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Important Towing Information: 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee

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Thanks. I found the same link a few minutes ago. It mentions a two VIN lists of applicable vehicles. Did an on-line chat with FCA customer service to see if they could check if my VIN is on the list. They couldn't. Said affected owners would be contacted. Don't hold you breath. I'll call the dealer tomorrow. Thanks for the info!

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I took copies of all the relevant documents (service bulletin, flat towing instructions from original owner's manual, flat towing instructions from current Jeep website owner's manual, and this forum chain) to my Jeep dealer today, and talked to the Service Manager about the issue. He had no knowledge of the issue, nor did anyone in the service and parts departments.

Long story short, once the Service Manager got past that I wasn't talking about a recall issue, he caught up pretty fast. End result, he prepared a service order, and ordered the part. (The "fix" part is not available now, and is back-ordered. He had no estimate of when the part would be available, which is troubling considering Jeep has supposedly been working on this issue since September, 2015.)

From my experience today, I offer the following suggestions for anyone discussing this with a Jeep dealer:

Make clear this is not a recall issue.

If the dealer says: "Well, since it hasn't happened to your unit yet, we don't know that your unit has the problem." Your response should be: "Yes, but now that Jeep has changed the owner's manual to require the accessory wiring kit, if I tow without it, isn't Jeep going to disavow responsibility for damage to my car because I did not follow the owner's manual requirement (albeit, changed)?" (This seemed to be the most persuasive argument to my Service Manager for Jeep to handle this.)

I did not discuss cost, or who pays. One thing at a time.

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We continue to hear from FMCA members who call the Jeep Customer Assistance Center -- 877-426-5337 -- to inquire about the wobble issue, but find themselves talking to someone who knows nothing about it. When this happens, insist on talking to a supervisor. That seems to work.

Fiat Chrysler has told us that all Jeep Cherokee owners will be contacted, however the timeline for that to happen is still unclear. Also, the Jeep Customer Assistance Center is advising people not to flat tow the Cherokee until the new accessory has been installed. FMCA will post more information in Forums as soon as it becomes available. 

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Regarding National Office post above:: "Also, the Jeep Customer Assistance Center is advising people not to flat tow the Cherokee until the new accessory has been installed." Yeah, I'll bet they are! Hello, lawsuit! Are they suggesting how we do that when they don't even have "the accessory" available yet? Talking about putting the burden on the consumer!

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The fix "the accessory kit " is available to at least for some Cherokee owners, I had one installed yesterday and post on the Cherokee owners forum shows others are also getting the fix installed.

Don't know how well or if it works until I take my next trip and I will need to install a charge line to the towed vehicle from the RV, as the directions that came with the kit states the battery will only last 3 hours.

Stay on top of the problem by contacting FCA or your local dealer to get your accessory kit.

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This TSB about the steering kit was released one week after I bought my Trailhawk. It was advertised for flat towing. Now the owners manual has been updated, that you must install this kit which limits towing to 3 hours. Not an acceptable fix. It's clear that I should have bought a Wrangler.

Do y'all think FCA or the dealer will go for some kind of buy back or trade for a Wrangler? (The TH only has 300 miles on it.) Has anybody tried that route?

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seizethedayrv,

I had my kit installed in Colo. Spgs. Co. . I had ordered the parts and paid $112.00 at time of order. There was no charge for labor, service advisor stated it was covered under warranty and would send me the paper work. I forgot to ask about be reimbursed for the parts and I think the parts should have been covered by warranty as well but I'm not complaining. I am glad to have it done, I think paying for the parts may have expedited the process.

timdavis,

I feel your frustration, the reason I purchased the Cherokee was to flat tow, by the time I knew about the towing problem I had already had tow base plates, supplemental braking system, etc. installed. I don't think they would have taken it back and certainly not reimbursed for the cost of parts and labor for towing equipment. Now I get to spend more $ on a toad charge system to keep the battery charged.

