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Important Towing Information: 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee

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On 4/19/2016 at 7:11 AM, retiredblade said:

On FMCA towing guide

It is incorrect that all Ford products can be towed four wheels down. Please refer to Family Motor Coaching magazine's Towables Guide for a listing of Ford vehicles that can be flat towed.

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A Fiat Chrysler spokesman today clarified some points regarding the Jeep Cherokee.

Fiat Chrysler recommends that the new towing accessory be installed on all 2014-2016 4x4 Jeep Cherokees that will be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome, regardless of when they were built.

Fiat Chrysler began mailing correspondence to Jeep Cherokee owners on April 22. Those letters continue to be sent in stages. Customers should abide by the information in the letter. Some Jeep owners have referred to an online service bulletin. Such service bulletins are intended for dealers only, and the initial service bulletin contained an error, which added to people's confusion.  

All Jeep dealers have been notified about the new towing accessory, so it's okay to contact your dealer, ask if the part is available there, and schedule a time to have it installed.

This process involves the Cherokee. The Grand Cherokee is not affected. 

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My 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk is due to arrive this week or next.  My  Jeep dealer parts folks were clueless on this issue.  Eventually they found the part but it is on backorder and the cost is $124.  They could not estimate the cost to install for they did not have any information on it.  Perhaps I should not take delivery on the vehicle until I get some answers. :( Plus I better not try to sell my 2002 Jeep Liberty until I get the issue resolved.  

Thanks to FMCA for their persistence.

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I called FCA Canada this morning and was told I had to pay for both the part ($168) plus the installation. I then went back to the dealer who a week ago knew nothing about the problem or the part #. I gave him a copy of Service Bulletin 08-022-16 and he searched the # and there were none in stock in any warehouses and would order it and call me when it came in. Our 2014 Limited came equipped with both a 4 pin and 7 pin trailer hitch plug, why if they promote this vehicle as flat towable why don't they include the correct  front outlet. I paid my DP dealer to install the wiring and an Air Force 1 system, now I have to pay someone else to fix the problem! Not Happy.

2014 Allegro Bus 37AP and 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited.

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17 hours ago, jim_blessin@telus.net said:

I called FCA Canada this morning and was told I had to pay for both the part ($168) plus the installation. I then went back to the dealer who a week ago knew nothing about the problem or the part #. I gave him a copy of Service Bulletin 08-022-16 and he searched the # and there were none in stock in any warehouses and would order it and call me when it came in. Our 2014 Limited came equipped with both a 4 pin and 7 pin trailer hitch plug, why if they promote this vehicle as flat towable why don't they include the correct  front outlet. I paid my DP dealer to install the wiring and an Air Force 1 system, now I have to pay someone else to fix the problem! Not Happy.

2014 Allegro Bus 37AP and 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited.

Jim, this supports my comment in the other thread on this topic - the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.  On re-reading the letter I received it is very clear that FCA is paying for the parts and labor.   Yet, the dealers and their Customer Care Centre in Canada cannot confirm for some strange reason that I don't understand.   I suspect they will get it straightened out but they sure are punishing Cherokee owners who had plans to use their MHs and tow their Cherokees.    I see you have a very nice MH. Imagine if you had plans to travel for the month of July with bookings and deposits paid.   Would they pick up the costs?    On one forum a comment was made that the new wording in the operator's manual was solely to protect FCA.  That may well be the case but they should start thinking about someone (it won't be me) consulting a lawyer and launching a class action for breach of contract.  My dealer has all my correspondence making it clear that we were purchasing the Cherokee to tow behind our MH.   Now, we are being told not to do that until they provide a fix at some unspecified time in the future.  I am very disappointed in FCA since the time it took for them to recognize and admit to the problem was far too long.  If they had started working on a fix after receiving a few complaints we wouldn't be in this position now.   

Let us hope they get this right soon so we can carry on with our trips - even though it will mean extra work.   I have to say that if they had told me when I was purchasing that I had to add a power connection and that I needed this wiring kit followed by some fuzzy procedures, I would not have purchased the Cherokee and the following year I would likely not have traded my 2012 T&C for a 2014 T&C  (and just think I was considering trading the T&C for a 2016 Durango R/T when I got the FCA letter on S13).  

