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belvedere

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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 :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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

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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

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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

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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

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Hi all  With regard to Janet's concerns regarding insurance of the jeep , by having a crossbeam fitted at this point you keep the vehicle road safe which is a requirement by law in this country.Signing any wavers will make the insurance invalided not just on the vehicle but on any insured towed unit,further more there could be a case for a M.O.T failure as tow bars 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 other than to have the bar removed at this point.to comply with the law All the tow bar 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 possibility of puncture etc.I have had my bar removed 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 overall response from them.I think we may have a chance with VOSA and Jeep along with the tow bar manufacturers working together to get a acceptable bar made .If this happens then i would hope that jeep would make some form of reimbursement with the regard to the tow bar 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 information in the brochure at the time even showing the tow bar 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 .

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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 

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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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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.

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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

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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 tow bars 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 Tow trust tow bars who is in contact with VOSA regarding the issue.I still have my tow bar 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 VEHICLE 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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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 ......

 

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 ......

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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.

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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?????"

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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.........

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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

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On another forum,a member has been looking at 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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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 - ?????

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hi all  well i recieved a reply to my email to Mr Steve Zanlunghi and the responseis they are looking into the issue at present.I will be emailing him again with additional questions and points regarding this recall .I had already accepted the fact that once this filtered into the trade nobody would wnat to bo buy the vehicle and that insurance companies would start to ask questions.I still go with the path of a new type of towbar being the answer and i will keep on down this path for the present.Chrysler to date as said before are dragging there feet but i again believe that its cost based in general.will keep you posted on any news from anywahere as i get it ....keep the comments coming .....don`t give up just yet Janet......

 

 

ps chrysler /fiat should remember .........We don`t have to buy metal ,but they have to sell to survive............You look after today for tomorrow.

 

 

 

   cheers all paul

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Ah so you are the janet from CTR? :)

Thats not great if the letter is "strongly suggesting". I think they are hoping we all go away. Because honestly with where my towbar attaches I'm not sure they could fit one with enough clearance. :(

I'm not hopeful of a resolution.

I'm going to put my appointment in for January. As I appreciate I need to do something and can't just ignore the recall. It's so frustrating.

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My Mum has a 2006 cherokee which she purchased on my recommendation for towing her horse box. It is in today and the tow bar fails the test - they are fitting the cross member and putting the now worthless tow bar in the boot. It is disgusting that JEEP UK couldn't come up with an alternative tow solution - they claim the US solution doesn't meet the UK specs (could be hitch height etc.) I know trailers from the USA cannot be used here either without adaptation. 

 

Whilst this jeep was purchased from outside the network we were generally pleased with it and I was considering a new jeep (a LWB Wrangler - ironically I didn't buy it because of the low tow weight ability - why is it so poor?), Certainly would need some convincing now and I imagine it will also be a massive PR disaster when the news of this spreads. Low resale values are not going to help them sell new cars.

 

The dealer said they cannot offer a replacement that fits but offered a contact locally who managed to get a bar that does meet the spec for a similarly affected Grand Cherokee.

Not contacted Jeep yet, but intend to email later today - don't suppose it will do much good.

 

Resolving it properly would have generated untold goodwill, or at minimum working with an after market manufacturer to be able to offer a solution at subsidised or trade cost.

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Ok I am new to this forum and have been watching and reading up on comments as I also am from the UK and have a Jeep kj.

 

I took it in a few weeks ago to get tested for the N46 recall. I was informed over the phone that with my westfallia tow hitch it failed. I told them to hold off on doing any work untill I had made a few phone calls. as with everyone else it seems I logged my complaint with Jeep UK and searched the internet for a solution.

 

Jeep UK comfirmed to me that some Jeeps with tow bars had passed but they had no record of what ones they were. I relayed this to the dealership and spent about half an hour talking to them and came up with a compromise of a 2 week window where they would hold off on filing their findings while I found a tow bar that fitted. They also helped in giving me a print out of the points they measure and the measurments. It is the 42mm in the middle but also 1inch and a half at the ends (38mm i think). I will attach a colour copy I found on the net so you can see for yourself (Page 6 on the pdf)

 

I researched the forums for bars that had the most clearence and found the Mopar and Brink tow bars were best (They are actually both made by Brink which from what I hear is now part of Thurl).

