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Old 08-25-2016, 12:00 PM
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Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

We are in an RV park in Michigan. Yesterday a new MH arrived towing a Cherokee. I went over to chat with the owner about the wiring harness and getting power to the Jeep battery when towing.

I think he thought I was from Mars. Brand new MH and 2 week old Cherokee with 2.4L engine. He has never heard of the wobble and when I looked at his manual no mention either. He had an SMI braking system so he had power to the battery. He is new to RVing and towing.

Did FCA actually fix the problem in 2016?? I've never heard of that as the FMCA notice said the issue applies to 2014 to 2016 models.

I've suggested he keep an eye on the Jeep in the rear camera and if it does wobble he should stop and turn on the engine and run it and contact FCA for advice ASAP. He has travelled from AZ so a long way from home.

I've sent a note to Jeep Cares but at this time have not had a reply.

Any advice for this chap? He departs this location tomorrow morning.

GR

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Old 08-25-2016, 03:09 PM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

I am not aware nor have I seen a word about anything that might have changed in 2016/17 to alleviate the potential for a Cherokee to wobble. Perhaps the dealer would never have know the owner was going to tow the vehicle four down so would not put two plus two together and recommend that the new harness be installed? There sure seems to be a lot of discussion surrounding this issue and I am not sure it is all that deserving. get the harness have jeep install it free if it is still in warranty, purchase the toad towing box from Brake Buddy, run a 12 volt line to the small box and away you go. I have done this to my Cherokee and towed it for 1000 miles last week without a single problem and no dead battery. Any vehicle including a CRV with electric power steering is going to be prone to the same issue, everyone just loves to jump on Jeep!
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:10 PM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandriver125 View Post
We are in an RV park in Michigan. Yesterday a new MH arrived towing a Cherokee. I went over to chat with the owner about the wiring harness and getting power to the Jeep battery when towing.

I think he thought I was from Mars. Brand new MH and 2 week old Cherokee with 2.4L engine. He has never heard of the wobble and when I looked at his manual no mention either. He had an SMI braking system so he had power to the battery. He is new to RVing and towing.

Did FCA actually fix the problem in 2016?? I've never heard of that as the FMCA notice said the issue applies to 2014 to 2016 models.

I've suggested he keep an eye on the Jeep in the rear camera and if it does wobble he should stop and turn on the engine and run it and contact FCA for advice ASAP. He has travelled from AZ so a long way from home.

I've sent a note to Jeep Cares but at this time have not had a reply.

Any advice for this chap? He departs this location tomorrow morning.

GR
Just checked out the 2016 online owner's manual and the tow kit is mentioned:

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

CAUTION! •Failure to use the proper Mopar wiring kit to power the steering system during recreational towing may damage the vehicle’s steering system and/or other vehicle components.
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:20 PM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

Sorry my friend but IMO Jeep deserves ALL the criticism it has been getting.

First it must have taken FCA a year to agree there was a problem and it was ONLY after FMCA got after it. Second, it then took them a YEAR to devise a fix. Third, it totally screwed up the terms of the fix with some owners having to pay and others not. I did not have to pay but when I received a call from FCA about a month ago following up on an open file, I was told I should have paid for the harness. I made it clear that if they billed me the response would come from a noted firm of class action lawyers. When FCA informs FMCA in writing of the conditions which must be met to tow a Cherokee and it DOES NOT include purchasing a wiring harness and a power source, then FCA is IN THE WRONG - PERIOD. The 2014 manual I was provided with at time of purchase and the sales literature made NO reference to this requirement.

Now, my wife LOVES her Cherokee even if we've had a myriad of problems. I want to see FCA survive and thrive. But that doesn't mean we should adopt your point of view.

I added a RVI towed power system and it worked well earlier this week during a 300 mile trip when the fuse was in and the switch was up for 7 hours. BUT, all the extra nonsense was NOT what we thought we were buying and what was held out to us in the owners guide.

As you your comment on other vehicles with electric assisted steering, I find it interesting that I've not been made aware of even one complaint of the nature we've encountered with the Cherokee.

