I've been subtly reminded to tell what actually happened to the Jeep last week. My bad - sorry about that...
So when I last left you, I was headed to the Las Vegas airport, and I had left the Jeep behind at the dealer in Pahrump, NV. I got home Wednesday evening, had the next couple of days to decompress and get some things done at home... and prep for my full-day of photographing my first competitive cheerleading event of the season. Intermixed with all that, here's the lowdown on the Patriot.
When I had initially left it with the dealer, I gave them all of my pertinent info (and they had record of the Patriot in their computer, complete with warranty and roadside assistance information). I had informed them of what happened - the gravel/wash-boarded road, the 2 full-sized flat tires I'd endured, the rubbing, and that I had seen a bent component the last time I'd had the wheel off - and told them what I thought it was (based on what Aaron could find, and what I'd read online the night before).
Thursday morning, they called me to confirm a bent lateral arm and a damaged right rear strut. The lateral arm is what I had seen, and told the dealer about - I was not aware of the strut damage. At that point in time, they weren't sure that it would be covered by warranty unless it was deemed a factory defect. I gave that information to Aaron, and he wanted to call them directly. So he talked to them, tossed in some thoughts they hadn't considered, mentioned better-built aftermarket lateral arms, and they went back to work on seeing if they could get it warrantied. Aaron told them that it would need to be fixed regardless, so they made sure they got the parts and would begin work to get it road-ready again.
Friday evening I was contacted again and was told that they did not deem it a factory defect and that we would be responsible for the cost of the repair. I sort of assumed that would be the case, but I did make it very clear that I thought it was rather ridiculous that Jeep could advertise scenarios a whole lot more grueling than a gravel road for their entire product line... but breaking suspension components and bending a flimsy-designed part on a gravel road wouldn't be covered by a warranty. He agreed, but unfortunately wasn't able to do much more - he'd already brought the situation to the 'powers that be' twice, and had been sent back to give us the not-so-great news both times. We talked about how I'd seen other examples of this type of damage on a Patriot forum I follow, and he asked for me to send that information for his knowledge (which I did). But we're still stuck footing the bill - which isn't as much as I'd guessed it might be, actually. I wonder if that's just because of the part of the country where it's sitting now.
And then Saturday I got the call from the dealer that said the repairs were complete and that it would be waiting when we arrive on Tuesday (tomorrow).
So, the tires... Jeep offered to source and add the tires into their cost of repair, but thankfully when we had them ordered and installed at Discount Tire back in the summer, we popped for the replacement warranty. So we just need to get to Pahrump to the Vegas metro area on the donut spare, to the nearest Discount Tire, and have new tires mounted and installed. Aaron already contacted that location to order the tires, and let them know when we would be there. And he contacted them again today to learn that they have the tires ready for us.
We fly out tomorrow morning and should arrive around 11:30am local time, we have rented a car to get out to Pahrump so we can save on the ridiculously expensive taxi/shuttle ride... I'll drive the Patriot back into the Vegas area while he follows in the rental, and once the tires are in place, we'll return the rental car and be on our way.