Jeep KJ Liberty Recall N46—a Trailer Hitch is the Fix!


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Posted · Report post

We recently received a recall notice for my wife's '06 Libby.  The problem is that the fuel tank could leak during a rear-end collision (ya think?!), and the fix is to install a trailer hitch.  I thought that was an interesting fix, but I sure won't complain about a free OEM hitch!  It also noted that parts are not currently available, but that we'll receive another notice when they are.  Can you imagine how many hitches Chrysler will need for all the '02-'07 KJs on the road??

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Posted · Report post

Well, Belvedere, you are among the 1,560,000 owners who could be eligible for a free hitch! Here's the NHTSA statement about the issue and repair: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=13V252000.

You'll like the Mopar hitch, these parts fit well and enhance the appearance and function of your vehicle. They add value, too!

Moses

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Posted · Report post

This recall also covers the 1993 to 2004 Grand Cherokee as well as the Liberty. My mother in law just got the letter on her 02 Grand Cherokee.

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Posted · Report post

Hi, I have just received a recall notice fN46 for my Jeep KJ (Cherokee in the UK) - whilst your headline is that a Trailer Hitch is the fix, I have been advised by the stealership that if it is necessary to remove my trailer hitch to install a cross beam to repair the problem then they will NOT replace my trailer hitch afterwards and that I will have to pay to have it replaced. Yet in the USA a trailer hitch will be supplied and fitted for free.

 

How is this right?????

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Posted · Report post

Hello, Janet...Welcome to the forums! Have you shared the U.S. recall information with the dealership? (See the link in the earlier discussion.)

 

In the U.S., the dealer network has a Chrysler/Mopar representative (zone manager) who visits the dealerships on a regular basis. You can ask your dealer to set up a meeting with the Chrysler representative for his/her next visit to the dealership.  Or you may be able to contact the zone rep directly.

If your vehicle already has the appropriate Mopar hitch in place and installed properly, the U.S. safety recall suggests that this reinforcement is sufficient to remedy the problem and risks. If you have a hitch in place that is not the equivalent of the Mopar replacement hitch, in the U.S., the dealer would likely just replace your existing hitch with the Mopar replacement parts—free of charge.

There is no mention of a U.S. cross beam repair. By U.S. standards and the Chrysler agreement with NHTSA, the hitch described will serve the same purpose as the cross beam your dealer describes.

Unless your UK automotive safety bureau has altered the requirement for fixing this problem, the Chrysler/Jeep zone or regional service/parts manager should be able to discuss this issue and offer a reasonable solution at no charge.  The only exception that I can imagine would be a modification to your KJ Liberty/Cherokee during your original hitch installation that prevents the Mopar hitch from fitting safely or resolving the safety risk stated in the recall.  Even then, as a consumer with a recall notice, you could still discuss this with the Chrysler/Jeep regional parts and service manager and negotiate a reasonable solution. 

 

Let us know how this turns out, Janet...

Moses

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Posted · Report post

Hi Moses, yep I have shared the US information with the dealership. Their answer was that if my vehicle needed the repair then they would remove my towhitch and replace it with a crossbeam. I would then NOT be able to have my towhitch replaced EVER or have any other towhitch fitted EVER. (My towhitch was fitted at point of purchase and is a WITTER towhitch - from my investigation this is the same as the MOPAR one - it fits around the fuel tank)This would obviously render this particular vehicle  unfit for purpose as I would not be able to tow - the reason why I bought this particular vehicle in the first place - to tow a horsebox!  However they then went on to say that IF my vehicle did require the repair I could sign a waiver form that would state that I did not want the repair carried out thereby keeping my tow hitch.  My comment was then that they were in effect suggesting that I drive around in a possibly unsafe car. How would this affect my insurance and any possible legal action in the event of an accident.  

 

So my next cause of action was to email the Chairman of Jeep UK (Fiat) Steve Zanlunghi  on Thursday evening laying out my concerns and asking for his comment.  I had a reply within 15 minutes of the opening of business on Friday. He informed me that he had passed my concerns to the Customer Service Department, who emailed me within two hours requesting further information on my vehicle and further contact details for me.  