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ITS DEFINITELY BEEN A RUN AROUND.. FOUND OUT BOUT THE JEEP TRAILHAWK ISSUES 3 WKS AGO.... DID NOT BELONG TO FMCA AND DID NOT RECEIVE ANY BULLETIN FROM JEEP AT ALL. WE FINALLY THROUGH A FB FRIEND RECEIVED THE INFORMATION. GOT THE PART NUMBER AFTER COUNTLESS CALLS TO JEEP CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER WHO CLAIMED THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON WHAT WE WERE ASKING ABOUT AND DECLINED TO ALLOW US TO SPEAK WITH A SUPERVISOR.... SPOKE WITH OUR JEEP DEALER IN BURNET TX WHO DID NOT HAVE ANY INFO AND WAS FINALLY EMAILED THE SERVICE BULLETIN FROM MCMULLAN MOTORS IN HATTIESBURG MS WHO HAD INSTALLED THE KIT 3 WKS AGO FOR A CANADIAN COUPLES JEEP AND NOTED THE SERVICE BULLETIN FROM JEEP WAS DATED MARCH 17,2016. WE EVEN TRIED TO ORDER THE ACCESSORY KIT OURSELVES FROM MOPAR AND IT IS NOT LISTED AS A PART TO PURCHASE. WE HAVE A 7 MONTH TRIP PLANNED AND PER THE MANUAL FOR JEEP IT SAYS" DO NOT TOW" THESE VEHICLES. IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFORMATION THAT WOULD SPEED UP THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING THIS KIT AND REDUCE THE RISK OF FATALITY OR ACCIDENTS ON THE ROAD FROM SAFETY ISSUE I AM ALL EARS THANKS

PAM AND GREG HARPER

214-533-9571

MARBLE FALLS TX

PAMELAHARPER58@AOL.COM

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Am I correct that the problem does NOT affect a Jeep GRAND Cherokee? The service bulletin referenced above says the

"Accessory Kit to Enhanced Flat Tow Performance" applies to 2014-2016 (KL) Jeep Cherokee.

Hopefully this can be confirmed.

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There are two TSB's

TSB 08-022-16 is for Wiring Kit- Trailer Tow part # 6832124AA and

TSB 08-029-16 is for Wiring Kit - Recreational Flat Tow part # 68321424AB.

Thanks to this Forum, which I joined today, I was able to get all the information I need to go back to the dealer with. I've been trying to get this fix done to my 2015 Cherokee Trail Hawk since March 1, 2016.

I called customer assistance on April 1, 2016 and they were aware of the problem and told me that all the dealers and the TSB and to check with my local dealer parts department to check for availability. I went to my dealer's parts department and was unaware of this problem or part, it surfed his computer for about a half hour and then took my name and number and said he would call me back. Still waiting for call back.

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I've heard that FCA has set 50 of the wiring kits for the Cherokee's aside for FMCA members. My question is how do I get on the list to get one of those 50 kits? 

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On 4/11/2016 at 6:13 PM, ahiggs said:

I've heard that FCA has set 50 of the wiring kits for the Cherokee's aside for FMCA members. My question is how do I get on the list to get one of those 50 kits? 

No accessory kits have been set aside specifically for FMCA members, according to a Fiat Chrysler spokesman. Questions should be directed to the Jeep Customer Assistance Center, (877) 426-5337. When more information becomes available, we'll post it immediately in Forums.

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This is developing into a mess like GM had over the Chevy Cruze when it came out. I bought one and three months later they gave me my money back. I don't think I could get my money back on my 2014 Cherokee!  But I have not had any problems with it except when turning around my jeep dropped off the shoulder on a side road and when getting on again it started to wobble. I stopped the M.H. then started again and no problem. I've put about 7,000 miles on it and no problem. If it does happen I would bungee cord the steering wheel or start and idle engine.

Then when getting home believe I would head down to my Ford dealer and get one of their products as all can be towed four wheels down, hope it doesn't come to that, last Ford I had was a 1948!!

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Update: Took our first trip towing the modified 2015 Cherokee.  Approximately 300 miles so far, no problem at all.  

Just takes some time to set transaxle and EPS to towing mode and take them out again when we arrived. 

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My Cherokee "Trailhawk" experienced this problem while driving to Alaska last summer. One of the consequences is that the framework, in the front of the vehicle has developed cracked welds on more than one structural member.

