NHTSA Opens Investigation Into 2018 – 2019 Jeep Wrangler Steering Problems

The agency's documents do not indicate any deaths or injuries from the issue

NHTSA Opens Investigation Into 2018 - 2019 Jeep Wrangler Steering Problems

Several owners have complained about issues with their new JLs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told Automotive News Friday that it is investigating complaints of steering and frame weld defects in some 2018 and 2019 model year Jeep Wranglers. The investigation covers roughly 270,000 cars, while the agency cites more than 3,500 complaints in its original investigation document.

Here’s what the NHTSA says about this investigation:

“In a letter received on October 24, 2018, a citizen petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) to initiate a safety defect investigation into frame weld deficiencies on model year (MY) 2018 ‘JL’ Jeep
Wrangler vehicles. The petitioner described a broad list of frame weld deficiencies, including porous welds, excessive
slag, lack of weld penetration, over penetration of welds, overweld or weld drip, and weld splash. The weld defects are
allegedly located at a variety of locations on the frame assembly.”

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. “I picked up my 2019 JLUR on Friday (November 30, 2018), it wandered the entire 55 mile ride home. Keeping it between the lines was exhausting…I called for an appointment on Monday…I’ll have about 130 miles on it by the time I get it to the dealer.” Since then, that owner posted to JLWranglerForums in April 2019 that, “I am still waiting for a Jeep-sponsored fix before I change (modify) anything”.

No reported accidents or injuries

In past polls we’ve ran here on TFL, nearly 90 percent of respondents indicate their Jeep Wrangler JL has a noticeable steering issue. Right now, the NHTSA documents don’t indicate any crashes or injuries from the problem. We’ll keep a close eye on developments in this case, and see if the NHTSA takes further action in the coming months.

We’ve had extensive experience with the Jeep Wrangler JL, including a recent excursion on the Rubicon trail. See that below on our TFLoffroad channel: