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Old 05-11-2016, 02:32 PM   #1
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Jeep wants you to pay for a flat tow harness to fix the wobble

Looks like Jeep is backpedaling on this.

A few months ago, I had them look up the VIN for my Trailhawk, and they said it was NOT on the list for needing the Flat Tow wiring harness fix.

Today I received a update card in the mail which was to be inserted in the manual. this is a CYA fix, and they are saying EVERY Cherokee needs this now.
AND....get this, they are wanting the customer to purchase it. ($128 for a relay, switch and some wire with plugs).

I have not had the wobble problem while towing, and only a few Trailhawks have reported it....mainly the 4x4 Cherokees have had the problem.
What ticks me off is that they want the customer to pay, and in addition, it puts a current drain on the battery because it energizes the PS electronics and motor.

This is not the vehicle that was advertised as "Flat Tow-able"

Here are the new instructions:
Before towing, See your authorized dealer for the Mopar flat
tow wiring kit
• It is recommended to charge the battery of the towed vehicle
during recreational towing
• Transmission in PARK
• Power transfer unit in NEUTRAL (N)
• Tow in forward direction

Regards,

Dan
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:37 PM   #2
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I dealt directly with FCA through customer assist at jeep.com. Mine was installed under warranty. Free of charge.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Looks like Jeep is backpedaling on this.

A few months ago, I had them look up the VIN for my Trailhawk, and they said it was NOT on the list for needing the Flat Tow wiring harness fix.

Today I received a update card in the mail which was to be inserted in the manual. this is a CYA fix, and they are saying EVERY Cherokee needs this now.
AND....get this, they are wanting the customer to purchase it. ($128 for a relay, switch and some wire with plugs).

I have not had the wobble problem while towing, and only a few Trailhawks have reported it....mainly the 4x4 Cherokees have had the problem.
What ticks me off is that they want the customer to pay, and in addition, it puts a current drain on the battery because it energizes the PS electronics and motor.

This is not the vehicle that was advertised as "Flat Tow-able"

Here are the new instructions:
Before towing, See your authorized dealer for the Mopar flat
tow wiring kit
It is recommended to charge the battery of the towed vehicle
during recreational towing
Transmission in PARK
Power transfer unit in NEUTRAL (N)
Tow in forward direction

Regards,

Dan
Is this a repeat post? could you elaborate ? what was your problem?
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:23 PM   #4
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I feel your pain..I bought a Trailhawk 5 months ago(brand new) and was told at the time of purchase this model yr (2015)was ready to flat tow and now I find it requires a special wiring harness. I was quoted 210.00 for the harness and tht does not include installation. The harness quote came from FCA.

What really angers me is it was not the dealership that told me the 2015 Trailhawk 4X4 was tow-able with no additional harness..it was FCA...and they new as far back as 2014 the Jeep Cherokee was having problems being towed in certain circumstances.

I have had several contacts with Jeep assist and FCA but each time they end up saying the harness needs to be purchased...needless to say when I buy another car it is highly unlikely it will be a Jeep..
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Old 05-13-2016, 07:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakewoodpaul View Post
Is this a repeat post? could you elaborate ? what was your problem?
There has been multiple posts on this issue.
The newer Cherokee 4x4's have electric power steering. Many people reported a severe shaking/wobble while towing over rough roads.
Jeep issued a Service Bulletin which calls for a special wiring harness which keeps the PS energized while being towed....and draining the battery.

For some reason certain vin dont need the fix, but others do (applies to all 4x4 with Active Drve II)

The sad thing is they want to now charge the owner for the harness
Regards,

Dan
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Old 05-17-2016, 04:30 AM   #6
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My switch was installed free...... Never did anyone ever even hint that to there would be a fee either. You may want to get the TSB and then check in with the dealer again.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoutlaw View Post
My switch was installed free...... Never did anyone ever even hint that to there would be a fee either. You may want to get the TSB and then check in with the dealer again.
I actually have a copy of the TSB. What bothers me is that my VIN is not listed as needing this fix.
My concern is that this is a mistake, and I may have trouble one day when out on the road.

Although the majority of complains have come from the regular Cherokee model, there have been a few complaints from folks with a trail hawk.

I have never heard a straight answer as to why the trailhawk does not need it other than the 4x4 sales code "5I4" needs it and "5I4S" does not.

It all comes down to the electric power steering....

Regards,

Dan
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:53 AM   #8
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I have the TH as well and they did mine. I know between FCA and the dealership, the word "toad" was foreign to them and it took time each time I spoke to either about the TSB.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:15 PM   #9
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Just had the wiring harness and switch installed today on our 2015 trailhawk as no a charge warranty fix.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:24 PM   #10
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Towing four down is beyond what Jeep designed the stock vehicle to do. So they would have a right to charge for the modifications needed, just like they do for the wiring, brake system and tow brackets.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:57 PM   #11
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How does a wiring kit make a vehicle towable.... sounds silly to me. Can someone explain?
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:59 PM   #12
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Trade Her in on a Honda and Shoot the Jeep.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Towing four down is beyond what Jeep designed the stock vehicle to do. So they would have a right to charge for the modifications needed, just like they do for the wiring, brake system and tow brackets.
The vehicles related to this discussion were indeed sold as 4 down towable, and so clearly stated in marketing materials and the owners manual. This is an after the fact half baked "fix" related to a problem SOME owners have experienced.

The harness / switch supply to the electric power steering unit which puts a "load" on the steering rack to assist self centering which supposedly negates any possibility of a wobble occurring. A hydraulic steering system naturally has a load, even with the ignition off.

The problem is, while the symptom is common, and there are some general common circumstances, no one has identified the true root cause given all the nuances in road conditions, and in tow set ups and brake systems that could trigger the wobble, and no one can re-create it "at will".

Given all the Cherokees being towed, and I certainly understand the concern for those that have experienced this, a very small number have had this issue. And from what I have seen, it's proably only a handful of Trailhawks that have, which have much larger tire which naturally will put more load on steering rack and self center better, and ride higher, hence a different towbar geometry.

This half baked fix, was done so Jeep could get the owners and FMCA which helped these owners get Jeep's attention, off thier back and try to minimize any legal action. It was certainly done on the cheap, and who can blame them for that when you can't recreate the problem at will nor can they realistically look at everyone's tow set up to define any common factors that could increase the likelihood of this occurring.

Unless you have expericed the wobble, I question if it makes any sense to get this "fix" done anyway. And if you do, Jeep should pay for it as well as any other modifications required to your tow set up and / or battery charging given that they are changing the towing requirements after the fact.

As for "get a Honda", no thanks.........
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:22 AM   #14
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I think there has been a lack of communication between the dealers and those purchasing the vehicles with the intent to tow them. In the owners manual in the "starting and operating" section there is a sub section entitled "Recreational Towing".


The first line in this section reads "Before towing see your authorized dealer for the Mopar flat tow wiring kit." While the vehicle may be able to be flat towed it doesn't come from the factory ready to tow way unless the dealer ordered the kit.
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