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

Jeep KJ Liberty Jeep Liberty Jeep discussion Jeep forum

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#1 belvedere

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 06:41 AM

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??



#2 Moses Ludel

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:33 AM

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...a_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

#3 biggman100

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:18 AM

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.



#4 JanetBrown

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 02:48 PM

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?????

#5 Moses Ludel

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 04:03 PM

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



#6 JanetBrown

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 06:31 AM

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 !!!!!



#7 Moses Ludel

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 01:08 PM

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



#8 DavidLambourne

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 09:43 AM

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.



#9 JanetBrown

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 01:13 AM

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.



#10 JanetBrown

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 01:21 AM

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??



#11 DavidLambourne

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 01:56 AM

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.



#12 JanetBrown

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 04:58 AM

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.



#13 DavidLambourne

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 07:01 AM

Hi Janet,

 

Sorry to hear that.

 

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



#14 Yabrinya

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 10:38 AM

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?

#15 carm296

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 01:34 PM

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.



#16 paul

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Posted 04 November 2014 - 01:14 AM

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.



#17 furrytyke

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 10:56 AM

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.



#18 furrytyke

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 11:00 AM

here is a picture of the so called cross member

Attached Files



#19 furrytyke

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 11:10 AM

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.



#20 Renney

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 03:22 PM

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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#21 biggman100

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 02:07 PM

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.


#22 furrytyke

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 02:31 AM

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.

#23 Renney

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 06:26 AM

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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#24 Laney

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 04:49 PM

http://www-odi.nhtsa...13V252-7854.pdf
Have a look at this. Its for the US market with the hitch.
Funny at the end, got a new hitch on but yellow label says vehicle is not intended for towing.

Sorry, this about the label is wrong,see below.

#25 biggman100

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 07:12 PM

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.



#26 Laney

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 12:05 AM

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.


Yes, you're right. There are a couple of important words obscured in the photo ( p14 of that PDF).
Thanks.



#27 JanetBrown

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:58 AM

Ok a quick update - after several emails with no reply I sent the following to both Customer Relations and Steven Zanlunghi:

 

"I am disappointed that despite further emails to you I have still not received a reply.  I have also been made aware of further information which infuriates me even more: I have provided the new information I have received below:

 

"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 doesn't 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 ageing 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 doesn't allow for it in Europe."

 

As this debacle is allowed to rumble on with many, many people complaining about the poor or non-existant response from Jeep Customer Services, I feel it will only be a short period of time before a class action is brought against Jeep to rectify this situation that we find ourselves in through no fault of our own.  This vehicle is advertised as having good towing abilities yet this fault will prevent us from doing just that.

 

Yet again I wait your response."

 

I have today received the following reply (BTW they have also done some checking because this time my vehicle reg is in the header - which I had not told them)

 

"Thank you for your further email addressed to Mr Steve Zanlunghi, our Managing Director. Your correspondence has been handed to me in order to ensure that it receives a prompt response.

 

I can confirm that we are currently reviewing this matter internally and I will come back to you in due course with a full response.

 

Please be assured that we are treating this matter with the utmost priority.

 

Kind Regards,"

 

 

Surprising there is no definition of 'in due course'. I won't be holding my breath :(

 

 

 

 

 

 



#28 Renney

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 03:50 PM

JanetBrown
Thanks for sharing the info.If they are reviewing it and VOSA is too,maybe they'll sort it,maybe.
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#29 paul

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 07:52 PM

hi all again well janet is slowly getting somewhere. I have been down a different path and have also spoken this week to VOSA and to TOWTRUST tow bars. The managing director of towtrust has also spoken to VOSA and has got some measurements from somewhere to enable him to look at a NEW towbar for the kj .He is fully aware of the kj owners plight to date and appears to have taken it all on board .He is going to keep me updated on the issue .He is on vacation till the 1st dec but assures me that he will on his return look at the problem with a view to possible production of a new bar. All i can say at this point is this may be a lifeline to us all and at least we have someone who is trying to help which at this point is more than jeep has. I will keep you all updated as i get additional imformation.Tonight I received a phone call from Jeep Italy asking me to take part in a customer survey, which i found to be very funny indeed. I cannot repeat what i said to them on here but i think that someone got the message there. I don`t expect them to ring again. I am now going to wait on TOW-TRUST and also keep reading here.