 

Obviously this scenario may not occur if my vehicle is not deemed as needing the repair, but I am concerned that some people in this country would feel pressured into signing the waiver to enable themselves to keep the towhitch and not consider the possible consequences.

 

I await the response from customer services !!!!!

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Posted · Report post

From what you share, Janet, the Witter hitch either meets the NHTSA standard or it could be simply replaced with the Mopar hitch that does meet the safety recall standard.  This is not complicated.  I would think that Chrysler sees it that way, too.

 

Curious how this turns out.  You may wind up with a new Mopar hitch in place of your existing hitch, especially if they are identical and the official Mopar hitch meets the NHTSA or UK recall standard.  Assuming that your existing Witter hitch was installed without unusual modifications, or at least in the same manner and detail as the Mopar hitch, you should have a simple remedy.

 

Moses

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Posted · Report post

Hi Janet.

Also in the UK, we had our 2005 Jeep Cherokee booked in for the N46 recall this next Thursday, but were concerned about the dealership’s comments on signing a “disclaimer”. Hence my searching the internet, seeing your comments and joining this forum.

We purchased our Cherokee 4 years ago and have the previous owner’s service bills showing that the tow bar was fitted when the vehicle was 9 months old, (8,500 miles) by a Jeep main dealer at a cost of £547. (The Jeep is now 9 years old, 90,000.)

So the situation we have now is that unless the dealership on Thursday “passes the tow bar as acceptable” we either sign a disclaimer, with all the legal & insurance implications or we possess a Jeep with no tow bar.

We also bought our Jeep for towing a trailer.

We have decided to cancel our N46 appointment on Thursday and would be interested to hear about your responses from Jeep’s customer services.

I do appreciate that you have put a lot of work into pursuing Jeep UK (Fiat) so far.

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Posted · Report post

Hi again, well the Jeep went into the stealership on Monday for the visual inspection (I had also requested a diagnostic check due to two error messages). The following has now occured:

1. Visual inspection carried out and car deemed as not requiring repair or fix

2. Intermediate service carried out (after they agreed to meet the price charged by my local mechanic) so that I would only be without my car for one dy rather than two

3. Diagnostic check proved to be 'inconclusive', their expensive diagnostic machine does not show the same codes that I get when rotating the ignition key, they are asking for technical advice from elsewhere!!

4. Several other 'faults' found on my vehicle, including some dealt with under warranty elsewhere.

 

So the upshot is that I sit here on Wednesday morning, still without my car, still not knowing about the diagnostic check and still unsure as to the cost of all this - I was quoted £120 ph for the diagnostic check, the service is an agreed price and the recall visual inspection is free.  I am also concerned at the 'new faults' that they have allegedly found. I have contacted the garage that carried out the work under warranty, they are also concerned and I have arranged to take the car to them upon its return to me for their opinion.   I really didn't want to take my car into the stealership, as I was concerned this would happen, given that this happened at a previous recall.  When all is done I will be updating Customer Services and Steve Zanlunghi with my thoughts and concerns.  I will let you now the outcome.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Janet.

Also in the UK, we had our 2005 Jeep Cherokee booked in for the N46 recall this next Thursday, but were concerned about the dealership’s comments on signing a “disclaimer”. Hence my searching the internet, seeing your comments and joining this forum.

We purchased our Cherokee 4 years ago and have the previous owner’s service bills showing that the tow bar was fitted when the vehicle was 9 months old, (8,500 miles) by a Jeep main dealer at a cost of £547. (The Jeep is now 9 years old, 90,000.)

So the situation we have now is that unless the dealership on Thursday “passes the tow bar as acceptable” we either sign a disclaimer, with all the legal & insurance implications or we possess a Jeep with no tow bar.

We also bought our Jeep for towing a trailer.

We have decided to cancel our N46 appointment on Thursday and would be interested to hear about your responses from Jeep’s customer services.

I do appreciate that you have put a lot of work into pursuing Jeep UK (Fiat) so far.

