NHTSA Investigating 2018–2019 Jeep Wrangler over Frame, Steering Complaints

#4Jeep 1st Wrangler

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I'm not saying that some owners have had issues.... But if you do the math per this article
270,000 sold/ 3,500 complaints = 0.013% made complaints to NHTSA...
Jeep addressed the frame welds ( recalled several for inspection/ correction )
Jeep addressed the death wobble with a current campaign on steering stabilizers..
I've worked in the automotive repair industry since 1979 ( yes I'm ancient)....
But the Wrangler and any other solid front axle vehicle, do not handle like a independent front suspension vehicle. I really feel that the majority of the complaints are from people who spent a substantial amount of $, and have some buyers remorse. Purchased a "status symbol" not knowing anything about the steering/ suspension on these vehicles..... Then complain...
I've driven just about every model of Wrangler ( repaired / aligned etc)... They all have a unique driving style that is not for everyone. ..( Everyone wants one, but not everyone should own one)
Don't want to offend anyone... I'm sure several have legitimate complaints.....
Is my JL perfect ? No, but it's the best riding, handling Jeep I've driven compared to other older models. Still blows around on the highway, still have to hold the wheel on uneven roads, but...
I LOVE IT, AND ENJOY IT EVERY DAY...
 

Vezfly

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I'm not saying that some owners have had issues.... But if you do the math per this article
270,000 sold/ 3,500 complaints = 0.013% made complaints to NHTSA...
Jeep addressed the frame welds ( recalled several for inspection/ correction )
Jeep addressed the death wobble with a current campaign on steering stabilizers..
I've worked in the automotive repair industry since 1979 ( yes I'm ancient)....
But the Wrangler and any other solid front axle vehicle, do not handle like a independent front suspension vehicle. I really feel that the majority of the complaints are from people who spent a substantial amount of $, and have some buyers remorse. Purchased a "status symbol" not knowing anything about the steering/ suspension on these vehicles..... Then complain...
I've driven just about every model of Wrangler ( repaired / aligned etc)... They all have a unique driving style that is not for everyone. ..( Everyone wants one, but not everyone should own one)
Don't want to offend anyone... I'm sure several have legitimate complaints.....
Is my JL perfect ? No, but it's the best riding, handling Jeep I've driven compared to other older models. Still blows around on the highway, still have to hold the wheel on uneven roads, but...
I LOVE IT, AND ENJOY IT EVERY

— I have owned other jeeps including a JK. This JLUR that I have is not how a “jeep should drive”. I wouldn’t defend FCA not like they have a stellar QC rep. you may have gotten lucky and are content with what you purchased, but this thing will kill someone - hope someone you know isn’t nearby me when this thing decides to do its wandering.
 

OrangeRuby

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I’m pretty sure you didn’t read the numbers in that article correctly. It said they are investigating 270,000 vehicles and 3,000 people complained about steering shimmy. And as one of the people dealing with poor frame welds on an ‘18 JLUR, you comment about the trackbar weld recall has nothing to do with what they are talking about.
 

99wishes

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But if you do the math per this article 270,000 sold/ 3,500 complaints = 0.013% made complaints to NHTSA...

I really feel that the majority of the complaints are from people who spent a substantial amount of $, and have some buyers remorse. Purchased a "status symbol" not knowing anything about the steering/ suspension on these vehicles.....Then complain...
I've driven just about every model of Wrangler ( repaired / aligned etc)... They all have a unique driving style that is not for everyone...( Everyone wants one, but not everyone should own one)

Don't want to offend anyone...
I am not trying to insult anyone’s intelligence...I’m sure ignorance is harder for some to hide. I am glad you got the status symbol opinion off your chest. Aren’t all cars some sort of status symbol? Is that your contribution to the issue? And Buyers Remorse? Come on, man.

Anyway, everything you said is your opinion and in some ways making light of the situation because of your previous Jeep experience. No one has said it should handle like a porsche (status symbol) or drive as smooth as a lexus (status symbol), all we are asking is for a safe vehicle. It scares me to think about someone getting hurt before it gets fixed. The 3,500 complaints about steering is a big deal.

It’s more beneficial if you skip threads related to this topic unless you have some technical solutions. Considering you have worked in the industry since 1979, maybe you have some recommendations or insight to what the problem is. That’s all we are hoping to find. Thanks.
 

Wabujitsu

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Any complaint about steering is a big deal and should be checked out.

With that said, if no mechanical problems are found, it is helpful to note that the Wrangler uses 1950s steering technology - recirculating ball. It takes more effort to hold a straight line on the road with this tech, as opposed to rack and pinion. I think it is reasonable to assume that some problems folks are having is getting used to a different type of steering mechanism. Folks may also be dealing with a different steering ratio setup as well. As the Wrangler is engineered for off road use, where quicker steering is required, I am guessing the ratio is tighter - which means it takes even more effort to hold a straight track on the road.
 

kobejo34

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Well I’m 43 yr of male and I can drive the Jeep but I’m exhausted after 5-10 miles. Wife and 19yr old son won’t drive it and son would rather take his civic. When I was a teen I would have cut off my arm for a Jeep.

