These investigations and warnings of recalls on Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles are becoming so common we could just as well start ignoring them. Besides recent ‘they say, we say’ results of the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s ability to safely perform the infamous ‘moose test’, the Grand Cherokee is now also under investigation by the NHTSA (National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration) in the US, for the risk of a power steering hose failure, which could lead to fire.
The NHTSA opened a probe after receiving a customer complaint about power steering failure. These have also been backed up by two recent cases of engine compartment fires. Should a recall take place, it could affect as many as 106 803 vehicles from the 2012 Chrysler/Jeep production cycle.
Is this just a coincidence, a bad run of publicity for the US automaker, or is there some serious ailment amongst its manufacturing processes? Chrysler responded to the Swedish magazines claims that the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee failed the ‘moose test’ by saying the vehicle tested was improperly loaded, and the tyres were damaged. German magazine Auto Motor und Sport re-tested the Grand Cherokee and found the SUV passed the evasive maneuver test repeatedly without fail. It seems Jeep may have dodge a bullet on this one, but another bizarre reliability issue has reared its ugly head…
It is claimed that 2005 – 2010 Jeep Wranglers can be prone to a phenomenon known as ‘death wobble’. It is described as an instance where a harmonic, resonating, wobble from the Wranglers solid front axle, shudders through the steering and the rest of the car. This is apparently often the result of a loose or worn part in the steering or suspension and is set off by hitting a bump at a certain speed as seen in the video below:
Chrysler have quashed years of complaints about ‘death wobble’ by saying it happens to many 4×4 vehicles that have been poorly maintained and feature a solid front axle. The story was reignited recently though, when Democratic Californian Representatives, Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo, wrote a letter to Chrysler complaining about the matter. The letter went out in spite of the fact that a NHTSA probe earlier this year concluded that the bizarre condition ‘did not result in loss of control’ and therefore did not need a recall or other action by the agency.
Do you have any similar experiences in your 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2005 – 2010 Jeep Wrangler, or heard of anyone who has? Get in touch and we will pass the reports onto Jeep/Chrysler South Africa.