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Lawsuit: Jeep/Ram Sway Bars Disconnect At Highway Speeds

A class-action lawsuit has just been filed against Ram and Jeep over sway bars disconnecting from the suspension. It says the sway bars are “prone to failure” and put occupants and the general public at risk. These are the electronic sway bar disconnects available on many Dodge, Ram, and Jeep vehicles since 2005. These devices allow drivers to flip a switch disconnecting the sway bar from inside of the vehicle for added suspension articulation on rough terrain. But the suit alleges the sway bar disconnect feature can fail at highway speeds.

The Jeep/Ram sway bar lawsuit was filed April 20, 2020

2020 Jeep Wrangler JPP20 front
2020 Jeep Wrangler JPP20 front | FCA

It was filed on April 20, 2020, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The suit describes what it alleges is happening with the system’s “stunningly bad design.” It says, “…the electronic circuit board for the sway bar disconnect is in an enclosed 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 following Jeep/Ram models are said to be affected

The plaintiff says this happened several times on his 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon and was brought back to the dealer each time. He sought out other owners having similar problems to make it a class-action lawsuit. The suit says the following Fiat Chrysler vehicles are affected:

  • 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
  • 2005-2020 Dodge/Ram 2500 Power Wagon

The suit accuses Fiat Chrysler of knowing the sway bar disconnects were faulty but doing nothing to correct the problem according to The Drive. It also says that Fiat Chrysler denied warranty-covered service. The retail price for the electronic disconnect is $1,500, and that’s before labor costs are added.

2019 Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab
2019 Ram Power Wagon Crew Cab | Ram

It will take some time for this lawsuit to wind its way through the courts

Many vehicles over the years have had what is known as a “death wobble.” Jeep products are notorious for the condition. But this is the first that we have heard of the electronic sway bar disconnects malfunctioning in Fiat Chrysler products. It takes time for these class-action lawsuits to wind their way through the courts. Once there is more news to report we’ll let you know.

We wouldn’t say that sway bars coming loose from suspensions are dangerous in and of themselves. The sway bar only acts as a supplemental device to help neutralize or stabilize the suspension. It also helps the vehicle handle better, especially in and around turns. 

Without the sway bars, the driver would experience the body leaning more going into corners. It would also exhibit slightly less control and handling. But with that said there are some drivers that might not even notice the difference.