Jeep Wrangler faces investigation into frame welds

The NHTSA has found reports of failures in vehicles not covered by an initial weld recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into the JL-generation Jeep Wrangler's frame welds.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has already recalled the new Wrangler to fix botched welds on the front suspension track bar frame bracket, which can cause a reduction in steering response if the bracket separates from the frame.
The NHTSA received a petition describing a much broader list of frame weld deficiencies including porous welds, excessive slag, lack of weld penetration, over penetration, weld splash and overweld or weld splash.
"The weld defects are allegedly located at a variety of locations on the frame assembly," the NHTSA said.
The agency identified various reports and references to frame-welded component detachments that were outside the scope of the track-bar recall.
"Additionally, the information that FCA provided did not adequately address whether frame weld quality deficiencies compromise the structural integrity of vehicles, and therefore may pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety," the investigation report added.
The federal safety regulator will also attempt to determine if botched welds may contribute to steering-related concerns that have been described as a "death wobble."

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