Alleged Uber Driver's Steering Wheel Falls Off Mid-Ride and of Course It's an Old Land Rover

Screenshot: shawndagoat (Twitter)

A new video shows a woman struggling to re-install her Land Rover LR2's steering wheel during what the Twitter user who uploaded the clip claims was an Uber ride. “My Uber driver [steering] wheel came off” reads the caption for what is both a perplexing and intriguing video. We wanted to know more.

I don’t have a whole lot of information about this clip itself, other than the fact that the person who uploaded it, shawndagoat, lives in Georgia according to their Twitter profile. Here’s the video in question:


“She got no tip no stars no nun we jump df out, fuck the money I almost died dat day ‘U CAN LET US OUT RIGHT HERE MAM’” reads one of shawndagoat’s follow-up tweets. Another reads:“She was driving a old Land Rover !! !! !!”

Indeed, that appears to be the interior of a Land Rover LR2, also known as the Freelander 2 in other markets.

A quick internet search didn’t yield any obvious incidences of LR2 steering wheels coming off, but to try to understand what might have happened here, I watched the incredibly nerdy video above that goes through various Land Rover steering wheel variants. In it, the host powerfulukltd points out the Freelander 2's center boss is not splined (as you find on most cars), but rather hexagonal. Here’s a screengrab:

Screenshot: powerfulukltd (YouTube)

Another video on YouTube, embedded below, shows how the wheel hooks up to the steering shaft. There’s just a single torx bolt:

Here’s a screengrab of that:

Screenshot: (YouTube)

If you want to see what it looks like to remove a steering wheel with this same basic setup—I sure dothe Evoque seems to share the same hexagonal-shaft/torque bolt design:

As for what happened to the LR2 in this quickly-viral Twitter video, I can only guess that perhaps the torx bolt fell out. (Maybe it had been serviced and improperly torqued?)


It’s also possible that the bolt came loose and the hexagonal hole in the wheel rounded out. (The reasons for that would be less clear. Perhaps because someone was having issues with the steering wheel lock and just yanked the wheel?) That said, I bet it’s hard to round out that hole, and it looks like the driver is able to get the wheel back in place by the end of the clip, so I’m thinking the bolt just fell out, though I can’t know for sure.

The good news is that Uber is looking into the situation, tweeting in response to shawndagoat:


Uber hasn’t confirmed that the vehicle in the video was part of its service, as Fox News reports, so who knows how legit this all is. Whether it happened during an Uber ride or not, it’s probably safe to say that there’s something seriously wrong with this woman’s old Land Rover. But that’s not surprising.

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About the author

David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).