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The dreaded Jeep “death wobble” is ubiquitous. This problem with Wrangler and Gladiator models has been ongoing for years. It happens when the front end begins shaking harshly. The wobble usually starts when the vehicle hits a bump or pothole. Slowing down typically stops the vibration. Now, Jeep says it will help fix the death wobble and pay owners. 

How long have there been Jeep death wobble complaints?

There's a fix for the Jeep death wobble in Wrangler and Gladiator models
2023 Jeep Wrangler | Jeep

Jeep death wobble incidents are many, with owners complaining about the issue for years. They began reporting the problem to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) around 2012. But in 2019, the situation came to a head with two announcements. First, owners filed a class-action lawsuit. Then Jeep issued a fix for the death wobble in which dealers replaced steering dampers for free.

However, some owners call the damper replacement nothing more than a “band-aid.” They question why correcting a design problem with a damper, which Jeep calls a “stabilizer,” is necessary. Instead, the lawsuit says the death wobble “can only be remedied by substantial revisions and repair to the suspension.”

Although Jeep’s offer took care of new death wobble incidents, many owners paid to get it fixed before and after the lawsuit was filed. That’s the reason for the suit, which took until now to resolve. The lawsuit describes the wobble as “seemingly uncontrollable side-by-side shaking of the Jeep vehicle’s front-end steering components and, by extension, its steering wheel.” 

Is the Jeep death wobble dangerous?

Some Gladiator models experience the Jeep death wobble too
2023 Jeep Gladiator | Jeep

Jeep says the death wobble doesn’t pose a safety risk. Instead, the automaker calls it a “vibration.” At the time of the fix announcement, the then-FCA chief technical compliance officer described the issue as “resonance,” akin to what happens to a tuning fork. He also said all solid front-axle vehicles experience this vibration. 

But besides Jeep owner complaints at the dealer level, the NHTSA had a long list of complaints about the death wobble. Its Office of Defects Investigation soon requested information from the company about warranty claims, complaints, and known injuries related to the vibration. 

How does the new warranty fix the problem?

In a 2019 class-action court settlement, Jeep agreed to extend warranty coverage for affected models. The automaker will increase warranties to eight years or 90,000 miles, whichever comes first. That includes “all parts and labor needed to replace a failed front suspension damper,” the agreement states. It applies to affected 2018 through 2020 Wrangler and 2020 Gladiator models. A 2020 lawsuit amendment estimates nearly 200,000 Wrangler and Gladiator vehicles have the death wobble. 

Formerly, Jeep’s standard warranty was for three years or 36,000 miles. If you have already paid for the repairs to fix the death wobble in your Wrangler or Gladiator, the company will reimburse you. To receive reimbursement, fill out the form on the Jeep website. Beyond that, parent company Stellantis is covering plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees up to $3.95 million, with class representatives each receiving $4,000.  

The finalized settlement is awaiting a fairness hearing, set for mid-April. 


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