GR  

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I have a 2015 Cherokee Trailhawk.  Received my owners manual addendum today from FCA instructing me to install the flat tow wiring kit prior to flat towing.  Went to local dealer who said part was not available at this time.  I asked if that meant back ordered and he said no, not available.

Called FCA customer service and they said the part was back ordered and to have the dealer place an order.  FCA said they are not going to participate in the cost of the part or installation and suggested I go to the dealership where I bought the vehicle and they  might, for PR purposes help.

 I live in Montana and bought the Trailhawk in Phoenix.  Love my Trailhawk but can't say that for FCA.  Part number is 68321424AB.  The local parts guy told me that there was an earlier version of the same part but for some unknown reason it is replaced by this one.  

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Can anyone explain why Jeep would not allow the steering fix "wire harness" be connected to the seven wire factory installed "12 volt HOT wire" instead of connecting it to the Jeep electrical system. This would prevent having to purchase a charger to keep the Jeep battery charged. The three hour battery drain sounds like a lot of dead batteries having to be replaced. I have been told a fuse is being installed instead of a switch to activate the system when being towed and will need to be removed after towing. When you unplug the six wire plug on the jeep the steering system would be off. Sure sounds like Jeep has not thought this out.

FMCA 181953 

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For background, see my earlier posts preceding.

I was fortunately able to get the harness installed on my 2016 Trailhawk before leaving Orlando May 8 on our six month trip to Alaska.  Bad news, my dealer required that I pay for the harness and installation.  Good news, I was very quickly reimbursed by FCA Jeep.

I have towed my Cherokee a few thousand miles without using the fix/harness with no issue.  Because of the battery discharge problem, I do not plan on using the harness unless I have to.

I agree with RTRDCHF's sentiment above--poorly designed and poorly implemented solution to an unimaginable design flaw in an auto supposedly made--and for sure marketed as--a natural for flat towing.  

I hope my unit is one of those that will never have the flat tow issue because I'm not sure how much tolerance I will have for jumping through the hoops that using the harness requires.  Otherwise, I'll probably be a short-lived Jeep owner--my first and LAST!

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Just got back from towing my 2015 Cherokee, 5,000 mile 31 days around SE USA. Great trip with no wobble, even on the truck beaten road US-285 in Texas. Going through my mail found MOTOR VEHICLE NOTIFICATION S13 from FCA US LLC, which by the way is only for the card insert to correct the owners manual. I thought great I can get the Flat Tow Wiring Kit, because the first bullet point in the instructions says "before towing, see your authorized dealer for the MOPAR flat tow wiring kit.

Went 12 rounds with Dadeland Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Miami FL. Assistant Service Manager, clueless, Service Manager, clueless, after 2 call backs Service Manager said I had to pay for the part and install. Round 13 starts tomorrow when I take the Cherokee in for service to see if my Cherokee requires the wiring kit. Don't know how they will determine that, since they are all clueless, so I am going to ask them to put the results in an signed official document.

Went 12 rounds with FCA US Jeep Customer Assistance Center, and was told that the S13 notification is only for the update to the owners manual and that she does not have any official documentation from FCA stating the Wiring Kit and installation was free. When I mentioned the service bulletin 08-029-16 dated March 17, 2016, she told me there is no official bulletin and the one I mentioned is fake. When I mentioned the quote of an official at FCA in the FMCA February 2016 article, stating that FCA will "provide a complimentary wire harness and switch to ensure the vehicle's EPS system has power to function while it is being flat-towed, she told me that FCMA does not work for FCA and that she has not received any official documentation from FCA to the point of being complimentary, so I would have to pay.

Previously when I spoke to Customer Assistance they were nice and apologetic for the delay in not having the parts, and that I would be notified when the parts are available, now it seams they are reading from a script and saying only what they are told to say and have no interest in helping the customer.

What would help is for FMCA to provide names of the FCA Officials and Spokespersons you spoke to in the February 2016 article and in your recent post.

 

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To FMCANationalOffice Advanced Member,

In your post of April 22, the last paragraph states,

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.”

I need clarification on the last sentence. When I purchased my 2015 Cherokee Trail Hawk on 04/14/2015 my intent at the time was to flat tow the Cherokee, which the sales manager was made aware of and even showed me in the owners manual the instructions on how to flat tow the Cherokee, so does does the last sentence refer to new purchases going forward, or does it apply to existing customers who purchased there Cherokee prior to when the solution was developed and have not yet experienced the wobble.

