Jeep Wrangler JL SUVs allegedly have welding defects in their frames that could potentially pose a safety risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said it is cooperating with the NHTSA’s investigation. Last September, the company recalled just over 18,000 Wranglers for an improperly welded front bar bracket, which could result in the bracket coming apart from the frame.
Apart from that, several owners have complained to TFL over the past year about steering issues with their Jeep Wrangler. One owner reported problems upon picking up his brand new 2019 Rubicon Unlimited.
In response to the owner of a 2018 JL Wrangler who complained to the agency last year, NHTSA has opened an investigation to determine if poor-quality frame welds “compromise the structural integrity” of 2018 and 2019 model JL Wrangler SUVs. At issue, according to NHTSA, are welds with holes, welds with improper penetration, too much slag (a coating, like a scab, that forms on top of welds), and splash (bits of the weld material splattering onto the metal) that can be found “at a variety of locations on the frame assembly.”
This month, however, ODI granted the petition and opened the investigation. Earlier this year, ODI sent an Information Request to FCA regarding the issue at hand. This is line with the previous recall on a misaligned weld on the front track bar on Jeep Wranglers, which has caused steering wobbles among affected Wrangler units. It could also be related to the “death wobble” that has been reported before, which led to a class-action lawsuit against FCA.