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Important Towing Information: 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee

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Fiat Chrysler today (January 20, 2016) released the following information exclusively to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA) has announced plans for resolving a problem that sometimes occurs when 2014-16 Jeep Cherokees are towed four wheels down behind a motorhome.

FCA released a statement in response to inquiries by Family Motor Coaching magazine and concerns of a number of Jeep owners who reported problems when flat towing their Cherokees. The owners reported that the vehicle sometimes wobbles significantly, raising safety concerns. The wobble reportedly has occurred at slow speeds and at highway speeds, and has happened with a variety of motorhomes and towing systems. The only way to stop the wobble, owners have said, is to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

The FCA statement said: “Under certain operating conditions, such as traveling excessively bumpy or poorly maintained roads, the flat-towed vehicle may not consistently track in line with the tow vehicle.” The cause, according to the statement: “The vehicle’s Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system is inactive while the vehicle is being flat-towed with the ignition in the ‘off’ position. Accordingly, the vehicle does not benefit from the system’s function.”

A Jeep official said the company knows of several dozen Cherokee owners who have experienced the problem. For those owners, FCA will “provide a complimentary jumper wire harness and switch to ensure the vehicle’s EPS system has power to function while it is being flat-towed. These components have been engineered and validated by FCA US LLC and will be made available to all customers through MOPAR, as early as January 29. In addition, all Cherokee owners will be contacted directly by FCA US and provided with updated instructions for flat-towing. These instructions supersede all previous instructions. Also, the vehicle’s online owners manual will be updated.”

Family Motor Coaching brought the problem to the attention of Fiat Chrysler in September 2015 after an FMCA member contacted the magazine and provided a link to a video showing a Cherokee wobbling as it was being towed behind a motorhome. FCA assigned engineers and technicians to investigate and resolve the problem.

For more information, Cherokee owners can call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center at (877) 426-5337.

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Thank you for posting this information. Do you have a link to FMA's source documentation? I called FMA Customer Assistance Center and they (rep and supervisor) could not find any reference to the "wobble" problem, nor the mentioned "jumper wire harness and switch" fix for the 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees.

Thank you.

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Do you have any information on what we are suppose to do to tow until modification is made? Should we run with Jeep in accessory position?

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This is John Johnston, associate editor at Family Motor Coaching magazine. I contacted an official at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) about the above questions. Apparently there was an internal misunderstanding at FCA regarding when the Jeep Customer Assistance Center would start taking questions about the wobble issue. But that has been straightened out, according to the FCA spokesman, and FCA product specialists are now available to take questions at (877) 426-5337. (877-IAMJEEP). As for what Jeep Cherokee owners are supposed to do until the modification is made, this is the Fiat Chrysler response: "All owners will receive updated instructions starting next month. These instructions supersede any previously communicated information -- including that which is currently in customer hands. FCA US apologizes for any inconvenience." I asked for clarification on when next month the updated instructions will be available. The FCA spokesman's response: Late February. "But be assured our supplier is indeed tooling up." If anyone calls the Jeep Customer Assistance Center about the wobble issue and finds that the FCA rep doesn't know what you're talking about, let me know, either by posting here or emailing me at jjohnston@fmca.com.

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Good to know, though our first experience was 1700 miles from Iowa to south Florida without any "wobble" occurring to our 2015 Cherokee Limited. When the update info arrives in the mail, we'll be able to get it updated before our return to Iowa in April.

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Per the FMCA post I contacted Jeep customer assistance today regarding the Cherokee wobble problem when towing my 2016 Cherokee.

The FCA rep. that I spoke to had no idea of what I was talking about. I explained that this was a safety issue. She advised me to talk to local Jeep dealer, they also had no clue as to what I was talking about and neither had any info. about a fix for the problem.

Not very reassuring that FCA is working on the issue.

I appreciate that FMCA is working on this issue with FCA, but what do I need to due next?

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This is John Johnston, associate editor at Family Motor Coaching magazine. After I was contacted by the FMCA member who posted the comment directly above, I, too, called the Jeep Customer Assistance Center, (877) 426-5337. Unfortunately, I had a similar experience with the Jeep rep I spoke with. She had never heard of the wobble problem, and asked if I had contacted a dealer about it.

I then reached out again to my contact at Fiat Chrysler corporate, and was told that information had been shared with all the FCA agents answering the phones at the customer assistance center.