 

Hopefully you will be able to see from the photos attached the difference. I had to get an engineer to do the work to cut the back of the hitch flat and weld a plate accross for added strength (He said if was completly over engineered but would tidy it up and give me peace of mind) and painted it myself.

 

I took it back yesterday and it passed with flying colours. I really hope this helps people with the same problem.

 

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n46 recall.pdf

 

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I got it off ebay and it was a Mopar. It has Brink stamped all over it though.

 

One other thing is I read that the fuel tank buldges when full so when you take it in have as little fuel in as poss. Apparently it can make a difference of up to 5mm

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Ok so having received a letter from Customer Relations in response to another email, I have sent a letter to them detailing several points and several questions. I have also asked for a timeline for responses.

 

I have also spoken to a local company that specialises in selling caravans/Horse trailers and ancillary equipment related to towing.  The man I spoke to said that the first they had heard of the problems we are having was yesterday from another salesman. I gave him all the information I have and he is going to research the possibility of there being another towbar that will meet the requirements of the safety recall.  He and I both talked about encouraging a towbar manufacturer to produce a suitable towbar to meet the requirements. He was surprised that given the number of cars involved that someone had not yet 'jumped on the bandwagon'.

 

My car is tomorrow in my local garage (not the stealership). Primarily to replace the glow plugs but they have offered  to investigate the possibility of moving the fuel tank by the required amount (as suggested on another forum), but only if it is absolutely safe to do so. They are also going to look at the distance needed between the tank and towbar to see if there is any possibility of 'trimming' the towbar to the required distance and adding extra support if appropriate.

 

I do not want to give up on this car, I have loved it since the first day I owned it, I have been a fervent recommender of Jeeps but sadly feel so let down by the fiasco over the recall  

 

As an aside, how much do people pay for replacement glow plugs - the stealership quoted £443  ($699) for them but my own garage will supply them for £60 ($95)

 

Sadly, I feel that if I do not receive a timely response that offers some form of hope, that I may have to leave 'the high road' and look at other options.  

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Hi all I have also been incontact with jeep again and given them a list of questions i wish answered also.I am also now looking at not taking the high road as i feel jeep are not really interested in getting the issue sorted there response times are slow to say the least to date.they have request my vin number which to date i have not given as i cannot see the reason for this given my vehicle has been done and it should be on record for .Again i will say that the number of towbar fitters who do not know of the issue is amazing indeed and we here in the uk do not have a towbar todate that will fit.I am not sure altering either tank position or towbar specs is not really advisable as you are going away from standard specs and this could result saftey and in insurance problems.I wish you luck janet ....................cheers paul ........................I am still going  down the route of new towbar from somene who will make one ...........

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Hi All,

I am a new member based in the UK and firstly would like to thank all of you who have contributed to this forum. Reading all your comments has given me new enthusiasm to keep fighting jeep and get them to recognise the heartache they are causing by not addressing the problem. Not being able to tow makes this fantastic vehicle unfit for purpose.

I have spoken to many dealers about the issue and most are sympathetic but will not tell you the problems with Uk towbars other than they are to close to fuel tank. Questions about the measurements are taboo. Some dealers said they would check out my tow bar but my own dealer said pointless to measure and would just remove it as there are no UK Towbars that fit the criteria. My Jeep is destined to go for its operation next Wednesday.

As I stated earlier I am a new member and was hooked on the forum but could not see attachments and had not even seen pictures of the Cross Beam. So became a member last night.

Big thanks to Furrytyke for the picture of the cross beam. What a waste of money from Jeep. I carn't believe Jeep have managed to design something that looks like a tow bar but without actually being one. Why did they not just go that little bit further and make it a tow bar?

Jeep UK have given me a case number, is this a first or am I one of many?

Regards to you all.

Chris

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I have a case number following several emails, on one of the later emails they have my registration number (which I did not supply them with) on a letter I received this week they have the case number and a registration number that is one letter different to mine.  I have sent them a long response as they have 'strongly advised' I have the recall completed. There are several comments and questions contained in my response and I look forward to their reply with interest. 

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I wonder how many people are affected. I haven't looked through all the data on https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/jeep_cherokee_2.5_crd_limited  at the various types at least 10,000 of which probably 90% have tow bars - that is a lot of unhappy customers. Ok they may not be in the market for a new car but they would be looking for a newer replacement in future, If Jeep cant sell used cars any more, selling new ones will be tricky. 

