ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Chrysler group has issued a technical services bulletin to Jeep owners. The bulletin comes after an eight month ABC2 News Investigation into what some Jeep drivers say is an uncontrollable shaking.
Two members of congress sent a letter to Chrysler in recent weeks, asking them to look into a problem with several Jeep Wrangler models. Owners complained their Jeeps spontaneously shimmy when traveling between 50 and 60 miles per hour. Thursday, the Chrysler group issued a technical service bulletin related to the issue, showing Jeep owners and technicians how to diagnose, fix and repair the steering shimmy.
Angus Lane of Annapolis knows the shimmy well. He says the used 2006 Wrangler he bought two years ago turned into a nightmare, with the Jeep randomly shaking and shimmying while he was driving. He says, "If you don't know how to deal with it and you were to get into my Jeep and drive it, it would scare you to death."
Lane dealt with the wobble for a while and then took his Jeep to a dealer. He says the alignment was tweaked, but the problem came right back, "That's when we said, you know what, this just doesn't feel right. This doesn't seem right, let's do our research."
He's not alone. Clarence Ditlow with the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group that's been tackling safety issues since the 1970s, has been looking into the shimmy as well. He says, "There's no doubt about I, this is a real problem."
It's a problem Ditlow says consumers have been complaining about to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. ABC2 News Investigators dug through thousands of records pulled from the NHTSA-run website www.safercar.gov . We uncovered hundreds of complaints for 2006 and 2007 Jeep Wranglers detailing the kind of extreme wobbling Angus Lane and others know well.
When his Jeep began to shimmy and shake again a few months ago, he went to a different dealership. This time, the dealer paid to replace all four tires, which stopped the shaking and satisfied Lane, who says, "Safety is all I care about."
When we first contacted Chrysler about the shimmy in February, their representative told us "This is not a safety issue". But the two members of Congress who took the problem to Chrysler say the technical service bulletin is a safety fix for the Jeep wobble, calling this a clear answer affected drivers deserve.
Chrysler says most complaints regarding the shimmy are related to damage in the steering system, incorrect tire pressure, alignment or the addition of after-market equipment like oversized tires and lift kits.
If you own a jeep and want to read the safety bulletin click here .