 

 

OK from what I understood from my time at the stealership my current towbar was acceptable - it is a Witter one that was fitted at first registration by the Jeep dealer - for want of a better term it seems to protect the fuel tank as it sort of 'wraps the exposed area of the tank at the back - around it like a letter C - from my research as long as it is more than 40  or 44cm from the tank to the towbar, has no sharp edges and is not misshapen or damaged in any way you should be fine.  IMHO I would absolutely not consider signing the waiver, it may lead anyone to be open to all sorts of legal/insurance problems. I have yet to hear of anyone having the crossbeam fitted, but the recall notices have only been sent out recently in the UK whereas in the USA they have know about this for a couple of years.  Whereabouts are you based and which stealership are you taking your car to??

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Posted · Report post

Hi Janet,

We are based in the Welsh Borders and are taking the car to T J Vickers in Shrewsbury.

 

I'll have a look under the Jeep & measure up. Thanks for the info.

 

Pleased your towbar was OK. Hope you get your car back soon.

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Posted · Report post

OK so sh*t has just hit the fan - phone call from mechanic to 'update' me - their diagnostic machine is still not giving the information they need and unlike the response yesterday it appears that today my car DOES need the crossbeam - I am absolutely furious and am still waiting three days into a 1 day booking to find out what is going to happen.

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Posted · Report post

Hi Janet,

 

Sorry to hear that.

 

I'm just pleased that I have cancelled my Thursday  "inspection" at the dealership.

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Posted · Report post

Well - before we all get excited about a free trailer hitch...

I had my 2004 Jeep Liberty in for service yesterday and also asked the dealer to perform recall N46.  When I picked up my Jeep, I was told by the Service Consultant - the trailer hitch is not actaully to be used for towing, only for structural reinforcement and safety - HUH? 

Why install a trailer hitch that cannot be used for towing?

So for confirmation I called the Chrysler Group Recall Assistance Center phone # on the mailer and was told the exact same thing.  There is no wiring harness attached to the hitch since it is not intended to be used for towing.  If I choose to install the wiring harness and tow, that is on me. 

I have to wonder...if I sell this Jeep - how will the next owner know that the trailer hitch is only for decoration?

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Posted · Report post

Hi,

I also cancelled my appointment today with jeep dealership after being informed that if the car cross-beam is fitted on this recall, then i cannot have a tow bar fitted! How can they do this??  I bought this car as I have just set up a furniture business and without a tow bar, the car is useless to me. Jeep customer relations UK are one of the worst I have ever experienced. I even asked them to fit the tow bar and I will pay and was told that Chrysler do not supply an aftermarket tow bar!! I have just emailed customer relations, the local dealership, Mike Manley and BBC watchdog. I will also be adding Steve Zanlunghi to this complaint. Good advice on here. Thanks.

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Posted · Report post

Hi all with ref to the kj recall i took my vehicle to the dealers on friday 30th oct and YES it failed the test regarding the towbar fitted WITTER REMOVABLE HEAD VERSION. I requested to see the problem and found the tool supplied by jeep to be a joke....it looked like a lolly pop and is inserted between the nearest point of the towbar to the fuel tank. I had the tow bar removed and they fitted another bar just like a normal towbar but without the tow ball. (I will take a picture and and post it here.)

 

Reading Janet's report to date i have had same experience with jeep customer service etc etc. I have been ringing around to see if any towbar is fit to be put on my kj jeep, to date none meet the test. I am still looking into the matter as i write this article and will be updating as i get additional useful information. Jeep to date has gone about this problem as far as i am concerned in a totally unprofessonal manner and are treating their customers very badly indeed. My jeep has only done 40,000 miles and was bought for towing my caravan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted · Report post

Hello all. I am new to this site, but feel compelled to add my feelings regarding the N46 recall.
 
A little potted history first. In September 2013, I purchased a 2004 Jeep Cherokee to tow my caravan and transport my dog. On Saturday 16th August 2014, I had an aftermarket type approved towbar fitted (cost £280), to the existing mounting points without any modifications. Then on Friday 10th October 2014, I arrived home from work to find a letter regarding a safety recall on my vehicle. I contacted my local Jeep dealer, Pentagon in Barnsley and arranged for the inspection to be carried out.
 
On Friday, 31st October 2014, this inspection was carried out. The result was that my vehicle required the existing towbar to be removed (with the electrics being left in situ and securely fastened under the vehicle), and the 'cross member' fitted as stated in the recall notification. During a conversation with the dealer, I was informed that my existing towbar could not be refitted. However, Jeep could supply a new towbar at a cost of £1600. Yes you read that correctly. I was also offered the opportunity to sign a waiver against having this work carried out.
 
