Numerous complaints from purchasers of the 2012 Grand Cherokee regarding the deletion of front recovery hooks has led Chrysler Jeep Australia to officially advise dealers that the screw in Tow Hooks supplied with 2012 models are not suitable for four wheel drive recovery and are only rated for very light towing duties.
In an official dealer bulletin distributed today they also stated that the 2011 recovery hooks can not be fitted to the 2012 model as the front of the vehicle has been modified and there is no mounting bar for the factory hooks to bolt to.
The reason given for the deletion of the 2011 recovery hooks was to comply with ANCAP pedestrian safety requirements and European regulations for pedestrian impact. Also prospective future Australian legislation that could bring Euro regulations to Australia.
Seeing that the Jeep Grand Cherokee has not been ANCAP tested in Australia (only Euro-NCAP and US ) this seems like a feeble excuse. It looks more like Jeep Australia are being dictated to by Jeep in the US that they must take European specification vehicles instead of the 2011 specification that Australian buyers were expecting at the time of purchase. It appears that Jeep only want to build one version for export at the cost of customer expectations. This is the very first real 4WD Jeep to be sold in Australia without being fitted with suitable hooks for 4WD recovery.
We have been told that Jeep Australia are evaluating retro fitting of suitable recovery hooks and also a new designed Nudge Bar that will incorporate recovery hooks.
In the meantime owners wishing to use their 2012 Grand Cherokee in 4WD terrain can only safely drive on 2WD roads. Venture onto 4WD trails and get stuck in some mud and your Jeep can not be recovered without major damage to the vehicle. Under no circumstances should owners use the screw in tow eye hook for any recovery as it is not rated for recovery.