Our prior toad was a 2011 Ford Escape (and prior to that a 2007 Tahoe LTZ and a 2004 Colorado). The Escape had EAS and that did not present a problem. The Escape problem was the transmission. Ours did not burn up but we found we were always on edge wondering if it was going to be our turn - which is why we moved to the Cherokee.

What you may be missing is the fact that the Escape and the Honda CR-V (prior to the current model which has a CVT and is no longer towable four down) both required the ignition to be in the accessory position when towing. I don't know but I suspect that solved any EAS issue. Frankly, it makes me wonder why FCA didn't just take the same approach and have the EAS processor powered when the ignition was in accessory and run modes and then tell us to run power from the MH - since that is what we've ended up having to do anyway.

As to the fellow who bought a Cherokee a couple of weeks ago, I suspect the culprit may be the sales person. My experience purchasing vehicles over 55 years has been that far too many sales people do not have an adequate knowledge of their product. In this case the sales person likely knew it was going to be towed but was probably unaware of the death wobble. When I went to my dealer with the bad news the Service Manager had not even heard of the wobble problem. The staff at FCA Customer Care were equally uninformed. I just took a look at the FMCA 2016 towables list and I do not see any reference for the need for the special wiring harness and power. If FCA did not notify FMCA of these requirements (please keep in mind that FMCA gets the manufacturers' towing assertions IN WRITING every year) given what it knew of the problem by the submission date, then is sure should be faulted. If it did notify FMCA and FMCA did not include these requirements then FMCA should be faulted.

What surprised me was that this chap I've mentioned had a 2016 manual for a recently purchased Cherokee and it did not address the need for the harness. Since when should a purchaser who receives a hardcopy manual be required to go and search the FCA web sites looking for changes?

BTW, when talking to a rep at RVI he told me that the CR-V was very popular as a toad and given it is no longer towable what they've observed is a big bump in the use of the Cherokee as a toad. FCA should be pleased with that and hopefully it won't blow this opportunity to expand sales by not informing buyers of the precise towing requirements.

BTW2. About 10 hours before starting this thread I send the details to the Jeep Cares folks on this forum but have not received a reply.

GR

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragoodsp View Post
I am not aware nor have I seen a word about anything that might have changed in 2016/17 to alleviate the potential for a Cherokee to wobble. Perhaps the dealer would never have know the owner was going to tow the vehicle four down so would not put two plus two together and recommend that the new harness be installed? There sure seems to be a lot of discussion surrounding this issue and I am not sure it is all that deserving. get the harness have jeep install it free if it is still in warranty, purchase the toad towing box from Brake Buddy, run a 12 volt line to the small box and away you go. I have done this to my Cherokee and towed it for 1000 miles last week without a single problem and no dead battery. Any vehicle including a CRV with electric power steering is going to be prone to the same issue, everyone just loves to jump on Jeep!
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:35 AM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandriver125 View Post
We are in an RV park in Michigan. Yesterday a new MH arrived towing a Cherokee. I went over to chat with the owner about the wiring harness and getting power to the Jeep battery when towing.

I think he thought I was from Mars. Brand new MH and 2 week old Cherokee with 2.4L engine. He has never heard of the wobble and when I looked at his manual no mention either. He had an SMI braking system so he had power to the battery. He is new to RVing and towing.

Did FCA actually fix the problem in 2016?? I've never heard of that as the FMCA notice said the issue applies to 2014 to 2016 models.

I've suggested he keep an eye on the Jeep in the rear camera and if it does wobble he should stop and turn on the engine and run it and contact FCA for advice ASAP. He has travelled from AZ so a long way from home.

I've sent a note to Jeep Cares but at this time have not had a reply.

Any advice for this chap? He departs this location tomorrow morning.

GR
I would suggest that he contact SMI before running the engine, as his brake control may not work properly with the engine running, and I'd hate to cross the Rockies with my toad brakes not working right!