 

cheers, paul

 

p.s.: keep up the good work Janet!


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#30 paul

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 07:59 PM

Can we not post Mr. Steve Zanlunghi's email address on here so that we all can send him a email thus putting pressure on him to do something? The more that can be brought to bear with him i would think the better for all of the kj owners here. We all have been treated in a very unprofessonal manner, and as you read the comments are having to fight this issue on our own.

 

cheers, paul



#31 Moses Ludel

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 10:12 PM

Paul, I certainly understand the frustration expressed by each of the European and UK members who have joined these forums and posted at this topic.  I encourage this free discourse and information exchange.  These forums provide an opportunity for sharing information that in this case should lead to a sensible solution.

 

I recommend that you not post Mr. Zanlunghi's personal or corporate Email address.  Mr. Zanlunghi has a clear message from numerous consumers and an opportunity to do the right thing here.  His role is within a corporation, and the overall responsibility to meet customer needs lies with Chrysler/Jeep® and Mopar™.  Janet Brown sent Chrysler a clear message, and others have supported her position.  Chrysler has the opportunity to make remedy around your expectation that Jeep KJ models are suitable tow vehicles within their capacity and load limit.  Mr. Zanlunghi's office has committed to a response, and his office now has a mounting stack of letters from individual owners.  Chrysler, whether through Mr. Zanlunghi or other staff, has a responsibility to provide a suitable solution here.

 

Janet Brown took the high road and presented Chrysler with facts, details and an opportunity to respond.  Stick to the high road here.

 

Thanks,

 

Moses



#32 JanetBrown

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 08:17 AM

Moses, whilst I appreciate that you are trying to allow Jeep to rectify this situation, in reality in the UK we are being presented with two options, to have the crossbeam fitted which will mean that we will no longer be able to use our vehicles for towing, or we sign a disclaimer which will no longer allow our vehicles to be insured.  I have had conversations with many different authorities, Insurance Companies, VOSA, AA Legal Department, Jeep and my local garage.  I have also noticed that as the majority of these vehicles in the UK are diesel powered they will have a different reaction to a high speed rear impact even with an ignition source.  There are also cases where customers have been pressured into having crossbeams fitted due to emotional suggestions that they will be driving an illegal, uninsured vehicle.  With regard to Mr Zanlunghi's email address, it is freely available, no subterfuge or illegal activity was used to obtain it. It was not until I emailed him directly that Jeep started to take me seriously. Prior to that I was just 'a little old lady' who could be ignored as I didn't know what I was talking about. Many people have advised me to go to the press, tv, etc but I have allowed Jeep the opportunity to answer me first.  Platitudes of 'taking my concerns seriously' and 'in due course'  do not help. I am also concerned that they now know my vehicle registration, I have certainly not given it to them.  I will 'take the high road', but for how long with a car that I am not sure if I am insured to drive remains to be seen



#33 Moses Ludel

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 12:11 PM

Understood, Janet.  The loss of insurance and inability to drive your vehicles is a considerable concern.  This issue is compounded by the consumer/owner impression that these vehicles were capable for tow use.  Apparently, UK/VOSA has its own view of which vehicles are safe for towing. 

 

Chrysler and UK VOSA need to work out a clear and universal remedy for all KJ owners.  Optimally, for each party concerned, Chrysler will pursue these approaches: 1) getting tow status for the Jeep KJ at the UK, allowing fitment of the Mopar N46 hitch solution, or 2) devising an acceptable safety brace or device that meets the safety recall demand and will still allow for fitment of a safe tow hitch, including the Mopar N46 tow hitch assembly or the hitches that several forum members have previously purchased in the UK, or 3) get VOSA to recognize Mopar and certain aftermarket tow hitch/brace assemblies as an acceptable remedy for the N46 safety recall demand.

 

Fully agreed that in the meanwhile you all need to use your vehicles and have access to insurance.  Livelihoods, transportation needs and your investment in these vehicles are real considerations.  Thanks for taking the high ground, Janet.  See if that works in an expedient timeframe.  I'll continue to provide space for the course of action and forum post content that you deem necessary. 

