Suspension, steering and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The iconic Jeep Wrangler is a top choice for off-road adventurers. It was even listed as MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year, but we don’t understand how that happened. FCA says this SUV is “Built for the Fearless,” and we can’t argue with that. You have to be completely fearless to deal with failing steering parts, the death wobble problems and faulty engine concerns. There’s no doubt that this Wrangler model offers some excitement, just not the way most customers are looking for.
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Problems with the Steering
Jeep suffers from massive steering issues with their 2019 Wrangler model. No one expects the steering to be comfortable and smooth in a vehicle designed for off-road use, but what consumers got was nothing like they bargained for.
One person wrote this on Edmunds, “From the first drive out of the dealer’s parking lot, I noticed that the steering of the new Wrangler had a vague and wandering feel totally different than my previous Jeeps or any other vehicle I have owned. On the interstate, the steering is downright frightening and requires two-handed control to keep it from wandering into adjacent lanes. I cannot relax and rely on my driving instincts while driving this vehicle; to do so will result in loss of control. I immediately began to investigate as to whether this was unique to my particular vehicle, or to a larger group. The salesman and service manager where I bought it professed ignorance about any such problem. However, a brief search on the internet revealed a plethora of complaints about the steering in the 2018 and 2019 Wrangler JL’s. The NHTSA has received over 500 complaints specifically addressing this issue with the JL’s.”
The steering ended up prompting a recall on the SUV. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V201000 addresses an improperly machined steering column that could break and allow the wheel to detach from the steering column. Another recall with NHTSA Campaign Number 18V675000 deals with the front track bar brackets which are also improperly welded. When this fails, the bracket separates from the frame, reducing steering capability.While situations like these are funny in cartoons, it’s no joke when it actually happens on the road.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Steering Problems
2019 WRANGLER JL PURCHASED ON APRIL 30. ORDERED THE VEHICLE AND PICKED IT UP AT THE DEALERSHIP 220 MILES FROM HOME AND TRAILERED IT HOME. DID NOT TEST DRIVE IT AT THE DEALERSHIP. IMMEDIATELY UPON DRIVING, FOUND THE STEERING TO BE A PROBLEM. VEHICLE WANDERS ALL OVER THE ROAD. NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP IT IN THE LANE OF TRAVEL AT SPEEDS OVER 45. THIS IS KEEPING US FROM DRIVING IT REGULARLY AND ONLY USE IT WHEN MAKING SHORT TRIPS IN TOWN (35 MPH AND BELOW). PAID NEARLY $48K FOR THIS VEHICLE. CALLED DEALERSHIP. THEY SAID THEY HAVE NOT HEARD OF THIS PROBLEM BEFORE. THIS VEHICLE IS DANGEROUS AND I AM STUCK WITH IT FOR NOW WITH NO OPTION. HOPEFULLY, A RECALL TAKES PLACE.
ON OUR WAY HOME, WE NOTICED THAT THE CAR HAS VERY LOOSE STEERING. THERE IS “GIVE” APPROXIMATELY 2 INCHES TO EITHER SIDE AND THE VEHICLE IS DIFFICULT TO KEEP IN LANE. WE TOOK THE VEHICLE BACK TO THE JEEP SERVICE DEPARTMENT AND THEY COULD NOT FIND ANYTHING WRONG. THEY CLAIM THE PCM IS UP TO DATE AND THE STABILIZERS ARE NEW. THE DEALERSHIP SAYS THERE IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO. THIS VEHICLE, IN MY OPINION, WITH THE LOOSE STEERING IS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS TO DRIVE. SEARCH THROUGH MULTIPLE JEEP WRANGLER JL FOURMS SHOW MULTIPLE COMPLAINTS OF THE SAME ISSUE.
SEVERE, EXHAUSTING AND NEAR CONSTANT UNSAFE STEERING TO KEEP JEEP IN DRIVING LANE. ESPECIALLY, AT HIGHWAY SPEED 50MPH OR ABOVE. THERE IS A SERIOUS UNSAFE PROBLEM WITH THE STEERING ON MY 2019 JEEP WRANGLER JL UNLIMITED RUBICON! I WAS IN FEAR OF CRASHING DUE TO THE NEED TO CONSTANTLY CORRECT THE VAGUE STEERING. THE 2019 WRANGLER DRIFTS AND SEEMS TO OVER-CORRECT BOTH TO THE LEFT AND RIGHT. IT FEELS LIKE I’M ON A ROCKING BOAT.
2019 Jeep Wrangler Complaint Summary
|Complaint Category||Number of Complaints|
|Unknown Or Other|
Problems with the Suspension
Have you ever heard of the death wobble? It’s something plaguing 2019 Jeep Wrangler models and customers aren’t happy. Typically, it’s caused by incorrectly installing steering or suspension components. As we saw above, the steering is already an issue, so when you factor in numerous suspension complaints, you end up with massive problems.