 

Haven't seen in it in mainstream media yet but news of this will spread and fast.

 

Tony

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OK just found this on the NHTSA site:

 

Date Investigation Opened: JUN 12, 2012
Date Investigation Closed: NOV 14, 2014
NHTSA Action Number: EA12005
Component(s): FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE 
All Products Associated with this Investigation orange-down.png
 
Details orange-up.png 756 Associated Documents orange-down.png
 
Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC
 
SUMMARY:

ODI has completed an extensive analysis of rear crash fuel tank system integrity data for the subject Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles (SVs). As of June 2013, ODI knew of 56 post-collision fatal fires, 28 non-fatal fires, and 6 fuel leak incidents (totaling 90 incidents, 75 fatalities and 58 injuries) involving the SVs. Based on this analysis, ODI issued a Recall Request Letter (RRL) on June 3, 2013 requesting that Chrysler recall the Grand Cherokee and Liberty vehicles due to the rate of fatal, non-fatal fire, and fuel leak incidents when compared to peer vehicles (compact and medium SUVs) built during the same time period. In the RRL, ODI described how the location of the aft-mounted fuel tank made the SVs vulnerable to rear impact crash fuel tank failures. During the analysis, besides the high speed/high severity crashes present in both the SV and peer vehicles, ODI observed a significant number of low and moderate speed rear impact crash related fires and leaks, particularly in the Liberty. The data also demonstrated that SVs originally equipped with towing hitch receivers (trailer hitches) appeared to be under-represented in rear-impact related fuel tank failures. In the RRL, ODI requested that Chrysler provide its response by June 18, 2013, otherwise NHTSA might proceed to an Initial Decision that the SVs contain a safety-related defect. Chrysler responded to the RRL on June 4, 2013 and vigorously disputed the tentative findings of the RRL. Among other things, Chrysler argued that the SVs had an overall safety record superior to their peers, met or exceeded all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) and only experienced fires in severe high energy rear impacts. Nonetheless, while continuing to maintain that the SVs did not contain a safety-related defect, Chrysler proposed a recall (13V-252) of approximately 2.5M (1.6M currently registered) model year (MY) 1993 - 1998 Grand Cherokee (ZJ) and MY 2002-2007 Liberty (KJ) vehicles on June 18, 2013. The recall remedy submitted by Chrysler would employ a hitch receiver assembly consisting of a steel cross-member behind the fuel tank with forward-projecting arms bolted to the frame rails on either side of the fuel tank. For the MY 1999 - 2004 Grand Cherokee, Chrysler indicated it would conduct a customer satisfaction campaign and inspect vehicles equipped with aftermarket tow hitch receivers, and if necessary, replace any such hitch receivers whose condition may increase the risk of fuel system failure in rear crashes. Examination of the available data established that the MY 1999 - 2004 Grand Cherokee did not pose the same magnitude of safety risk as the MY 1993 - 1998 Grand Cherokee and MY 2002-2007 Liberty, particularly in low and moderate speed rear impacts. Because the agency has concluded that the vehicles do not present an unreasonable risk to safety, ODI is closing its investigation of the MY 1999 - 2004 Grand Cherokee. Although it was not within the scope of the Petition initiating this investigation or the Preliminary Evaluation preceding this EA, ODI also examined the performance of the MY 1993 - 2001 Cherokee as part of this investigation. NHTSA's assessment of the available data for the Cherokee did not establish an unreasonable risk in comparison to peer vehicles. ODI does not approve proposed defect remedies. While offering to install hitch receiver assemblies on the MY 1993-1998 Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Liberty, Chrysler did not, in ODI's view, provide enough evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed remedy in rear impacts. The Complete Summary for this Closing Resume (EA12-005) can be seen by opening the following document: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM466679/INCLA-EA12005-9765.PDF

 

 

So in light of this where do we stand in the UK, especially given that the opening states Fuel System GASOLINE - does this include DIESEL

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I have also seen this information on several other sites, as well as noting that, at least in the U.S. market, the safety recall does only seem to apply to gasoline powered models, with no evidence of a recall on diesel powered vehicles. Does anyone have proof of a diesel related recall? Possibly a letter from chrysler/fiat stating that its diesel powered Jeep is subject to the recall?