 

Note:  As the administrator/moderator of these forums, I use discretion when statements become libelous or overly inflammatory.  I understand the sensitive nature of this situation and the Jeep KJ owner stakes.  The emotional charge is fully justified, and I'm a proponent of our right to free expression.  At this point, maintaining the high ground has merit.  Give Chrysler and UK VOSA an opportunity to sort out what must be a conflict between a vehicle's known capabilities (based upon recognized Jeep KJ tow capacities at the North American market under U.S. NHTSA standards) and the UK/VOSA interpretation of the N46 safety recall requirements.

 

As this N46 dilemma resolves, I look forward to ongoing Jeep KJ topic posts and replies from UK and European forum members.  Thanks for your enthusiastic participation!

 

Moses



#34 paul

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 11:41 PM

Hi all  With regard to Janets concerns regarding insurance of the jeep , by having a crossbeam fitted at this point you keep the vehicle road safe which is a requiement by law in this country.Signing any wavers will in make the insurance in vailed not just on the vehicle but on any insured towed unit,further mor there could be a case for a M.O.T failure as towbars come into the testing if they are fitted.Due to jeep declaring a known problem and issuing a recall ,we in the UK at this point have not other course orther than to have the bar removed at this point.to comply with the law All the towbar makers and fitters I have spoken too have to date no idea of the problem .I have to admit that the issue regarding diesel jeeps has some merit but the issue is distance to tank and the possiblity of puncture etc.I have had my bar reomved and beam fitted ,now it is up to jeep to come up with a better solution which i at present have no faith in due to the overal response from them.I think we may have a chance with VOSA and Jeep along with the towbar manufactors working together to get a acceptable bar made .If this happens then i would hope that jeep would make some form of reimbursment with the regard to the towbar etc.

On a final note  i did buy my Jeep from new in 2005 and was assured by the dealer at the time that this vehicle was able to tow  and i still have the imformation in the brochure at the time even showing the towbar from them.To now say that you are not allowed to tow and not really come up with a proper solution does take some swallowing where ever you are .

 

                             .......cheers paul.......keep up the good work Janet ........will keep reading and adding to forum .



#35 JanetBrown

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 02:32 AM

So Paul and Moses, if I capitulate and have the crossbeam fitted thereby preventing me from towing the horsebox, what are the chances of Jeep refunding any money I have to spend hiring a vehicle to take my horse to equestrian competition, including those that are currently sponsored by Jeep in the UK???????   IMHO absolutely ZERO.  I would also be interested to know why Jeep bothered to find out my car registration number and why??

 

I have always been a fervent recommender of Jeep Cherokees in the UK Equestrian community, now I look a total idiot.  I am seriously considering moving to of all things a KIA. Oh the shame 



#36 Moses Ludel

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:43 AM

The best outcome is as I described in my last reply.  At the U.S., Chrysler/Mopar has offered a safe hitch assembly for the KJ "Liberty" and Grand Cherokee models since their release.  To simplify the N46 safety concern, Chrysler and NHTSA apparently agreed that installation of this Mopar hitch would suffice as a suitable safety barrier for protecting the fuel tank.  At North America, in particular the U.S., there was no limitation placed on the use of this Mopar hitch for towing.  (The vehicle has a stated tow capacity or trailer weight limit, and the hitch must meet or exceed that capacity.)  When fellow forum member "belvedere" initially posted this topic, the described solution made sense with regard to the U.S. market KJ Liberty models.

 

Janet later enlightened us that in the UK, a hitch-less brace was substituted for the Mopar hitch to meet the VOSA safety requirement.  Janet found her KJ suitable for toting horses as an equestrian.  Other forum members from the UK have noted using their KJ Cherokee as a tow vehicle for toting caravans and work trailers.  Replacing an existing trailer hitch with a cross brace changes the vehicle's use.

 

This raises key questions:  Please clarify for me whether towing with a KJ Cherokee prior to this recall was considered an acceptable practice at the UK.  Was the KJ marketed and sold new with the understanding that it could be used for towing?  Since UK forum members have mentioned specific brands of tow hitches available for the KJ Cherokee models, were these hitches sold and installed at the UK as a common and acceptable practice?  Did they meet a safety standard that assured owners that the KJ Cherokee is an acceptable tow vehicle?  Did the hitch installation practice meet UK VOSA standards and guidelines?  

