Dems press Chrysler to help its customers fix 'Jeep Death Wobble'

California House Democrats Anna Eshoo and Henry Waxman this week called on Chrysler to launch a campaign informing its customers that the Jeeps they own could suffer from a safety risk that they call the "Jeep Death Wobble."

The letter comes after Chrysler said just one death occurred in a Jeep that could have been caused by a vibrating suspension.

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Eshoo and Waxman have already pressed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate Jeep Wranglers, but the agency declined earlier this year. After a May meeting with Chrysler executives, the two members want the company to start a campaign on its own.

"As discussed in the May 21st meeting, we believe Chrysler should undertake an outreach campaign to its customers, such as a Customer Satisfaction Campaign, to notify Jeep owners of the risk of the 'wobble' condition, also described as a 'vibration' or 'shimmy,' and the possible methods for repairing and preventing the problem," they wrote in a letter released Thursday.

The members suggested that these alerts could provide information about how to fix the problem, and to "advise customers how to stop the wobble if they experience it while driving."

Their letter also said Chrysler should do more to train its workers to help customers with the problem, and share internal technical bulletins that could help customers understand the potential problem.

The Detroit News reported Friday that Chrysler said its Jeep Wranglers have good safety records, and said all cars can suffer from vibration when parts are installed incorrectly.

"In fact, most reported incidents — in all manufacturer vehicles equipped with or without a solid axle — are often linked to poorly installed or maintained after-market equipment, such as lifters, oversized tires, etc." Chrysler spokesman Michael Palese said, according to The Detroit News. "The name you've given to this condition has no basis in fact."

Despite the company's objection to the term "death wobble," Eshoo and Waxman repeatedly used that name to describe the problem in a Thursday statement. They said they first sought an investigation into the "Jeep Death Wobble" after consumer complaints about shaking in the front suspension of some Jeep Wranglers.

Chrysler, along with GM, were propped up by billions of taxpayer dollars in 2009 as part of the automaker bailout. The government gave nearly $25 billion to Chrysler and GM and their financing arms in 2009.

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