I have a Blue Ox baseplate and Blue Ox sent me a new baseplate when I contacted them about the broken welds, they re-designed the baseplate by adding more support. (they have  not, however, committed to paying for the cost of removing and reinstalling the new baseplate).

Jeep is replacing all the broken parts under warranty (although this took a lot of arm twisting). The aluminum parts are being replaced with steel ones, which suggests a flimsy original design.

If you have towed a Cherokee for a while, I would suggest having it checked for broken welds, as this is, apparently, not an uncommon problem.

We found the broken framework while having the Jeep serviced. There was no indication of a problem while towing, which is pretty scary.

Incidentally, Jeep says the steering bypass fix will be available April 28th, but I am skeptical.

 

 

 

 

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Important information for owners of 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees who flat tow that vehicle behind a motorhome:

 

Owners of 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees should begin receiving notices about updated flat-towing procedures from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US (FCA) starting today, April 22, a company official told Family Motor Coaching magazine. The notifications will be sent via U.S. mail. Cherokee owners in Canada also will be notified by mail “in due course,” according to an FCA official. The notifications will include revised towing procedures, which also appear in updated online user guides and owners manuals. The user guides and owners manuals can be accessed at www.jeep.com/en/owners/manuals/.

 

Once customers receive notification from FCA, they may contact their certified Jeep dealer to have a Mopar flat-tow wiring kit installed. The wiring kit is designed to resolve a problem that sometimes occurs when 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees are towed four wheels down behind a motorhome. Owners have reported that under certain operating conditions — such as traveling bumpy or poorly maintained roads — the Cherokee sometimes wobbles significantly, raising safety concerns. The only way to stop the wobble, owners have said, is to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

 

The cost of the wiring kit (parts and labor) is approximately $218, FCA said.

 FCA officials said that the wobble occurs because the vehicle’s electronic power steering system is inactive while the Cherokee is being flat towed with the ignition in the “off” position. As a result, the vehicle does not benefit from the system’s function.

 

The flat-tow wiring kit already has been made available to some Cherokee owners. An FCA statement said: “FCA US has begun providing service to certain customers who advised the company of this issue before a solution was developed. That solution is now available for all in the retail environment. Going forward, customers intent on flat towing are urged to follow the revised user guide instructions and contact their dealers.”

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My first post here....... thanks for the info on this topic. We have considered ordering a Cherokee but this problem has put our decision on hold. I see now per the bulletin that this issue only applies to units built prior to Feb 2016. My two questions are 1) can we be certain this is correct info, anyone have a newer Cherokee without problems and 2) does the apply to the Grand Cherokee, did not see it mentioned in the topic?

Thanks, Lee

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Ralphs here, I have had the harness installed and have towed 1400 miles since with out a wobble.  Prior to the installation while towing to MT the wobble happened seven times, fortunately at slower speeds.  FMCA was the collector of the info that was used to notify F/C.  When F/C got the info they were not long in generating a fix, and working with them was easy.  I just received a call back a day ago asking how the fix was working, I'd say that is pretty good customer service!  The car does tow very well and  is a great car to drive.

F/C does do what they say they will, contact them and see for your self.   Ralphs

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Ralphs--or any other owners that have had harnesses installed:  Haven't been able to get the harness installed yet, but I've heard that there is a battery discharge problem of some sort when using the harness when towing.  Has anyone got any information on such an problem?

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A visit to my local Jeep dealership today to get the harness installed answered the  question I asked above--and confirmed my worst fears.

What a jerry-rigged, chincy, crappy "fix" Jeep has come up with.  The User Guide has six steps to activate the system, and five to deactivate--with many cautions, alerts and warnings for the process.  The technician suggested I not use the center console storage compartment because that's where the activation switch is located, and accidentally turning it on when not in tow mode can "do bad things".  

The coup de grace is a statement that says:  "It is highly recommended that a battery charger/maintainer is used while the vehicle is in tow mode to prevent complete battery drain for system activation longer than three hours." Oh, no problem Jeep, who would ever tow more than three hours at a time!  No advice or counsel from Jeep on how to accomplish this little recommendation.  

Oh well, no worry.  After all, I've got five days before I leave for Alaska (after already delaying departure waiting on this "fix")!

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