 

Simply put, was the KJ considered a bona fide tow vehicle at the UK under VOSA standards?  Prior to the fuel tank safety recall, did the KJ Cherokee meet VOSA standards for towing the trailers that UK forum members describe?  I'm unfamiliar with UK/VOSA standards and what VOSA regards as safe practices.  I'm also unclear how these Jeep vehicles were represented by Chrysler and its dealers for purchase and use at the UK.  Forum member "Paul" shares his point of purchase experience regarding the KJ's towing ability.  Paul also mentions materials presented by the dealer at the time he purchased his Jeep new...These are the clear issues in the current dilemma.

 

From what UK forum members have shared, this sounds like a rush to judgment by Chrysler and VOSA on how to resolve a safety issue.  Both Chrysler and VOSA need to weigh the impact on Jeep KJ Cherokee owners and work out a suitable and reasonable solution. 

 

Moses



#37 JanetBrown

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:04 PM

Moses,

 

A couple of facts regarding towing in the UK

 

1.In all Jeep brochures the KJ is shown as a vehicle capable of towing up to 3300kg.

2. In one government advisory towing brochure the same model was shown towing a trailer and in a further picture a large caravan..

3. One major horsebox manufacturer also shows the Jeep Cherokee as the tow vehicle.  

4. Many towing capacity towing websites in the UK show the towing capacity for the Jeep Cherokee

 

The particular Witter towbar fitted to my car was fitted on the day of registration, therefore in use for 10 years. If a towbar is fitted to a car in the UK is is inspected during the MOT which is a legal yearly test of any vehicle over three years old.

 

Therefore historically the Jeep Cherokee has since first used in the UK been shown as being capable of being a towing vehicle.  For Jeep to now say that it should not be used for towing and that no UK vehicle should have its towbar replaced with another to solve the problem that has been found is absolutely ridiculous.

 

What would happen if it was announced in the USA that all Jeep LIbertys and Grand Cherokees could no longer be used for towing?????

 

Wd in the UK have not been given what I consider to be a sensible option of having a different/more acceptable towbar fitted. Our options are either no towbar or a vehicle that can't be insured.

 

Janet



#38 JanetBrown

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:34 PM

Just been to check some documentation - my  UK Registration Certificate (issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency - which is an executive agency for the Department of Transport) for my Jeep Cherokee has in the vehicle details the following:

 

Technical permissible maximum towable mass of the trailer:

 

braked (kg) 3500

Unbraked (kg) 750

 

 

Therefore in my opinion this confirms that Jeep have provided the towing capabilities to the UK Department of Transport.

 

My husband's car which has no towing capability has a zero figure in these detail boxes

 

You may find this uk website handy:  http://www.uktow.com/index.asp



#39 Moses Ludel

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 01:13 PM

That does look like confirmation, Janet.  If so, Chrysler and UK VOSA need to work out a safety solution similar to the U.S. NHTSA agreement.  The U.S. solution is installation of a Mopar rated and functional tow hitch, which forum member "belvedere" and others have described.  The tow hitch solution is the N46 recall agreement between Chrysler and U.S. NHTSA.  The Mopar tow hitch solution for the UK should be rated to comply with the Jeep KJ tow capacity as recommended by Chrysler.

 

If non-towing KJ owners want to opt for the cross brace installation instead of the tow hitch (i.e., they don't want a tow hitch for some reason), that could be part of the UK agreement.  Owners who do want a tow hitch could have the Mopar tow hitch installed to comply with the safety recall and use their vehicle for towing if desired.  Upon resale of the vehicle, if the KJ has a cross-brace in place and the new owner wants the approved Mopar tow hitch, the tow hitch could be retrofitted (at the new owner's expense) and meet the safety requirement.

 

Moses


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#40 JanetBrown

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 02:51 PM

Moses, I agree that would be the perfect solution, Jeep owners would be happy and UK VOSA would also be content.

 

Interestingly on another forum someone has commented that their local Jeep garage has said that they are only interested in cars which do NOT have a towbar fitted.