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I have also seen this information on several other sites, as well as noting that, at least in the U.S. market, the safety recall does only seem to apply to gasoline powered models, with no evidence of a recall on diesel powered vehicles. Does anyone have proof of a diesel related recall? Possibly a letter from chrysler/fiat stating that its diesel powered Jeep is subject to the recall?

Well I received a recall notice for my Jeep Cherokee but it did not differentiate between petrol (gasoline) or diesel in the UK

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Further to my post on the 26th November when I advised  that I had sent a letter to Fiat requesting answers to questions and a timeline, I have today received a letter stating that they will 'endeavour to provide a further update on this matter and answers to your questions by week commencing Monday 8th December.'

 

I await their response.......

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Hi All,

I am also a new member based in the UK.. having owned a 1993 Jeep Wrangler for nearly 12 yrs decided to upgrade and purchace a 2nd Jeep to tow the caravan.. and recently purchased in Sept 2014 a (MY05) 2005 Cherokee 2.8CRD, having bought this as spares or repair.. I have now done all the work myself required to use it (eg. timing belt kit, lower control arm bushings and an oil and filter change).

 

Whilst reading other forums, I came across one that mentioned the N46 recall ( http://www.motortrend.com/used_cars/11/jeep/liberty/recalls/ ) so I checked my VIN for any outstanding recalls which flagged up 2!.

The rear suspension control arms from 2011, and the N46 tow hitch fuel tank issue,  

 

So thinking the rear suspension recall was was a bit dangerous, I called into my local Stealership (on Monday 1st Dec) with my registration document with the VIN number to verify the recalls, my heart sank when they told me what the fix was for the tow hitch... gutted is an understatment!

I was offered to have the vehical booked in for both recalls and having voiced my disaproval about the tow hitch, was also offered the disclaimer and told how it would affect my insurance.

 

I have not yet been issued with any of the recall notifications from DVLA or VOSA about the problems, nor did my insurence company mention anything when I told them what the vehical would be used for (towing a caravan) and have now started researching the issue hence My post here.

 

I have now decided to wait for DVLA / VOSA to send out the notice to give me more time to look into the problem, before letting the Dealer remove my tow hitch... but I am now risking the fact that the rear suspension could fail.

 

There have been some interesting reads on here and will be keeping a very close watch on this forum.. and if I find anything that I think could help with the situation that we are all in, I will let you know.

 

I would like to thank Moses for the forum, and everyone for their input.. Especially Janet B for her determination for an answer to get a resolve.

 

p.s. Janet the reason Crysler-Jeep charge so high for the glowplug replacment is because parts of the intake manifold and alternator have to be removed to access the glowplugs and thats if they come out without breaking..

I can purchase them from a local car parts shop for about £17 each.. but there are 2 different voltages 5v and 7v and its not an easy job to do... £60 for your garage to change them is very good price!

 

Thanks Patrick

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You're very welcome, Patrick, and welcome to the forums!  Janet's resolve is clear.  I'm following this thread closely and trusting that a practical solution will develop.  From your posts and comments, it is obvious that many KJ Cherokee owners at the UK purchased their vehicles to tow caravans, horse boxes and trailers.

 

On a brighter note, I'm very curious about the 2.5L CRD (common rail diesel) engine and its performance level when towing.  I'm a turbo diesel supporter and promote the benefits of modern turbo-diesel technology, especially for tow vehicles.  While this important N46 thread continues to unfold, would anyone care to start a topic on the performance level and overall impressions of the Jeep 2.5L CRD engine in the KJ Cherokee?  The KJ diesel sales numbers at the U.S. were not large, and I've wondered why this option was so often passed over.  Perhaps U.S. owners of the KJ Liberty gasoline and CRD models could comment.   

 

Your impressions of the 2.5L CRD engine's performance, fuel efficiency and ability to pull a load (for perspective, please clarify the loaded trailer weight) would be of great interest.  I considered swapping the later 2.8L KJ Liberty CRD diesel engine into the magazine's 1999 XJ Cherokee in place of the 4.0L inline six-cylinder gasoline engine.  The 4.0L Jeep gasoline engine produces similar power to the 3.7L KJ Liberty/Cherokee gasoline engine.  How does the 3.7L V-6 performance compare with the 2.5L CRD engine in the KJ Cherokee?  Did towing plans motivate your choice of the CRD?  Fuel efficiency?  Overall performance?

