safety problem, but owners consistently disputed that. FCA US claimed it had a fix in 2019, specifically a new stabilizer, but owners said it was not a permanent solution. Jeep, at one point, said this type of vibration could happen with any solid front axle vehicle, but Wrangler owners have been complaining about this for over a decade.
It seems the automaker wants to settle the "Death Wobble" case once and for all.
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