Having voiced my disgust at the matter, I agreed to let the fitting of the 'cross member' go ahead. My reason for this is, being a professional driver I understand the requirement for safety on the road. However, I did inform the dealership that the concerns raised would be taken further. On completion of this conversation, I took the following steps:
 
Contacting:
 
1. Citizens Advice. No definitive action, but some guidance as to which agencies may help.
2. My present car insurance company regarding the legalities of the waiver. I received a call back from them on Tuesday 4th November 2014. They were quite clear in the fact that should I sign the waiver offered by the dealer then they would withdraw the offer of insurance renewal which is due on 10th November 2014.
3. A free legal advice line. Although this was not their field they said they would forward some information. I am still waiting.
4. Jeep Customer Services in Slough. The lady I spoke to said, 'they had no information regarding towbars and that as Jeep in UK was part of Jeep Europe, any corrections or fittings done by Jeep America have no bearing what happens over here. Further, my feelings would be noted'.
 
Yesterday, I received a telephone call from the dealership to inform me that the 'cross member' for the modification had arrived and the work would be carried out on Thursday 13th November 2014. Today, I have been to the dealer to see this wonder part. Low and behold, a towbar mounting without the facility for a hitch.

 

I am gob-smacked at this and would welcome any advice from others with the same issues.

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Posted · Report post

here is a picture of the so called cross member

post-441-0-77662500-1415473181_thumb.jpg

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Posted · Report post

More info that may help. 

 

Having been to the dealership, I visited a local independent towbar specialist. I explained the issue to him. Until I spoke to him, he was unaware of the issues surrounding the Jeep. One good piece of advice he did give was to contact VOSA recall department on Monday and discuss the matter with them. This i shall be doing. I will post any information I receive.

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Posted · Report post

Hi all, I'm also new. Thanks for posting the picture.

It's interesting to see. Doesn't look as good for protection as some towbars.

I emailed vosa in April. Only because I had been looking on 'net for a new towbar and found references to this,at the time,just in the US.

So they said they were aware of it and would issue a recall if and when required.

Once I recently heard most towbars couldn't be used I emailed them again. They replied and said they were currently collating information about the problems and would respond in due course.

A phone call might divulge more though.

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Posted · Report post

I did some research on this for a friend who was having issues with the dealer doing the recall, and came across some info that may explain why the european recall doesnt allow for the installation of a towbar in the recall.

 

First, i came across this, As of the 1st of August 1998 all Passenger Carrying Vehicles up to 3500 kg Gross Vehicle Weight (M1 Vehicles) can only be fitted with European Type Approved towbars if the vehicle has received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. Non M1 vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles and private imports from outside the EEC are not required to use Approved Towbars.

 

Then, i came across this in another article, The Liberty, Patriot, and Cherokee have never been tested, and have not received (ECWVTA) certification. This is a direct quote from the article when they discussed the Patriot, Despite being launched here in 2007, the Patriot has never been tested. The aging offering is set for replacement by a new compact SUV that will fill the role of both the Patriot and its edgier Compass sibling from 2016. Later in the article they also mention the Cherokee and Liberty as not being certified either.
 

I may be understanding this wrong, but, if i am understanding it right, because those jeep models have never received the certification, then under European law, they cant be fitted with a towbar of any kind, which is why the recall doesnt allow for it in europe.

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Update!!!!!

Today I have spoken with the VOSA official who is co-ordinating the N46 recall. The towbar fitted by Jeep America does not conform to European standards and therefore cannot be fitted to UK based vehicles. Also, at present there is no towbar on the market which meets the requirements of the safety recall. Thus, you get the cross member fitment only. VOSA are in continuing discussion with Jeep trying to find solutions.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the update.
Every day seems to raise new questions.
There are many sites online (and fitting stores) one could order a towbar from.
But are they even aware of this, are they selling towbars that aren't approved?
Not a question to above, just thinking out loud really.

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Posted · Report post

Unless your label is different, the label they use actually says, " Chrysler recommends you remove the ball and ball mount when your vehicle is not actually in use for towing". At least, thats what the label on a friend of mine's says, that he just had the recall done on.

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