 

Moses

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p.s. Janet the reason Crysler-Jeep charge so high for the glowplug replacment is because parts of the intake manifold and alternator have to be removed to access the glowplugs and thats if they come out without breaking..

I can purchase them from a local car parts shop for about £17 each.. but there are 2 different voltages 5v and 7v and its not an easy job to do... £60 for your garage to change them is very good price!

 

Thanks Patrick

 

Hi Patrick

 

I knew that replacing the glowplugs was not an easy job, yet couldn't reconcile myself to the extortionate cost, likewise they were going to charge me £30 for replacing the A/C Clutch relay. The part was £15 so they wanted a further £15 for raising the bonnet hood and plugging it in. In total it took me less than 3 minutes, given that the bonnet would already be open for the glowplug removal I found this £15.00 labour charge ridiculous.

 

My local garage did several jobs for me including replacing the glowplugs, changing tyres around, changing brake fluid, inspecting 'faults' found by the stealership and an indepth investigation into what other options there might be for the towbar for £100 less than the price the stealership were going to charge me for just replacing the glowplugs.  

 

Yes my local garage may not have a shiny set-up, posh overalls and fleeces, their waiting room does not have a fancy tv and drinks machine BUT I trust them to make sure my car is safe, roadworthy and legal. They are local to me, have a fabulous reputation and I will use them for everything I possibly can.  Yes I am probably known by them as the mad old woman with the Jeep, but they don't treat me like an idiot, they understand that Yes I do know one part from another, (my late father wanted a boy but got me, I was helping him strip and handbuild engines from the age of 10), they are happy to explain to me what problems/fixes are, and will always take good care of my and my families cars. They are always prepared to 'go the extra mile'.  It is a pity that the Stealership is constricted by the rules that are sent from above.

 

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Moses and everyone else.  I have been given permission to repost an email which has been sent to another Jeep Cherokee owner in the UK- I think it clearly shows that Jeep have no intention of sorting out his problem and no concern about us in the UK.  

 

 

Jeep Cherokee Recall
Thank you for contacting Jeep Customer Relations.

We would like to acknowledge your email dated the 2nd December 2014. 

Fiat Group Automobiles UK Ltd is assisting with the coordination of aftercare of Jeep vehicles registered on or before 1st September 2010.

The recall on your vehicle is to provide an enhanced level of rear impact protection beyond the original design standards. To achieve this enhancement, it is necessary to fit a cross car beam to the rear of the vehicle.

If a tow bar is already fitted to the vehicle, it needs to be inspected to verify if it conforms to the certified clearance levels and/or the absence of sharp edges. If it does, the tow bar can remain fitted. If however, the tow bar does not meet the required specifications of this recall campaign, it should be removed and replaced by the certified cross car beam. 

We would strongly recommend that you have this safety recall completed on the vehicle as soon as is possible. 

We are not currently in the position to offer any further information as regards an alternative for the tow bar. We must confirm that we would not be in the position to offer any form of compensation for completing this type of product enhancement as part of a recall campaign. 

We can appreciate that this may not be the response that you were expecting but this is the position of Jeep UK at this time.

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relations team from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 18:00 on our toll free number 0080004265337 choosing option number 3.


 

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Thanks for keeping us updated.

I have just emailed VOSA again as their last response was that they are collating information and to also contact customer service. So I felt compelled to reply saying that contacting customer service has no effect and basically they have no answer......

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I have also read on another forum that there is a towbar manufacturer who, if given the measurements by Jeep, could have alternative towbars in 8 weeks.  Now that could prove interesting

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Just to let the UK Peeps know that due to Jeep UK removing posts on their Facebook page there is a new one set up by and for those of us affected by this recall - the object of which is to show Jeep how unhappy we are - please keep it clean, factual and sensible, to show them that if they are reasonable with us we can only help them in the future by showing their Customer Service as being just that Service for the Customer.

