The Truth About Chrysler's New Lifetime Warranty

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
Chrysler Group announced today they're offering a lifetime powertrain warranty on all new vehicles delivered on or after July 26. Unlike GM's "best in the industry" five-year/100K warranty, this warranty really is the longest– with a couple of great big "buts" (and I cannot lie). Chrysler's new warranty applies only to the "first registered owner or retail lessee" of certain vehicles (e.g. NOT SRT8's). It requires "a [no-charge] powertrain inspection performed by an authorized Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge dealer once every five years within 60 days of each five-year anniversary of the warranty start date of the vehicle." Since no one leases a vehicle for much longer than four years, the warranty really only applies to new vehicle buyers. Anyone want to drive a 2007 Sebring for the rest of their life?
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  • Tommy Jefferson Tommy Jefferson on Jul 27, 2007

    > Guarantied for life? Don’t be a sucker. Well said. Look at how the 10 year-old versions of a company's products hold up it you want to know which car to buy.

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Jul 27, 2007

    A few quick notes... You should expect Ford to follow suit within the next 45 days. GM may or may not follow suit. Although the current sales declines may get them kicking and screaming to offer it for certain models. Kia will do it. There is a surprising amount of cross shopping between Chrysler and Kia products. Hyundai will probably do it for select models. Most of the Japanese companies will follow the same pattern... and lifetime maintenance may actually be thrown into the mix as well. This will be actually be a nice boon for Chrysler once the new minivan comes out. The rest of the model line-up may enjoy a bump. But it will also fizzle out in time unless Chrysler decides to sweeten it once the buzz wears out. Overall, I think this will be great for consumers because it will encourage folks to keep their cars for far longer periods of time. Those of you who have railed against 'maintenance costs' for 7+ year old vehicles are grossly uninformed. For a point of reference, you may want to visit and see what Tom & Ray Magliozzi have to say about it. Their conclusions are reflected by studies done by MIT and a variety of other institutions. Parnthetically... climate, driving habits, and maintenance regimens all play a significant role but in general... most cars can last over 20 years. With proper maintenance as well as a conservative driving style, even an older vehicle can easily drive as well as two to four year old models.

  • Moneysaver3 Moneysaver3 on Jul 29, 2007

    " is a financial wash to keep a car past 7 years..." I still disagree with you. Our current vehicle (a Ford Windstar Ltd) has 214K miles on it and is still "going strong". It has some electrical issues common with its year (1998) such as the rear wiper and windows not working, but those are minor issues that we are able and willing to live with. Our repair/maintenance costs haven't been higher than $975/year for the past 3 years. 4 years ago, we had a higher year and spent $1365 that year. That same year, we purchased the car for $5600. Our maintenance numbers include oil changes, brake pads, new tires (cost us $325 one year), wiper blades, etc.. In other words, it includes all regular maintenance as well as repair such as the ABS switch that we just had to replace 2 months ago. We couldn't buy a new car for what we spend on our current one if we tried. Especially not when you consider the fact that our current vehicle is a Limited edition vehicle with leather seating, traction control, CD changer, etc... In other words, it's the highest-priced minivan. We'd be paying between $32K & $38K for the same vehicle depending on which brand we went with. For now, we'll continue spending our average of $82/month and saving for that "new" car when this one dies. (Our next car will probably be used as well.) For the record, we only have 1 car...and have for the past 7 years!

  • Quadring789 Quadring789 on Aug 01, 2007

    I think some of this criticism is unfair and inaccurate. (I am a technician at a Chrysler-Jeep dealer).

    Every repair has a "labor operation code". For example, if your vehicle needs a new water pump, we enter your VIN, name, odometer reading, and the labor code for water pump into the computer. The result screen shows if it is covered by the warranty or not. There really is no 'gray' area is either covered or not.

    I think people do not realize that dealerships WANT to do warranty is an important part of our business. Chrysler reimburses the dealership for warranty repairs. We submit the repair order, and they pay it, and they even allow us to make a profit on the part and the labor.

    Of course, it is not a free-for-all. We have to follow Chrysler's rules exactly. We will do any and all warranty repairs that we can be reimbursed for.

    As with any "lifetime" warranty, you have to play the game their way and jump through some hoops to get it. You must be the original owner. An inspection must be done every 5 years within 60 days of the anniversary date (as far as I know).

    This is the part that will get have to remember to get it done...nobody is going to call you, hold your hand, and give you a loaner car while the inspection is done. And since the inspection is free, the dealership probably won't fall all over themselves to get it done in record time, however, they will do it.

    Be patient and reasonable.