It's important to note that Fiat Chrysler has not yet contacted dealers or Cherokee owners about the wobble problem. As noted earlier by Fiat Chrysler, updated instructions on towing the Jeep Cherokee are not expected until late February, at the earliest.

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I saw the article in the magazine and call Jeep Customer Support.

While the rep was not familiar with the problem, once I explained it, he looked it up and said he found there was a technical service bulletin on it. He said parts were expected in late February.

Meanwhile bungeeing the steering wheel to the seat may have helped us.

Thank you, FMCA, for getting Chrysler to work on this problem. That is a big service to the motorhome community as the jeep cherokee is one of the few lighter weight cars still towable 4 down with automatic.

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Hi I am an FMCA member and have been towing a Cherokee Limited for the past year. I have experienced this problem 7 times and have been able to stop safely every time as it has only ever happened at slow speeds. I suspected the steering damping system was going to be a problem.

I was contacted by the representative from Jeep by e-mail just yesterday to get my Vin # which I had not provide to the FMCA blog that has been chasing this problem for some time, thank goodness! He indicated the information would be available very soon.

As an aside I use to tow a Honda CRV, and had a dead battery a number of times as it was very hard to get the fuses out that they recommended. I finally purchased a battery charger from RV Brake that I use and the problem stopped.

I have that on my Cherokee but have never tried to tow with the auxiliary switch on, to see if that helped the steering. I plan to wait and see what the Jeep people come up with.

I love the jeep but it is a worrisome thing when you are towing. Don't need to tow for a while now.

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After contacting Customer Support for Jeep I was told that the fix for the problem would not be available until the end of February and that the vehicle should not be towed until the fix is purchased from Jeep. It would not be offered at no cost as reported.

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Fiat Chrysler today (January 20, 2016) released the following information exclusively to Family Motor Coaching magazine.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA) has announced plans for resolving a problem that sometimes occurs when 2014-16 Jeep Cherokees are towed four wheels down behind a motorhome.

FCA released a statement in response to inquiries by Family Motor Coaching magazine and concerns of a number of Jeep owners who reported problems when flat towing their Cherokees. The owners reported that the vehicle sometimes wobbles significantly, raising safety concerns. The wobble reportedly has occurred at slow speeds and at highway speeds, and has happened with a variety of motorhomes and towing systems. The only way to stop the wobble, owners have said, is to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

The FCA statement said: “Under certain operating conditions, such as traveling excessively bumpy or poorly maintained roads, the flat-towed vehicle may not consistently track in line with the tow vehicle.” The cause, according to the statement: “The vehicle’s Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system is inactive while the vehicle is being flat-towed with the ignition in the ‘off’ position. Accordingly, the vehicle does not benefit from the system’s function.”

A Jeep official said the company knows of several dozen Cherokee owners who have experienced the problem. For those owners, FCA will “provide a complimentary jumper wire harness and switch to ensure the vehicle’s EPS system has power to function while it is being flat-towed. These components have been engineered and validated by FCA US LLC and will be made available to all customers through MOPAR, as early as January 29. In addition, all Cherokee owners will be contacted directly by FCA US and provided with updated instructions for flat-towing. These instructions supersede all previous instructions. Also, the vehicle’s online owners manual will be updated.”

Family Motor Coaching brought the problem to the attention of Fiat Chrysler in September 2015 after an FMCA member contacted the magazine and provided a link to a video showing a Cherokee wobbling as it was being towed behind a motorhome. FCA assigned engineers and technicians to investigate and resolve the problem.

For more information, Cherokee owners can call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center at (877) 426-5337.

Do I have to be a member of FCA to receive the information. I have a 2014 Cherokee Trailhawk and would like to have the modification installed. Thank you for the information.

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"T",

Welcome to the Forum.

Being a member of FMCA is so much more then just receiving information on your Jeep. Being a member give you so many benefits such as FMC Assist, 12 issues of one of the finest Motor Home magazines, Discounts on Michelin tires and the list goes on and on.

So yes, join, become part of this great family.

Herman

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A Jeep Cherokee owner need not be a member of FMCA to get the Jeep Cherokee accessory for flat towing. Call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center, (877) 426-5337. FMCA, however, played a significant role in helping get the issue resolved. And as Herman Mullins noted above, there are many other benefits of FMCA membership.