 

I have also been sent a Reuters news report dated 15th November in which the following is said

 

"A Fiat Chrysler spokesman reiterated the company’s position that the Jeeps are safe and not defective"

 

I consider this an odd comment considering how many cars they have recalled



#41 Renney

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 03:30 PM

I was just reading that Reuters article and Googled the CEO and found this bit from back when the take over occured.
"Consumer groups and individuals with product-related lawsuits also contested a condition of the Chrysler sale that would release the company from product liability claims related to vehicles it sold before the asset sale to Fiat. Compensation for such claims would have to come from the parts of the company not being sold to Fiat. But those assets have limited value and it's unlikely there will be anything to pay out".
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#42 biggman100

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 04:52 PM

Janet, a bit of clarification on Chrysler considering their Jeep vehicles safe. Chrysler corporation, whether before or after their partnership with Fiat, or any other affilliates, was under pressure from the NHTSA in the U.S., due to some consumer complaints after a few severe rear end collisions to come up with a viable solution, without actually admitting to any fault. In the process of finding a viable U.S. solution, it was also determined that Jeeps in other countries had the same defect, so, Chrysler decided to, as one of there own press releases here said, "take the high road and remedy the situation, irregardless of any fault of thiers". That is how they can still say Jeeps are safe and reliable, because no one pressured them to admit to any fault. It was also stated that they voluntarily ordered the recall, even though the NHTSA stated things a bit differently. I'm not trying to add to anyone's frustration, I just happened to see that press release, and the NHTSA release, and thought someone might find something useful in it.

#43 Moses Ludel

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:41 PM

Janet, if logic prevails, the properly rated Mopar tow hitch and the cross-brace should each be considered solutions for the safety concern.  You found clear statements/documents that your KJ Cherokee is suitable for towing under UK standards.  If Chrysler and VOSA simply work with the existing facts and the precedent set by the NHTSA/Chrysler agreement at the U.S., there could be a quick and sensible resolution. 

 

Moses



#44 paul

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:11 PM

hi all

answering moses question regarding uk sales,I can only inform moses that at time of purchase new 2005 my jeep was fitted with a witter tow bar by the dealer.I have been towing caravans for nearley 40 yrs and during this time since purchase have towed my caravans with no problem.All uk made towbar have to meet VOSA safety requirements and it costs in excess of £4000 to have the tests done.As i have said in my previous

posts all towbars at present in the uk are rendered useless because of this distance to tank measurement which is conducted using what describe as a lolly pop.

 

When i spoke to the main dealer manager where mine was done he did say that jeep were not going to say that uk after market towbars were not fit for job as this would lead to all sorts of additional problems.Like Janet i have looked at purchasing a KIA and also like Janet have pushed jeep brand where ever i have been so that makes two fools at least out here.Jeep has always been sold in this country as a towing unit and that's why people like me and Janet bought the vehicle.I have also said in recent posts that the only person to show any interset in this problem is TOM at Towtrust tow bars who is in contact with VOSA regarding the issue.I still have my towbar but as said before the Law comes into this now if you have been issued with a recall we are required to ensure our vehicle is safe to go on the roads (read my previous post).

 

I also agree that because Fiat has bought into Jeep that any problems before their time are not really their concern from a legal point.I also have read forums and news items regarding how jeep was forced to call back kj in the states which for me does not give much credit to jeep, but at least they have bowed to pressure and made a move maybe not the right one at present for all kj owners.A final comment if you decide to sell what is it going to be worth (not a lot) where do you stand in law if..  1) you have signed a wavier .. 2) you have not taken the car in for check (but you know about problem).WOULD YOU BUY A VECHICLE LIKE THE JEEP THAT CANNOT TOW? Jeep is now  aware of this here in the uk and needs to step up to the mark and quick because i am sure the vehicle trade will if not already have got wind of this.     Keep at Janet as i will ...keep reading ...cheers paul



#45 Moses Ludel

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 02:06 PM

Paul, following the logic and even the consumer or legal issues involved here (i.e., the Jeep KJ being capable of towing as consumers would expect and the vehicle maintaining its "normal" resale value), the simplest solution for Chrysler is to assure that the same measure used in the U.S. is acceptable to UK VOSA.  At the U.S., the Mopar tow hitch furnished and installed under the N46 recall apparently complies with the U.S./NHTSA agreement.  Acceptable distance between the tow bar and the fuel tank must be part of that Chrysler/U.S. NHTSA N46 agreement.

