FCA Quality Chief Replaced Day After Poor Survey Outing

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

A day after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles found itself near or at the bottom of Consumer Reports 2014 Annual Reliability Survey, FCA quality boss Doug Betts left the building.

Per Autoblog, Betts came over to what was then Chrysler in 2007 after leaving Nissan, and had a challenging relationship with CEO Sergio Marchionne near the end of his tenure with the automaker.

In a brief press release, FCA announced Matthew Lidane would take Betts’ place as quality chief. Lidane has been with the automaker since 1987, having worked with Jeep as chief engineer, and was the boss for the U.S. compact wide platform underpinning two poor performers in this year’s survey, the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart.

As for Betts, he left “to pursue other interests.”

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • SayMyName SayMyName on Oct 30, 2014

    I know that when I think "quality control," my mind goes immediately to the... Jeep Liberty. Even Betts' expression says, "you seriously couldn't find a better vehicle to have in the background?"

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    • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Oct 31, 2014

      @Aqua225 Yeah liberty's are entertaining I know several people with 200k+ care free miles on liberty's and other who have sworn off jeeps because of them.

  • Mopar4wd Mopar4wd on Oct 31, 2014

    Well I obviously have a bit of a fan boy name but here are my thoughts. FCA seems to have made major improvements but they are still plagued by cost cutting most of their engineering is sound but they cut costs here and there and it bites them in the butt. I rarely here of engine problems with FCA cars or transmission troubles, (other than annoyance over the 9 speed and dart units) but lots of body and system issues from cost cutting. Which seems to put them back to late 80's mopars we build good engines and drive trains bodys not so much. Now for complaints I actually here from people most people I meet who complain about quality seem to own a German car or a Ford truck. Not sure why that is but it is. The odd thing is the 4 people Ive talked to in the past year who had major issues with f-150's all went and bought new ones. Not sure how Ford manages that.

    • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Oct 31, 2014

      I have a friend who I have known for almost 30 years. He has bought one single non Ford vehicle in that time, an '88 Vette, which he had zero issues with. Other than that, no matter how bad the last one was, he buys another and another. Even goes back to a dealer who tried to rip him off. He had a Windstar that ate SEVEN transmissions in the three years he had it. Why it wasn't Lemoned? I don't know, but after all that, he turned it in (Leased for 3 years) and got an Explorer that also had trans, radiator, electrical, and finally, head gasket issues. What did he trade it in on? Another Explorer! That was was good. He has had two F250's, one was ok, the other was in the shop all the time. His present F150 Ecoboost has had some issues, most were quickly resolved, but for some reason, it wants to eat right rear tires! They have checked the alignment and it's ok, the rear end isn't crooked, but it basically wore out the outside tread in less than 20K miles. His wife just bought an Edge, even though the last one was a turd. I don't get it. I've only had one truly bad vehicle, a '77 Dodge Power Wagon, and it scared me off from Chrysler for almost 9 years. Nothing Ford does bad makes him go anywhere else. It's crazy. He spends an awful lot of time in dealer waiting rooms, a lot more than I do.

  • Akear Akear on Oct 31, 2014

    The only survey that matters is JD powers. Let's wait until they have their say. With their history did anyone think Fiat would improve Chrysler quality?

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    • And003 And003 on Nov 01, 2014

      Speaking for myself, I've come across articles regarding Chrysler vehicles whose quality has improved since the Fiat deal was finalized. Most notably, after Marchionne and his associates came in, he ordered massive improvements to the Sebring in order to create the first Chrysler 200, which was much better than the Sebring. Eventually, they brought out a Chrysler 200 that wasn't a Sebring derivative, so Fiat must be doing something right. Even so, there's always room for improvement, as this Consumer Reports survey would seem to indicate. I hope Mr. Lidane can find the reason for this poor survey outing.

  • SC5door SC5door on Oct 31, 2014

    93 Intrepid: A/C Died at 85K (Known LH Issue) 99 Neon: Transmission, Sunroof, Suspension 01 Stratus: Complete Electrical Meltdown 02 Dakota: O2 sensor replaced for free by dealer. No other issues. 04 Neon: Transmission, Radiator, Coil Pack, Suspension Issues, Paint Issues, Gasket Leaks, and never could get it to idle right. 06 Dakota: Power Steering Issues, Seat Replaced, Suspension Issues I honestly like the new Chrysler cars. If I had the room, I'd lease a new Durango, but I wouldn't own another Chrysler long term at all, not unless it' would have the Max Care Warranty for 10 years bumper to bumper.