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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please bear with me as I explain the situation.

I recently purchased a 2019 Jeep Compass Sport.
I was very specific with what I wanted.
  1. Manual transmission
  2. Optional 4x4 (2019 is the only year where you could get a manual AND 4x4 in Canada)
  3. Heated seats
  4. and the Trailer Tow group
I stated it every time I spoke with the sales team and each time I went to see / drive the vehicle.
I even talked with the Sales Manager about why I was going with the Jeep, because I was looking to upgrade to a small camper / trailer and wanted to use the vehicle for next summer and do some camping holidays with it.

They assured me that it would be ordered and installed when the parts arrived.
I paid for the vehicle, did the new vehicle inspection and they even wrote down that the 'trailer tow package' was not available on delivery but would be added when the parts arrived. (yes, I got this in writing)

The parts arrive, I take it into the dealer and they do the installation.
I pick it up, and it's just a hitch receptacle. No wiring harness.
I take it back, ask about the wiring, and they say they'll talk to Service about it and get back to me on Monday.

Monday passes.
Tuesday passes.
Wednesday comes and they leave me a text msg.

Sales is now telling me that the price was only for the hitch receptacle, no wiring. They then bring up a sales receipt that I had signed so that they would bring in the vehicle for me to test drive that only stated hitch. I had assumed that they only wrote that because of the space available on the form and that all parties knew that it meant the whole trailer tow group installation. They then go on to say that this was what was worked out between Sales and Service and if they knew that I wanted the wiring, they'd have included that in the cost... but it's too late now. Then they send me a quote for the parts and labor.
It's going to cost me $650, out of my own pocket, on a brand new vehicle.

I call around, and it's going to cost me $200 at a trailer shop to get the wiring installed.
I call back to the dealership and speak with the Sales Manager. He sticks to the story that the hitch was the only part that was stipulated in the install and references the (pre inspection, pre test drive, pre delivery) sales sheet that only sated hitch (see picture below). I then counter with the New Vehicle Delivery Checklist (picture below) that stated "Dealership acknowledges the following services and / or equipment are not available at time of delivery but will be provided as follows: Trailer tow pckg." He says that they provided what was agreed upon with the sales sheet and that the hitch receptacle is the only part that I have paid to have installed.

I tell him that I can get it done for $200 at a trailer shop.
He says that they send a lot of work there and that I should go for it.
Eventually I get him to agree to split the cost of the wiring install at the third party shop with me and send him the quote.

.... and here's where we finally get to my question:

IF I end up having an electrical issue down the road and they see that according to my service records that they didn't install the wiring harness for the trailer hitch... am I going to hang because of it??

^^ this is the main reason why I wanted the trailer tow package installed through the dealership so that I would have NO issues down the road with any warranty claims.

I try and get him to put this in writing, and he offers to send me a text about it. At the end of the day, that's not going to count for $hit with anyone.

Should I be worried about the 3rd party wiring voiding my extended warranty, and how do I go about getting the dealership to put this in writing??

Thank you for reading all of this.

Bill of Sale (12 Sept)
Bill of Sale (edited).jpg

New Vehicle Delivery Checklist (19 Sept)
New Vehicle Delivery Checklist (edited).jpg

1,389 Posts
Well obviously your dealer and sales experience is terrible. You could maybe try to go above their paygrade and get ahold of the regional FCA rep or someone with more power, can't say for sure if it will be worth the additional time and headache though maybe they would help you maybe they would just waste more of your time.

The wiring you are going to get at the third party shop is going to be a lot different than the wiring you would get with a factory tow package. I mean, the end result is about the same but aftermarket trailer wiring is a piggyback system that hooks into the rear taillights, whereas OEM trailer wiring is its own entire CANBUS module on the car's internal computer network. The OEM tow wiring module can detect when a trailer light is out, but other than that I can't say for sure what it does beyond the same basic functions of the aftermarket wiring which is simply rudimentary tail light operation.

The hassle of adding a new CANBUS module your car wasn't originally spec'd to have and figuring out how to program it to enable it and graft it into the existing system is probably part of why the dealer's cost is so high. Not that it justifies them being awful about it as such.

I don't personally have any issue with aftermarket trailer wiring harness I installed a Curt brand one in a 2020 Jeep Cherokee and it was very cheap, very easy to do at home. There is wiring that goes to the connectors of the rear tail lights and it uses the input of the tail lights as a signal to trigger the trailer lights. It does not power the trailer lights from the car's tail lights, rather it has its own power wire you connect separately and based on the signal input of the car's tail lights it draws its own power from its own fused line to provide power to the trailer's lights.

In my opinion Curt's aftermarket system is 100% safe and unobtrusive, and low risk. I don't see any opportunity for it to cause issues with the car's wiring but even if it did, its very simple to pop the car's tail lights out and disconnect Curt's module if it is believed to be suspect for any reason.

I think I paid about $70 for the Curt wiring kit for the 2020 Cherokee.

If you aren't up for installing it yourself then the rest of that $200 at the third party shop is obviously their labor cost. For as simple as the Curt module is it should be no problem for them to troubleshoot it for you if you have any issues down the road. Most of the time issues people have are simply corrosion at the connector itself. You can see from online reviews that Curt's aftermarket Jeep wiring harnesses are well reviewed and people don't seem to have much issues with them.

Sorry about the back luck with your dealer but honestly getting the OEM hitch hardware installed is the more difficult and expensive part of the process, if you go aftermarket wiring you should be fine Jeep can't deny any warranty work unless they can first prove some aftermarket part caused the failure and that shouldn't be an issue. If they are going to be like that you wouldn't be able to pin them down anyways Jeep/FCA is famously good at dodging warranty repairs so its going to be an issue no matter what sorry to tell ya.

2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
81 Posts
The dealer knows that you were expecting the tow package all along and they know that they owe it to you, don't doubt that for a second. They are just playing 'the game'. At any stage of the process they will try to convince you that you need to re-negotiate the terms of the deal. Now if you take the bait and enter into this re-negotiation, they pocket more of your cash. They are betting on the fact that you are excited to get your new vehicle and will give in. Your Delivery Checklist is very clear and signed by both parties. The way I see it (and I'm not a lawyer) is that you have 2 signed documents, one guaranteeing you a hitch and one guaranteeing you a tow package. You seem to be entitled to both. If you have the motivation to play the game at least as good as them, I see no reason why you wouldn't win.

I would start with a call to FCA Canada Customer Care. If that doesn't help, I would recommend getting some legal advise. Some lawyers will do free consults.

Some resources:
Consumer protection and Service Alberta.

Good luck, Let us know how it goes.

2019 Jeep Compass North Altitude
45 Posts
So Ive done some mods to my vehicle and the answer I received in regards to whether any of it would void warranty, my dealer said that it does not void the warranty on the car itself and it does not now include the new parts. Also, in the event of an accident or incident where the investigators/mechanics can prove that my modded parts caused the accidental claim, then yes, some cases can be completely voided. In regards to parts Ive had done, such as my air filter, they are not covered under dealership warranty but the part itself is warrantied through the company in the event the part itself becomes defective and not from where and tare. So if that air filter blows my engine and the dealership can prove that, then I am at fault. I hope that helps!
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