 

A similar agreement between Chrysler and UK VOSA would make that same tow hitch an acceptable solution for the current UK safety recall.  Since Chrysler has designed and supplied the special non-towing cross brace for UK VOSA safety recall requirements, that device could be an option for owners who currently do not want a tow hitch installed on their Jeep KJ models.

 

Those with the Witter or other tested and approved UK aftermarket hitches could also be considered here.  If you want to keep your Witter or other aftermarket hitches, and if they meet the safety standards and fit dimensionally like the Mopar tow hitch, then that could be an option.  If the Witter or other aftermarket hitches do not fit or match the build of the Mopar tow hitch, those who currently tow could at least get their Witter or other UK aftermarket hitch replaced for free with the accepted Mopar tow hitch described under the Chrysler/U.S. NHTSA N46 solution.

 

Considering the facts shared by UK members at this forum topic, this is not a complicated situation.  Am I missing something here?  The only thing that needs to happen is for Chrysler and UK VOSA to agree that the U.S. NHTSA N46 solution is acceptable.

 

Moses



#46 paul

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 12:28 AM

hi all

I agree with the comments regarding the acceptance of the MOPAR by VOSA would be a ideal way out and again if jeep would supply and fit a MOPAR towbar free to all of us affected by the recall (more so the ones who have a towbar fitted or removed ).I think the cost to jeep would be more than they would be willing to accept as we are talking big numbers here alone in the uk and this is a world wide issue.The Witter bar does not meet the new measurements (1/4 OF INCH TO CLOSE) at present and thus all other bars as far as i have seen fail this test..i am hoping a tow bar maker will come up with the answer and thus keep the vehicle legal here in the uk .I have at present not a lot of faith in jeep to get this sorted other than what they have done to date, for a company as big as them they appear to me to be dragging there feet whilst the owners of the kj are left wanting to say the least.We all have to wait and hope they will do something.In the mean time i am running about WITHOUT a towbar and legal and if this matter is not resolved in time for me to start retowing my caravan i am afraid the JEEP will go ...........keep up the good work ........all of you  .......cheers paul.................

 

PS GREAT FORUM MOSES



#47 Moses Ludel

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:48 AM

Thanks for the compliment on the forums, Paul.  I've aimed at creating an atmosphere where members and guests can get useful, comprehensive technical information and also share their enthusiasm for four-wheel drive vehicles, SUVs, powersports machines and OHVs.  Optimally, the forums' value to members and guests is cost-effective vehicle maintenance and repair solutions, selecting sensible accessories and upgrades, and an opportunity to enthusiastically share our motorized lifestyles, recreational interests and pursuits. 

 

When UK members are past this Jeep KJ safety recall dilemma, I'm trusting you will each continue to contribute at the forums.  It would be exciting to hear more about your specialty uses for the Jeep KJ and how it suits your lifestyle interests—like pulling horse trailers and recreational caravanning.  As a community, we can discuss and share ways to enhance our four-wheel drive and SUV experiences! 

 

As for Chrysler balking on the tow bar solution due to the broad numbers of vehicles involved in this safety issue, that should not be an obstacle.  The corporation has already committed to the U.S. tow bar installation, and for the UK, there is very little cost difference between the tow bar and the cross brace that is currently presented.  At the manufacturing level, if Chrysler is obligated to install one device or the other, the option or alternative of a tow hitch is of small consequence, especially considering the consumer satisfaction factor.  Granted, this is a wide scale and costly solution overall, and we can be certain that any delay by Chrysler includes weighing ways to contain cost.

 

Moses



#48 Laney

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 10:03 AM

Hi,I was just reading on another forum (jeep club) and there is a mechanic at a dealership that has been able to slacken the fuel tank straps, move the tank and get the gap large enough to pass.
So that sounds promising. Provided there is sufficient movement in filler pipe and fuel lines etc.
So in some instances depending on the amount of movement available this seems like a solution.

#49 paul

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 11:33 PM

hi all ...Reading the post of the tank being moved forward by the mechanic makes you think anyway. When you also consider that 1/4 of a inch was a fail it makes you wonder (witter towbar) i spoke to a mot tester today (36 yrs. in the business) his comment was....why not a protective plate around the tank area (skid plate)? I will be taking my jeep in for mot on monday and will have a look when it is up on the ramp again and take some pics of the new bar fitted via jeep.