I would also suggest that he not be overly concerned, as he's pulled the jeep all the way from AZ without incident, and chances are that he will pull it back without incident. But if he notices a sway beginning and continuing, simply slow down, stop, and then take off again. That historically has been the cure before the wonderful 'solution' that FCA came up with.
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Old 08-27-2016, 11:02 AM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

Heard back from Jeep Cares. The wiring harness is not being provided as a warranty item and I assume that decision applies to Cherokees purchased after the manual update notice was sent to owners and the manual was updated.

That is not an uncommon approach. For example, Ford decided that Escapes purchased after February 2012 could not be flat towed but that those purchased prior could because they were sold on that basis. Those purchased prior to Febb 2012 would be covered by warranty if the transmission burned out when being towed. We observed some of the chaos that created since transactions around the cut-off date resulted in some uninformed purchases.

In this case the reply from Jeep Cares is the first that I'd heard of the change in policy. Now, if one buys a Cherokee and wishes to tow 4 down one will have to pay the dealer to obtain and install the harness (I'd be inclined to negotiated that as part of the purchase). I sure hope they make that clear in their disclosure to FMCA at the end of the year. This is not an unreasonable policy provided the purchaser is made aware of the issue prior to purchase.

This particular purchaser was not aware of the need for the harness and as I've noted his manual was obviously not current (perhaps his Cherokee sat on the dealer's lot for many months) and he did not have the insert for the manual that all of us received.

He has left this park and I hope he doesn't run into problems. It is easy to say that he likely won't (after all, we towed ours six times for 1500 miles with no problems and I praised how well it towed) but we know from three or four forums that not having a problem is no guaranty that it won't happy. (A recent analogy - I just spent a month struggling with a kidney stone. I hadn't had one for 12 years. That sure didn't mean anything when the pain hit.).

If I were managing this area of FCA I'd set out a flat towing option in the product brochure and ordering materials. It would include the wiring harness and a power connection to go to the motorhome. My preference would be to make this a factory installed option but the volume might dictate that is be installed at the dealer level.

GR
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:15 AM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

Jeep is selling on average 20,000 plus Cherokee's per month; I would doubt very much that more than .o5 percent are actually towed four down. I am not sure FCA really cares about that kind of percentage in the big picture. Keep pushing and I am sure some lawyer will bring a class action suit against FCA and then just like Honda and many other manufacturers Jeep will say making their vehicles able to be towed four down is just not worth it.... we the consumer will have less to select from and the luxury of being able to tow a vehicle will just get more complicated with pumps, tow dolly's, etc..I never had a problem towing my Cherokee before the harness was installed and as I am stated I appreciated that my harness was installed free of charge and I am a very happy camper and thank FCA for standing behind their product. No, I do not work for Jeep or have any special interests.
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:22 PM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

I suspect you are the kind of buyer they love. Buy something with specific instructions for towing, have the instructions changed midstream, and then be thankful they installed the harness.

On the other hand, I believe installing the harness IS their responsibility when they publish material explaining how to tow, then we buy, and then they find they goofed and have to change the requirements. I'm not thankful they installed the harness, I expected them to do just that. They had MY money and I didn't get what I paid for. Now, after adding a power source I have, with the exception of that relatively minor cost, got what I paid for.

Contrary to what you may think, I would not promote a class action UNLESS FCA didn't deliver what it promised - and it made those promises in its sales material, owners manuals and its annual filings with FMCA.

Do you think FCA lets its suppliers walk away when they don't deliver what FCA contracted for? They sure do not.

If FCA is properly disclosing the need for the harness and a power source to buyers then they will be aware of the cost and the decision is then in their hands. Buy and pay for the harness and a power supply and tow OR buy a different product.

We specifically bought our Cherokee because of the towing representations made by FCA. We were about to purchase (for my wife) a Ford Edge Limited that is towable flat. I decided that I'd rather have a transfer case since IMV that makes life easier.

Now, in our case towing is not the only issue we've encountered - and the towing issue has been solved but as others have said it is a bigger PITA to tow than expected. We towed 300 x 2 miles this past week and it worked well with respect to the power supply. It certainly appears that towing without a power supply will drain the battery as FCA indicated.