I don't think it is fair for FCA to sell me a vehicle that was approved for flat towing at time of purchase and now send me a card to insert in the owners manual that now says "Before towing, see your authorized dealer for the MOPAR flat towing kit," and want me to pay for the kit and installation.

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On 5/18/2016 at 8:49 AM, Takachsin said:

To FMCANationalOffice Advanced Member,

In your post of April 22, the last paragraph states,

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.”

I need clarification on the last sentence. When I purchased my 2015 Cherokee Trail Hawk on 04/14/2015 my intent at the time was to flat tow the Cherokee, which the sales manager was made aware of and even showed me in the owners manual the instructions on how to flat tow the Cherokee, so does does the last sentence refer to new purchases going forward, or does it apply to existing customers who purchased there Cherokee prior to when the solution was developed and have not yet experienced the wobble.

I don't think it is fair for FCA to sell me a vehicle that was approved for flat towing at time of purchase and now send me a card to insert in the owners manual that now says "Before towing, see your authorized dealer for the MOPAR flat towing kit," and want me to pay for the kit and installation.

According to Fiat Chrysler, the recommendation to install the flat-tow wiring kit and to follow the revised user guide instructions applies to ALL 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokees that will be flat towed behind a motorhome.  

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Refer to above postings for background.

i have the harness "fix" installed, but have not needed to use it ( switch has never been turned on or fuse inserted).

After towing five days without unhooking or starting my 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk, the battery was totally dead when I stopped this afternoon.  Any one else having a battery discharge issue when towing the new Cherokees, separate from the flat towing issue?

P.S.--May have also had that "hot electrical" smell we all dread.

 

 

Edited by rpbuttery
Additional thought.

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On ‎1‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 8:18 AM, FMCANationalOffice said:

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.

My Name is Lloyd Medlin, FMCA # F358274.  I was told by the the Jeep Customer Assistance Center she new nothing about this. She talk to someone else there and they said there is a kit for this and we would have to pay for it. My question is, my Jeep is still under warranty does that count. Will find out Monday at the dealer.

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Hi once again, Name here is Ralphs;

I have been towing my 2014 Jeep Cherokee for 4000+ miles since I had the recommended fix done in Fl.in February.  The Jeep tows great!  We have crossed many RR tracks and road shoulders and just plain bad roads and the car has never wobbled a single bit!!!  The fix works, so get it done if you have a Jeep Cherokee and you will not be sorry.  I'm sure Fiat/Chrysler will in corperate the fix in all new Jeeps.  The car is a joy to tow and use on or off road.  We are currently towing in WY, on our way to MT for the summer and then back to MD and FL. so lots of miles ahead for the JEEP.  Safe travels to all.

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On 5/3/2016 at 10:02 AM, FMCANationalOffice said:

It is incorrect that all Ford products can be towed four wheels down. Please refer to Family Motor Coaching magazine's Towables Guide for a listing of Ford vehicles that can be flat towed.

I am puzzled, 2016 towing guide states that, as far as I can read says all Fords and Lincolns with auto trans. can be towed 4 wheels down, am I missing something?

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The Jeep Cherokee has always been a good value go-anywhere do-anything vehicle, especially for no restrictions for towing four on the ground.  My ’97 was getting old and I had been looking for a replacement for some time and finally found it in the 2014 Cherokee Limited with Active Drive II and all options.  What an outstanding value vehicle with adaptive cruise control, lane correction, collision avoidance, and blind spot detection.  It exceeded all expectations and would rather drive it than my wife’s Aude Q5.  Towed it for over a year then it happened.  $3700 worth of damage to the front end when the towed vehicle shook violently (five months later a second incident for a total of $5100).  It took about nine months but am very pleased with the response from both Chrysler and Blue Ox for discovering the basic problem and designing and installing their respective fixes.  Very impressed with Blue Ox for reimbursing all cost. 

It turns out many of the new vehicles are being designed with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) rather than the old familiar mechanical means like a steering stabilizer.  The ESC works great with power on but with power off when towing the vehicle acts like a shopping cart with a bad caster.  Chrysler added a new switch in the center counsel (I added two 10 amp diodes to the 12 volts from the Motorhome to isolate the auxiliary Brakes from the ESC otherwise additional steps to tow.) and Blue Ox beefed up their baseplate.   