One driver wrote this on Edmunds, “There are over 334 complains for new JLs with death wobble, bad steering and bad welds. There are open investigations and insufficient recalls. It is ridiculous; they are putting drivers lives in danger on a car massively overpriced starting at $32k+ for what it is, a very basic and unreliable vehicle with poor quality and poorly made components, this car MSRP should be well under 24k. The 2019 model was unchanged from the 2018 JL, hence the same problems persist. They should have upgraded the steering and started to properly weld frames like other manufacturers. The steering wonders side to side, once you hit a pothole over 60 the whole car shakes out of control.”
FCA underwent a class action lawsuit related to the death wobble. Instead, they made statements such as it is not a “safety issue,” and it “can happen with any vehicle that has a solid front axle.” One has to wonder if this is true, why don’t previous models of the Mercedes G-Class, Ford Super Duty and Ram heavy-duty trucks have the same amount of complaints? Probably because the solid front axle isn’t the cause for the death wobble – poor manufacturing is.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Suspension Problems
I HAVE COME TO FIND OUT IS KNOWN AS THE DEATH WOBBLE IN MY NEW WRANGLER JL. AFTER GOING OVER A SERIES OF SMALL BUMPS ON A HIGHWAY AT 65-70MPH, MY JEEP WENT INTO A VIOLENT SHAKING EPISODE. I ACTUALLY THOUGHT ONE OF THE WHEELS WAS COMING OFF. THE DEALERSHIP SAID THAT THIS COULD BE REPAIRED BY REPLACING THE STABILIZER BAR WITH A HEAVIER DUTY ONE. THEY DID THE REPAIR. ON FRIDAY OF LAST WEEK, I HAD 6 EPISODES OF THE DEATH WOBBLE IN ONE DAY. THE DEALER IS TAKING MY JEEP BACK IN TOMORROW TO LOOK AT IT AGAIN. THIS MIGHT BE THE SCARIEST THING I HAVE EXPERIENCED IN MY 30+ YEARS OF DRIVING.
VEHICLE HAS BEEN AT DEALER SINCE OCTOBER WITH WHAT I HAVE FOUND BY RESEARCH TO BE CALLED A “DEATH WOBBLE” THE VEHICLE SHAKES UNCONTROLLABLE AROUND CORNER AND OVER BUMPS AND CANNOT BE DRIVEN. I HAVE CONTACTED JEEP CUSTOMER SERVICE SEVERAL TIMES PER WEEK SINCE THIS HAS STARTED WITH ZERO RESOLUTION. I ATTACHED SERVICE RECORDS OF WHAT THEY HAVE TRIED TO FIX AND HASNT WORKED. I NEED HELP.
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Problems with the Engine
Thankfully, the engine in the Wrangler doesn’t seem to be as bad as the steering and suspension, but people have still complained about numerous issues. Some of the problems are nuisance issues, while others involve the safety of the occupants.
One person said this on the NHTSA website, “Push button start with keyless entry. Vehicle does not give audible warning when you leave the vehicle running on exit. This is a safety hazard and could cause death if parked in your home garage. It is very easy to put the gearshift in park and exit the vehicle without turning off the engine. I have done this twice within a 3 month period. An audible warning on exit, which indicates the motor is still running, would prevent this from taking place.”
While the automaker had nothing to say in relation to this complaint, there were other engine-related communications. In Service Bulletin #S1808000167, FCA discusses the reasons that the vehicle won’t start or there is lost contact with the fuel pump control module. The company advises technicians to look for a loose connection or water intrusion. Other than that, they take no responsibility for the defect. On the bright side, if your Wrangler won’t start, there’s no chance that your steering wheel will come off or you will lose control due to the death wobble. You might actually be in better shape this way.
Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Engine Problems
TL-THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 JEEP WRANGLER RUBICON. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE DRIVING APPROXIMATELY 40 MPH, ATTEMPTED TO TO SLOW DOWN WITH THE FOOT ON THE BRAKE PEDAL, THE RP’S WENT UP AND THE VEHICLE SPONTANEOUSLY ACCELERATED, ( IT HAPPENED THREE TIMES) STRIKING THE VEHICLE IN FRONT. THE POLICE WAS PRESENT, BUT NO REPORT WAS FILED. NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED. THE VEHICLE WAS DRIVEN TO THE DEALER, THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO REPLICATE THE FAILURE. THE MANUFACTURERS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 800. BP
PUSH BUTTON START WITH KEYLESS ENTRY. VEHICLE DOES NOT GIVE AUDIBLE WARNING WHEN YOU LEAVE THE VEHICLE RUNNING ON EXIT. THIS IS A SAFETY HAZARD AND COULD CAUSE DEATH IF PARKED IN YOUR HOME GARAGE.
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