The other problems - new differential and half shaft because 4WD was not available due to overheating as well as recalls. The USB and SD card inputs had to be replaced - just would not work. Now, they still require a few miles of travel before we get music. On several occasions (including the past week) we get the urgent BRAKE message on the dash with the loud warning - with no one in front of us. We also get the "put your hands on the steering wheel" message fairly often and that is annoying since I have a habit of driving at 10 and 2 with a firm grip. These last two problems are the type that make a dealer shudder when your drive in with them. I should tell you though that my wife loves her Cherokee. Unlike me, she can drive a car for years so I will get the 7 year warranty extension for it.

Now, after those problems started I traded my 2012 T&C Limited for a 2014 T&C Limited. So I certainly wasn't turning my back on FCA. I recently test drove a 2017 Pacifica and found it very nice. I was tempted but it is a first year vehicle and given our experience with the Cherokee I've decided to take a pass for a few years. I made a huge effort to purchase a Durango R/T but sadly the value put on my 2014 T&C was so low I just could not consider it. It appears that this may have been a dealer error as their used car department may have valued my 2012 - which was long gone. In any event, for just a few bucks more (difference) than what they wanted for the Durango, I bought an Expedition Max Platinum and I really like it. The independent suspension is very nice and I got the continuous damping as well and can select from comfort, normal or sport stiffness. The Durango was not the right vehicle as its cargo capacity was far below the T&C. We need a lot of room when we head to Florida for the winter and the Exp Max was one of the few that could come close to the T&C. What FCA should be considering is a RAM based SUV to compete with the Expedition and Suburban family.

The towing capacity of the Exp is very good and we are now contemplating trading our motorhome (which is our fifth) for a travel trailer so we will then leave the "toad issues" behind (and no doubt inherit a new batch). But, given my wife's fondness for the Cherokee she will drive it for several more years and we will likely replace it with another one with similar equipment. Based on what I observed this past week I think the Cherokee could be on the way to becoming the "toad" of choice and I sure hope FCA doesn't turn off owners by not properly disclosing the towing requirements.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:56 PM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

This was posted on iRV2 yesterday. Note latest comment at the bottom in red. One gets the feeling that FCA is handling this as badly as GM did the Cruze which they said was towable flat but turned out not to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
Looks like Jeep is backpedaling on this.

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

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

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

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

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

Regards,

Dan


Hi. I just purchased a 2016 Cherokee Trail Hawk and the sales manager told me that a recall had just come in re flat towing and that a modification has to be done to stop the wobbling. It apparently takes 2 hours. Mine was done before I left the lot. (Free)
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Old 11-26-2016, 10:23 PM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

Still no answer to weather FCA has fixed wobble problem for 2017 Cherokee TH. Just bought same with the only reason being towablity. Dealer (service and parts managers) says wiring harness not listed for 2017 therefore must not be a problem. Very frustrating. Sooo, don't know if I need harness or not and if I do, can't get it anyway.
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Old 11-27-2016, 07:53 AM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

I just downloaded the 2017 manual. Seems to be VERY clear.

Quote:
• Before towing, See your authorized dealer for the
Mopar flat tow wiring kit
• It is recommended to charge the battery of the
towed vehicle during recreational towing
I would hope that the 2017 brochure mentions this requirement. Downloaded 2017 brochure and all it appears to state:

Quote:
J E E P A C T I V E D R I V E I I A two-speed
PTU offers torque management and 4WD Low
mode. This locks the front and rear driveshafts
to deliver additional power at low speeds or
for towing your toys. A driveline neutral switch
enables you to hitch Cherokee to your RV and
take it along.
So, dip into your pocket and hope your dealer doesn't try to shaft you with a $500+ charge for the wiring harness. IMO owners intending to tow should negotiate the kit as part of their purchase. I certainly wood - and I'd include a power supply line as well.
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:29 AM
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Re: Would like quick answer - 2016 wobble

I agree with what you're saying and my manual says the same thing. But the service manager and parts manager say there is no wiring kit for the 2017 and I've asked about this twice and showed them what the manual states. Guess I need to ask a different dealership.
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