 

The facebook page is called Cherokee N46 Recall -please join and add your experiences and stories

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From what you share, Janet, the Fiat/Jeep comments indicate that this is strictly a tow bar design issue.  There is no obstacle to towing if a hitch with the required dimensions and smooth edges can be built or currently fits:

 

"...If a tow bar is already fitted to the vehicle, it needs to be inspected to verify if it conforms to the certified clearance levels and/or the absence of sharp edges. If it does, the tow bar can remain fitted. If however, the tow bar does not meet the required specifications of this recall campaign, it should be removed and replaced by the certified cross car beam."

 

UK VOSA will apparently not compromise on this 1/4" or whatever insufficient clearance dimension.  So if we follow both UK VOSA and Fiat/Jeep logic, the existing tow bar hitch no longer meets safety requirements in the UK.  The existing Mopar replacement tow bar hitch does, however, meet U.S. N46 safety requirements.

 

Unless Fiat/Jeep redesigns and builds a Mopar hitch to the new specifications required at the UK, the only solution is another UK or U.S. tow bar hitch manufacturer.  Any manufacturer will be looking for enough sales volume/incentive to build a tow bar hitch.  The design must comply with the "certified clearance", "absence of sharp edges" and meet the customary tow capacity/safety requirements for similar tow bar hitches sold at the UK.

 

Tow bar hitch engineering is straightforward.  The manufacturing process for tow hitches is basic metal fabrication.  Safety testing and certification requirements do incur costs.  This comes down to whether it is cost-effective to design and build this tow hitch and how many UK-based KJ Cherokees already had tow bar hitches at the time of the N46 recall.  Future tow bar hitch sales would also be considered.

 

Moses

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Moses, I agree that this could be an easy fix if a towbar manufacturer was given the measurements needed by Jeep and was prepared to manufacture the required number of towbars. However, I feel that Jeep will not be prepared to pay for this as they do not seem to see it as an issue for them especially as in the email sent to another owner states:

 

"We must confirm that we would not be in the position to offer any form of compensation for completing this type of product enhancement as part of a recall campaign." 

 

To call it a 'product enhancement' is in my opinion insulting, given the recall deems the removal of existing towbars if necessary.

 

My other concern is the NHTSA investigation, especially as the original concern was with Gasoline Engines and the majority of Cherokees in the UK are Diesel. The investigation seems to concentrate purely on Gasoline, no mention is made of Diesel. This, in my opinion, could possibly mean that diesel engines are not deemed at risk, thereby rendering the whole recall for those cars with diesel engines as unnecessary.  

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In reply to my email to vosa the most relevant bit is: "A ‘safety defect’ is defined in the Code as "a failure due to design and/or construction, which is likely to affect the safe operation of the product without prior warning to the user and may pose a significant risk to the driver, occupants and others. This defect will be common to a number of products that have been sold for use in the United Kingdom". In addition, before we can require a manufacturer/producer to instigate a safety recall, there has to be a significant risk of serious injury.

All safety recalls conducted by the various vehicle manufacturers are preventive measures to remove the risk of serious injury to the driver, occupant or others. In regards to this particular safety recall, the manufacturer identified in the USA, that a number of vehicles had suffered fires following a heavy rear impact/collision. To counter this they introduced a protection bar. Unfortunately this means vehicles fitted with tow bars have to have the tow bar removed"

My reply was: Dear sir,

Thank you for your reply, it has given me further understanding of the situation.

One section that is of interest is : "This defect will be common to a number of products that have been sold for use in the United Kingdom". In addition, before we can require a manufacturer/producer to instigate a safety recall, there has to be a significant risk of serious injury".

As far as I can gather the incidents in the US that resulted in fires were gasoline/ petrol models. There doesn't seem to be any incidents of this happening with diesel models. The vast majority of models in the UK are diesel. So the defect isn't really common to the products in the UK.

So what facts or statistics were used to conclude the significant risk and instigate the recall?

Regards

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Hi All,

Had my Jeep crossbeam fitted Wednesday.

Jeep must have money to throw away. Cross beam fits were tow bar fits, actually looks like a tow hitch, comes complete with towing eye and the only thing missing is the tow ball. Well done Jeep designers.

Please also see attached letter from Jeep after 3 emails to Mr Steve Zanlunghi  MD Group Automobiles UK Ltd.

Regards,

Chrispost-468-0-16725200-1417792140_thumb.jpg

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Hi All,

Had my Jeep crossbeam fitted Wednesday.

