Chrysler's Lifetime Warranty: Always Read the Fine Print

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes

When Chryslerberus announced their new "lifetime warranty" last July, the fine print revealed that the security blanket only covered the vehicle's original owner. It also stated the hot-to-trot SRT models were exempt. Fair enough; these highly-horsed Hemis are likely experience a bit more than "normal" wear and tear. That said, Chrysler seem to be playing Three Card Monte (Find the Lady for our British audience) with that particular rider. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 sitting on the company's LA Auto Show display stand proudly proclaims its lifetime warrant-age. If you look closely– just below that sticker– there's a line that's so small it looks like a row of dashes. It states "Not available on SRT…" When confronted about this declarative discrepancy, Mr. Lawence Oswald of Chrysler LLC agreed that we'd identified a mysterious automotive anomaly. "That's a good question." So how about a good answer?

Alex L. Dykes
Alex L. Dykes

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  • GS650G GS650G on Nov 16, 2007

    considering the resale of cry-sler vehicles the poor owners of new ones will need to keep them forever to get their money's worth out of them. Let's see here, missed an oil change or did not have the dealer do a scheduled maintenance, then your SOL. Overheated the engine? see ya. Towed anything heavier than a box of Kleenex? too bad. "Of course head gaskets wear out, that is why they are replaceable. " Transmission gone out? I guess you should have replaced the fluid more often. How often? Obviously more often than you did. Spark plug blew out of number 3 cylinder? You must have overtightened it, even though the new head has more metal around number three. Oh, wait, that is Ford's latest bungle.

  • Hltguy Hltguy on Nov 16, 2007

    Two months ago I purchased a new Dodge Ram 1500. I wrote before on this site the reason is I got the $26,500.00 priced truck for $16,000.00 after $6,000.00 rebate and dealer discounts.

    The vehicle has the "lifetime" warranty, in which I have read carefully. The owner does have to "check ups" at the dealership every couple of years and a full review before the end of the fifth year of ownership. The warranty also allows Chrysler to utilize reconditioned parts instead of new parts. I read about the warranty prior to purchase.

    Chrysler knows most people keep their vehicles less than five years, so only a small percentage of owner will go beyond the five year warranty period generally being offered now on many new vehicles.

    I also would anticipate some kind of resistence from a dealer down the road (I intend to keep the truck for many years and it is not driven very much). But there again, under any warranty plan, whether it be twelve months, thirty six months or longer, dealers have habitually given the customers a bad time.

    Besides I have a really good business attorney.

    It may be a marketing gimmick, but I consider it a contract to be adhered to should the need arise to activate the warranty services and Chrysler balks. The truck was over $10K discounted, so it is worth the risk to me. There again, it will intersting to see if Chrysler is in business, in any form, in a few years.

  • KixStart KixStart on Nov 16, 2007

    mgrabo, I believe it's non-transferrable. Original vehicle owner, only.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Nov 16, 2007

    If there were not already enough reasons not to buy a Chrysler, this one would do it all by itself. This concept is a signal that the company intends to behave legally rather than ethically. By legally, I mean that they will do what it takes to stay out of jail while pushing as hard and aggressively as they can. They will likely deny claims that are too small for anyone to sue over, make up all sorts of reasons why its your fault, etc... You'd likely get a better deal from J.G. Wentworth.