 

Moses, I will be posting on here after the towbar issue has been sorted (I hope). You can pick up tips etc from other members and hopefully enjoy your jeep once again ......cheers all .......keep the posts coming on the towbar issue ......



#50 rose1081

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:59 AM

Just joined to follow this discussing. I'm also looking at custom towbars as none of the standard ones available pass the regulations.

#51 JanetBrown

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:38 PM

Just to let you know that I have heard on another forum that here in the UK some insurers are refusing to insure cars that either have not been taken in for the fix or have signed the waiver.  I would have hoped that a little commonsense would have been applied until such time as Jeep have made a final decision on the fix.



#52 furrytyke

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 11:51 PM

Hello people.
Here is something to ponder..................................
"My towbar has been removed from my KJ and the cross member as shown in a photo in one of my previous posts has been fitted. Now, I cannot tow my caravan. However, on the cross member there is an attachment loop for recovery purposes. So, if this cross member can be used for one method of towing, WHY wasn't it designed for the other method of towing. INTERESTING?????"

#53 paul

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 01:32 AM

Hi  all I have not received a email from a towbar fitting supplier who confirmed what i have said in my previous posts that there is at present no towbar that will fit the kj jeep under the new jeep test requirements. The bar fitted does have a tow hook attachment, but the bar is only for a protection and stiffening brace in the event of a rear end impact.I agree they could of made the assembly a proper tow bar, but costs come into all this at the end of the day and to date they have met the requirements to ensure a safe vehicle.The insurance companies are going to cover themselves in any event and as i have reported earlier we all really need a NEW TOWBAR which meets with VOSTA approval etc.Having got one in that does then hopefully try and get some compensation out of jeep to get it fitted etc...keep the comments coming ...we need to stay at it.......

 

one final comment jeep yet again rang me here and again asked what i though of the sevice i had recieved to date........NO COMMENT.....

 

 

 

     CHEERS PAUL.........



#54 rose1081

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Posted Yesterday, 12:30 AM

Hi janet! Which forum was it where those not having the recall done were refused insurance? I understand if you sign the waiver but then that's on you I guess.

#55 furrytyke

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Posted Yesterday, 01:34 AM

Hi rose1081. I don't know about forums regarding the validity of insurance when signing the waiver, but I can tell you this for definate. When I was told my KJ had failed the inspection on 31/10/14 and needed a cross member or sign the waiver, I immediately contacted my insurance company AXA for advice. The lady i spoke to took all my details about the issue and passed it to their policy underwriters. A few days after this call, I received a call back from AXA. Their stance was this, "if I did not have the work carried out as deemed necessary in accordance with the safety recall then my offer of renewal of insurance due 10/11/14 would be withdrawn and no new offer would be made". I think that clearly tells us the position of insurance companies regarding the N46 recall. Cheers Furrytyke

#56 rose1081

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Posted Yesterday, 03:16 AM

I'm going to attempt to call jeep customer service again today. Not sure where it will get me.

Also contacted citizens advice who sent me a nice long email plus this link about the sale of goods act:

http://www.advicegui...aulty_goods.htm



#57 Renney

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Posted Yesterday, 02:39 PM

On another forum,a member has been looking a changing their Jeep. Traders weren't interested in it as a park ex. They're not worth anything as a part ex,they can't shift them on afterwards. Bad news for those wanting to change to another vehicle to tow with.
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#58 JanetBrown

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Posted Today, 05:06 AM

So this morning I have had a letter which 'strongly recommends that I have the crossbeam fitted' and that they are reviewing my comments regarding the towbar.

 

IMHO this translates as F.O and do as you are told. I now also believe that Fiat/Chrysler have absolutely no intention of dealing with the towbar issue in the UK

 

One extremely unhappy soon to be not a Jeep Owner - the value of Jeep Cherokees has crashed in the UK - it looks as if no-one will take them as part exchange for another vehicle. Prior to this, four weeks ago  my car was valued at £4,000 - now - ?????



#59 JanetBrown

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Posted Today, 05:12 AM

rosie1081 - H&H of course :)    I wonder if Jeep will have the balls to sponsor any more equestrian events. 





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