Jeep must have money to throw away. Cross beam fits were tow bar fits, actually looks like a tow hitch, comes complete with towing eye and the only thing missing is the tow ball. Well done Jeep designers.

Please also see attached letter from Jeep after 3 emails to Mr Steve Zanlunghi  MD Group Automobiles UK Ltd.

Regards,

Chrisattachicon.gifCase record 001.jpg

Yep I've got one of those letters, mine promises a further response to my comments and questions next week. Interesting that your letter does not have your vehicle reg on it though

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These forums are more than message boards, they are "communities".  I have followed this thread intently.  Towing with your KJ Cherokee models is obviously important.  As UK owners of KJ Cherokee models, you have expressed your dismay over the prospect of losing the ability to tow with your gasoline and diesel powered KJ Cherokee models.  From your research and expressed concerns, the facts and remaining questions are clear: 

 

1) Facts:  In the U.S. NHTSA agreement, what UK VOSA calls a "protective bar" remedy is an existing Mopar tow bar hitch.  At the UK, the "protective bar" is a replacement brace without a towing provision.  The UK VOSA interpretation of the N46 safety recall for the KJ Cherokee has presented design and bar-to-tank clearance requirements that make it impossible to use an existing Mopar or other currently available tow bar hitch at the UK. 

 

2) Facts:  KJ Cherokee owners are asked to either remove their existing tow bar hitches or forfeit access to required vehicle insurance.  Consumers/owners of the KJ Cherokee who tow are left with the responsibility and expense of approaching tow bar manufacturers for a redesigned tow bar hitch.  If and when such a hitch can be produced, the cost of the hitch and installation are at the KJ Cherokee owner's expense.  In the meantime, owners must accept the "cross brace" installation and forego towing with their KJ Cherokee.

 

3) Questions:  How does UK VOSA determine these clearance dimensions?  KJ Cherokee owners share that existing tow bars fail the clearance test by only 1/4-inch.  Why does UK VOSA not accept the N46 safety recall agreement, the installation of a Mopar tow bar hitch, established between Fiat/Jeep and the U.S. NHTSA?

 

4) Facts:  Rather than redesign the Mopar tow bar to meet the UK VOSA dimensions, Fiat/Jeep has assumed the expense of creating a special cross brace to meet the UK VOSA requirement.  This cross brace has no towing provision.  Consumers with existing tow bars, including the current design Mopar tow bars, can no longer tow with their KJ Cherokee at the UK. 

 

5) Facts:  At the U.S., the safety recall does not specify whether the vehicles of concern are gasoline or diesel powered.  The N46 recall entitles all owners of the Jeep KJ Liberty (i.e., UK "Cherokee" design vehicles) to receive a free and installed Mopar tow bar hitch as the N46 safety recall remedy.

 

6) Facts:  At this point, neither Fiat/Jeep nor UK VOSA is seeking a solution on behalf of KJ Cherokee owners who tow or have existing tow bar hitches that met UK VOSA and U.S. NHTSA safety requirements prior to the N46 safety recall.

 

7) Facts:  UK Jeep KJ Cherokee owners should be able to use their vehicles to tow trailers, caravans and horse boxes within the approved weight limits recognized at the UK.  Janet Brown's research includes UK vehicle documents that designate the trailer weight a Jeep KJ Cherokee can legally tow.  Towing is an implied function of these vehicles.

 

Possible solutions on behalf of UK owners of Jeep KJ Cherokee models:

 

1) UK VOSA reviews the U.S. NHTSA acceptance of the existing Mopar tow bar hitch remedy and accepts installation of this hitch as an N46 recall safety solution at the UK.  The Mopar cross brace without tow provision could be an option for owners who do not want a tow bar hitch installed.

 

2) Mopar or another tow bar/hitch manufacturer builds a tow hitch that meets the UK VOSA clearance and dimension requirements.  The hitch must have smooth edges.  This tow bar hitch would be recognized as a suitable remedy under the UK VOSA N46 safety recall.

 

The conversation between Fiat/Jeep and UK VOSA is not complete yet.  In the interest of UK forum members, I would like to see a sensible solution for owners of Jeep KJ Cherokee vehicles who have towed with their vehicles and intend to continue towing.

 

Moses

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