Rust never sleeps (in my Jeep) – part 2

Here’s the story of my Jeep so far.

I discovered the screws fastening the integrated roof rack to the roof of my 2013 Grand Cherokee had rusted.

I took photos and you can read the first instalment of this incredible tale here: See original story.

Now for the update.

I contacted Jeep Australia’s (FCA, actually) customer care folks via their on-line application.

I received an instant email reply saying that “A Customer Service Assistant will be in contact to assist you, generally within 1-2 business days.”

Eight days later I was still waiting.

So, I emailed one of their PR people and asked politely if they would give their customer service people a little hurry up.

I attached high resolution photos of the rusting screws (the same ones published on cars4starters).

Six minutes later, yes SIX minutes, the PR person emailed a reply, promising a result.

Great, I thought, that’s real service.

Next morning I took a phone call from an FCA customer care consultant, who apologised for the delay.

They asked if I would take the car to be inspected and photographed by a Jeep dealer in my local area.

I pointed out that they had clear photos already.

They said that did not matter, the dealer must photograph the rusted screws.

I was told that once the dealer took the photos and sent them to FCA customer service they would be evaluated and a decision made if Jeep replaced them for free or would charge me for replacing them.

During the next three days I made a series of telephone calls to the service department of the dealer endeavouring to find a slot in their “very busy” service schedule that allowed five minutes for the taking of the photos.

And, guess what, they found a slot in the schedule!

So I drove over to the dealer and with a cheap old phone the service consultant took a couple of quick photos.

I was told that he’d send the photos to FCA and I was to wait for FCA to get back to me.

That was five working days ago.

I’m still waiting.

Jeep Rust 1 4So far it has been 22 days since I first contacted FCA “customer care” with this simple issue.

In the meantime, FCA has issued another recall notice for my model Jeep.

The problem is that the alternator may experience diode thermal fatigue failure due to cyclical loads induced by electrohydraulic power steering.

Say that again?

It means that if the diodes fail, the alternator will no longer supply electrical energy to the vehicle and may lead to the car stalling without any warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

According to FCA, failed diodes may also develop a resistive short circuit that can result in heat, smoke and/or fire originating within the alternator.

Oh, and FCA had one more surprise.

The parts required to provide a permanent remedy for this condition are currently unavailable.

FCA Australia says it is making every effort to obtain parts as quickly as possible.

Jeep’s advertising asks that you “don’t hold back.”

If this goes on much longer, I won’t.

David Burrell is the editor of retroautos.com.au


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