If you own a 2014-2016 Cherokee and had it shake violently while towing, I guarantee you, the welds on your Jeep’s Frame Extension Brackets are cracked and should be replaced.  If you have not had Chrysler’s mod installed and not experienced the shaking, it’s just a matter of time.

Dave Maass

Scottsdale AZ

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My wiring kit is being installed tomorrow (June 8) and I was informed today that it will be covered as a warranty item provided the mileage (or kms) do not not exceed the warranty limit.  

Yesterday I provided the service manager with Service Bulletin KL-08-022-16 that makes it every clear that the kit is to be installed under the warranty.  

Anyone who has had to pay for this kit and installation should demand a refund.  

GR

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Kit installed today.  Took them about 5 hours.  The result looks very clean and easy to use.  Now the PITA of adding a power line from the MH to the battery.  They card they provided with instructions suggests using a battery charger/maintainer if towing for more than three hours. 

Anyone have any recommendations?

GR

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I had the original fix installed in March and just recently towed approx. 1200 miles over all kinds of road conditions. The Cherokee towed great, yes it's more to do to set it up for towing, but becomes easier after you follow the procedure a few times. To keep the Cherokee battery charged I installed the "Toad Charge" not the cheapest solution but was able to use 12 volt power through umbilical cord. I like the LED light that show if it is hooked up and another LED that shows if it is charging the toad battery. It also adjust the amps to the toad battery depending on need and can provide 10 amps if needed, built in diodes prevents power from feeding back to the motorhome. Towed for 9 hours one day and the Cherokee started no problem.

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On 5/26/2016 at 5:19 PM, retiredblade said:

I am puzzled, 2016 towing guide states that, as far as I can read says all Fords and Lincolns with auto trans. can be towed 4 wheels down, am I missing something?

The Towables Guide lists the specific Ford and Lincoln vehicles that can be towed four wheels down behind a motorhome. If a vehicle is listed in the Towables Guide, it can be flat towed. Someone previously posted a comment that ALL Ford vehicles can be flat towed, and that, of course, is incorrect.  

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I have a 2016 Jeep Cherokee. FCA, just had a wire harness installed on my vehicle Part # 68321424AB. WE took it it for a test drive and it seems to work well.I'll know better when we go to Florida Next fall. You have to put a fuse in the wire harness and flip a switch installed in the console (very , very inconvient) before flat towing.

From my understanding you have appx. 3 hour battery time, before your battery discharges. If you stop intermitently to recharge the battery you have to remove the fuse and turn off the switch.

The switch is at the bottom of the console-so you have to remove what ever you have in the console to access it.

FCA recommends adding a trycle charger and connecting it to a tail light wire from the coach- i am investigating other alternatives.

mojo234

mojo234@roadrunner.com

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On June 10, 2016 at 4:47 PM, nootbaar said:

I had the original fix installed in March and just recently towed approx. 1200 miles over all kinds of road conditions. The Cherokee towed great, yes it's more to do to set it up for towing, but becomes easier after you follow the procedure a few times. To keep the Cherokee battery charged I installed the "Toad Charge" not the cheapest solution but was able to use 12 volt power through umbilical cord. I like the LED light that show if it is hooked up and another LED that shows if it is charging the toad battery. It also adjust the amps to the toad battery depending on need and can provide 10 amps if needed, built in diodes prevents power from feeding back to the motorhome. Towed for 9 hours one day and the Cherokee started no problem.

Thanks.  I'm going to check on Toad Charge.  

GR

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I just had the harness installed but have not tried it. Concerned about the drain on the Cherokee battery. How long can you go before you have to recharge the battery. Other than hooking up a toad charge does anyone have any other ideas to keep battery charged.

I did get Chrysler to pay for the harness but it was a battle. My dealer worked it out with Chrysler.

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stu,

Welcome to the Forum. Are you a member of FMCA, if not in the famous words of Larry the Cable Guy "Geter dun". :P

I have never had the problem with a battery that will run down after towing. However if I had I would install a Charge line in a heart beat. That can be done with either using your 7 pin connector or adding a seperate line. If running a separate line be sure to put a inline fuse on both ends of the line. A two wire line from a plug on the coach to a plug on the toad connected to the Battery. However if you are not comfortable with wiring  please ask a professional to install it for you.

Good luck and Happy travels,

 

Herman 

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