In terms of the cost of the accessory and who must pay for it, the statement Fiat Chrysler released on January 20, 2016, said that Fiat Chrysler would provide the new accessory for free to those several dozen Cherokee owners who the company knew had experienced towing problems up to that point. Others would have to pay. The cost has been described as "modest," but an exact figure has not been provided. When we get that information, we'll pass it along.

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Regarding Administrators post immediately above, as a first time Jeep owner--a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk purchased especially and specifically to tow behind my motorhome--I am not going to be a happy camper (pardon the bad pun) if Jeep tells me I have to buy an accessory, no matter the cost, to make their product perform as they market it. The model's ability to be easily and seamlessly flat towed is splashed throughout Jeep's marketing materials.

I have not towed mine yet, but plan on leaving for a six month trip from Orlando to Alaska May 1, and do not relish finding out in Whitehorse YT that my Trailhawk has the problem!

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If it does, you'll find out long before Whitehorse! As we are nearing the end off Feb. lets hope that Jeep and Fiat is true to their promise!

Carl

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We have a 2014 Cherokee that we purchased new specifically to tow. It has wobbled several times in the last nearly 2 years including 3 times in the last 3 weeks. It can create a very dangerous issue as the only way to stop it is to come to a complete stop. I called the number provided above today (February 29, 2016) and the representative had never heard of the issue and had no idea about the "fix" that has been mentioned in this thread.

Please continue to press them for us. We really appreciate the work that Mr. Johnston has done so far. We are leaving in May for a 3 month trip covering over 10,000 miles and need to get this issue completed before then. We have been FMCA members for several years and know how valuable that membership is.

Bill & Beth White

F419424

Newmar Dutch Star 4018

450 HP Cummins

Blue Ox Aventa

Airforce One Braking

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We purchased a new 2015 Cherokee this last weekend and this "problem" was discussed before agreeing to it. When asked, no one including the service department seemed to know anything about it.

They didn't believe the copies of this posting, however I had also printed the owners manual using the latest online version which clearly states "failure to use the proper Mopar wiring kit to power the steering system during recreational towing may damage the vehicle's steering system and/or other vehicle components".

More calls and finally I was told they put kit part number 68321424AA on order and would install it free of charge when it comes in. We wait to see if this is true.

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Rick, where did you find the latest online manual? We just purchased a 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and will be towing once we get the Blue Ox baseplate installed. And let us know how your wiring kit install went, as I plan to order the wiring kit and get that installed once we get feedback from you.

Kevin Shaw

951-375-7550

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I found the latest version of the Jeep Owners Manual by going online and trying the following web address: http://www.jeep.com/en/owners/manuals/ and then just fill in your Jeep information and it will take you to a list of available documents.

Pick the "Owners Manual". Vince on that manual recommend going to the index and looking for "Towing Vehicle Behind a Motorhome".

Click on that and it will take you to the pages on towing. That's were I found the wording above.

Also if you type in the kit part number into your web search engine (6832142AA) you can see the Service Bulletin from Jeep concerning this issue.

They have ordered my kit I am told but wasn't given a delivery date so could be days/weeks/months I guess. Hope much sooner as have a couple month trip planned this summer. Hope that helps.

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BTW, make certain you are on the official Jeep site. There are several sites that have owners manuals but are not updated to this latest verison. Just be careful where you are looking.

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Curious, have any owners of the topic Cherokee owners received any official communication from Jeep concerning this issue?

We were suppose to hear the end of January; then the end of February. I'm becoming very skeptical (and cynical) about Jeep's motives and intentions on this. This isn't going quietly away--thanks to FMCA!

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Thanks for the info on the wiring kit and Service Bulletin. I've googled the kit part number (6832142AA) as well as TSBs on this issue and find nothing. Do you have a TSB number or any links?

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I looked it up again just now using "Google". It did not come up using "Explorer". It says the following:

Number: 08-022016 (Is this the TSB number?)

Group: Electrical

Date: February 24, 2016

Subject: Accessory Kit to Enhance Flat Tow Performance

Models: 2014 - 2016 (KL) Jeep Cherokee

It goes on to state that the bulletin only applies to vehicles built before February 16, 2016, equipped with 4X4 with Jeep Active Drive II and whose VIN appears in VIP or on the RRT VIN list. There are some other words on "symptom/condition" and "diagnosis" and the part number of the kit. There is a repair procedure but it states to follow detailed instructions #K6862569 located within the Mopar Accessory Kit.

I have a copy but don't seem to see how to attach it to this document. Hope that helps.

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