Rescuing my flood-damaged Jeep Compass from a basement

Despite trying multiple times, the Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) could not be disengaged and, hence, the car wouldn't budge an inch.

BHPian recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

At 9 am on Nov 15, updated the service advisor assigned at the Kattupakkam service centre on water being drained and he asked me to log in a call with Jeep Road Side Assistance (RSA). Immediately did so and was promptly assigned a reference number.

Jeep RSA first sent a big tow truck that couldn't enter the basement. Subsequently, after chasing up with RSA and the tow service provider multiple times, a smaller tow truck was sent later that night (around 19.00 hrs), along with a person from Allianz. He tried using an external battery in order to switch on the electronics in the car and turn off the EPB (Electronic Parking Brake), but took care not to attempt switching on the engine. Despite trying multiple times, the EPB could not be turned off and the car wouldn't budge an inch.

The Allianz person mentioned that he is raising a request back to Jeep RSA to deploy a service engineer at my site in order to help with disabling the EPB, and that it will be taken up on Nov 16. It was clear at that time that it was nearly impossible to even move, leave alone taking the car out, unless technical support from the dealer was provided.

On Nov 16, there was no contact from Jeep RSA. I contacted the service advisor and he assured me that he will find a knowledgeable technician for the job, but it might take until the next morning for this. He also asked to request for a tow truck from Jeep RSA to be available readily when the technician comes in.

On Nov 17, I found out through a dear friend (who runs a garage on Old Mahabalipuram Road [OMR] for superbikes and under whose care my Interceptor currently is) that the EPB is controlled through a separate motor(s) and can only be disabled by connecting a 12V battery to the motor and unwinding it. I passed on this bit of information to the service advisor who said he will handle this.

On Nov 17, after speaking a few times between RSA and service advisors at Kattupakkam and OMR, I was assigned a technician from Kattupakkam. I initially presumed the car will go to Kattupakkam, but after a few mins of confusion was asked to inform the RSA to drop the car off at OMR - reason being there were already 20+ flood damaged cars in Kattupakkam and only 3 at OMR, so the dealer wanted to manage the load.

Two tow vehicles with a team with Allianz, arrived at the building by 15.00 hrs - one a 207 to enter the basement and the other the flatbed which would do the duty from the ground floor to the service centre.

At 15.30 hrs, a technician arrived and got started off.

Here's him unwinding the motor on the driver's side rear wheel.

He did a similar job on the passenger side as well.

He tried releasing the steering, but wasn't able to achieve it. Then between him and the Allianz folks, they agreed that the car can be moved albeit slowly and carefully. At this stage, I requested if the technician can stay until the car is completely taken out and he agreed without any hesitation.

I also tried understanding from him why the boot opened up. Apparently, once the water level crosses tyre level, the Jeep has sensors that unlock all doors and the boot in order for passengers to get out in the interest of safety (in case stuck in floods). In my case, it worked a bit against, and he suspects the water pressure opened the unlocked boot! So much for all my imagination!

Back to the towing, the first step was to turn the car from its parking spot towards the basement exit, without steering control. Next, they had to manoeuvre/control the car's movement battling a tight angle and very little moving space on all sides. After persisting patiently and trying for more than 2-3 hours, the team managed to pull the car out of the basement.

The wheel getting ready for towing:

Yay, the car has turned:

Now just a straight way out of the basement:

Phew - out of the basement after 10+ days:

Hello, road:

Releasing the car from the 207:

Free and ready for the flatbed:

During this process, they also found out that the tow hook provided with the car was missing (presumed to have floated away and not traceable). The boot floorboard was however found and promptly put back into the boot.

Enter the Jeep technician again who managed to arrange for a tow hook from the OMR service center. A person from Allianz was deputed to go pick that up, whilst the 207 drove away, Jeep technician bid goodbye (thanked him for his support) and the flatbed truck was ready waiting.

After a couple of hours, received a call that the tow hook has arrived and that the car is ready to be loaded onto the flatbed.

Time to bid goodbye:

Around 21.45 hrs received a call that the car was dropped off at the OMR service station. I thanked the two Allianz gentlemen (Kubendran and Prabhakaran) for their amazing hard work over the past 6+ hours to ensure my car was safely taken out and transported.

So there ends the first stage of this process. Now the claim process, survey/inspection, etc. start. Will keep you all posted.

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say about the matter:

It is heartbreaking to see the images of the car in this state. So sorry for your predicament and loss.

Your detailed insurance procedure updates will be very valuable for everyone in the forum. Hopefully, you can get an RTI type total loss support - given how recent your car is that should give the most palatable outcome.

I know it's off-topic but any update on how the Interceptor fared once you recovered it from the flood?

Here's what BHPian SnS_12 had to say about the matter:

That’s a heartbreaking sight but at least things are moving now and the car is at the workshop finally.

The complication of having an electronic hand brake is just not the sort of thing you would want in such a situation.

I was just wondering how will a car be towed out from parking with a tight entrance/exit like this spiral one. This is a thought that comes to my mind every time I park at the CR2 mall in Mumbai.

Here is hoping your claim settlement process is smooth and quick and in line with your expectations. And hope the 650 is back home soon.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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