So if JL Jeep life is for 28-52 yr old slightly in shape adults then FCA did there job with the retro 1950’s design. :clap::no:
 

Kyanche

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I'm not saying that some owners have had issues.... But if you do the math per this article
270,000 sold/ 3,500 complaints = 0.013% made complaints to NHTSA...
3500 people knew to complain to the NHTSA. They didn't believe the Dealer saying "they're all like that" or "it's normal" or "nothing's wrong with your car."

I'm guessing the number of people who actually have problems is significantly higher than that. Maybe not even 10%, but still. The steering wheel in my JK has maybe 0.75" you can turn it left/right when parked without resistance. On the go it has resistance all around and even turning it a little while result in the vehicle changing direction. The descriptions of people being able to turn their wheel 2-4" without any reaction are completely absurd.

I'm hoping I don't end up being one of the unlucky ones lol. We'll find out next week when I pick up my 2020!
 

LennyF

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3500 people knew to complain to the NHTSA. They didn't believe the Dealer saying "they're all like that" or "it's normal" or "nothing's wrong with your car."

I'm guessing the number of people who actually have problems is significantly higher than that. Maybe not even 10%, but still. The steering wheel in my JK has maybe 0.75" you can turn it left/right when parked without resistance. On the go it has resistance all around and even turning it a little while result in the vehicle changing direction. The descriptions of people being able to turn their wheel 2-4" without any reaction are completely absurd.

I'm hoping I don't end up being one of the unlucky ones lol. We'll find out next week when I pick up my 2020!
Hi All,

I am a newbie who has ordered a 2020 Rubicon but will not be taking delivery until April/2020. Yesterday I test drove a 3.6 with E-torque and today I test drove a Sport S 2.0 without E-torque just to confirm my engine preference.

The 2020 3.6 with E-torque was tracking steady at 60 MPH but the 2.0 without E-torque at 60 MPH had at least 2" of right/left play in the wheel and required a lot of small wheel adjustments (left/right right/left) to keep it straight.

The steering problem is still very much "alive and well" in the 2020 models, and I'm living in fear that my Rubi will be one of the unlucky ones - Hopefully, FCA will have it figured out by the time mine gets built in the spring.
 

Wabujitsu

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3500 people knew to complain to the NHTSA. They didn't believe the Dealer saying "they're all like that" or "it's normal" or "nothing's wrong with your car."

I'm guessing the number of people who actually have problems is significantly higher than that. Maybe not even 10%, but still. The steering wheel in my JK has maybe 0.75" you can turn it left/right when parked without resistance. On the go it has resistance all around and even turning it a little while result in the vehicle changing direction. The descriptions of people being able to turn their wheel 2-4" without any reaction are completely absurd.

I'm hoping I don't end up being one of the unlucky ones lol. We'll find out next week when I pick up my 2020!
A little bit of slop in the steering is perfectly normal for the Wrangler. Eliminating all play will result in sticky steering and lack of returnability. Worse yet - it will wear out the steering box prematurely.
 

viper88

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Hi All,

I am a newbie who has ordered a 2020 Rubicon but will not be taking delivery until April/2020. Yesterday I test drove a 3.6 with E-torque and today I test drove a Sport S 2.0 without E-torque just to confirm my engine preference.

The 2020 3.6 with E-torque was tracking steady at 60 MPH but the 2.0 without E-torque at 60 MPH had at least 2" of right/left play in the wheel and required a lot of small wheel adjustments (left/right right/left) to keep it straight.

The steering problem is still very much "alive and well" in the 2020 models, and I'm living in fear that my Rubi will be one of the unlucky ones - Hopefully, FCA will have it figured out by the time mine gets built in the spring.
I'd double check the tire pressure. Too much air can cause steering feel issues.
 

Lorenc

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I think I qualify as a pretty hard core Off Roader, and am recently retired from being a Jeep dealer with more than 40 years listening to customers and trying to find a solution for their needs. I sold my 2011 Rubicon that was setup for and did most of the toughest trails in the Western US, and replaced it with a 2019 JL, which I’ve made dream list mods to with over $100 k invested.
I expected my 2019 to behave better on the highway than my 2011, but that is not the case. At highway speeds going in straight lines, it takes constant attention to stay in the lane. When the highway is grooved or construction is underway with modified lane markings, I really have to stay on my toes.
I was familiar with complaints before I ordered my JL, and when I picked it up, I noticed the wandering right away. I still took it to the shop and spent over $50k in mods, feeling that eventually there would be a fix.
There is definitely a problem, and I’m confident that FCA will find it soon, hopefully before people get killed, but it’s best to speak up so they understand it’s a serious problem.

Loren
 

EnjoyLife

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But if you do the math per this article
270,000 sold/ 3,500 complaints = 0.013% made complaints to NHTSA...
Actually, your number is off by a factor of 100. The math equals 1.3%, not 0.013%
 
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