Owners Will Need to Sign Devilish Contract Prior to Demon Possession
As Hollywood writes it, when you make a deal with Satan, he bestows onto you whatever you covet most in exchange for your soul. However, there is usually some dark twist that ruins the overall experience long before you can settle into hell’s never-ending torment. If you ask him for money, it’ll be stolen from the mob and they’ll hunt you down. If you ask him for power, he’ll make you the next Adolf Hitler. The devil’s bargain is a well-established trope — you get what you asked for but cannot fully enjoy it thanks to some twisted fine print.
Fiat Chrysler’s SRT Demon Customer Acknowledgment contract functions similarly. Perhaps it’s a necessary evil because it specifically prohibits the brainless activities which would absolutely result in your 800+ horsepower drag car killing you or a loved one. That said, you could ignore all of the rules FCA carefully chose to include within the contract. But, when you do, the manufacturer has itemized and initialed proof where it explicitly forbid you from doing so.
Posted in-full on AllPar, the contract serves primarily to protect FCA from any legal problems when owners inevitably do something stupid in their Dodge Demon. While the first few stipulations are boilerplate standard, things start getting weird the further down you read.
Item four: “If the Vehicle is not factory equipped with a passenger seat, Customer shall never attempt to install a passenger seat because the passenger will not be properly protected.”
While a milk crate zip-tied to the floor is likely to offer inadequate levels of protection, “never” sounds pretty all-encompassing. You had better be absolutely certain before you opt for the seat delete option, because FCA says there is no going back.
The following rule is the one most owners will immediately ignore, potentially at the expense of their own lives.
Item five: “Customer shall never use any ‘Track-Use’ features, functions, equipment or parts on public roads or any other prohibited area. The intended use of ‘Track-Use’ features, functions, equipment or parts is for race vehicles on race tracks.”
Again, FCA is just covering its ass here because they have to know this one will literally go up in smoke the second someone uses the line-lock in service of the sickest burnout in recent memory. Likewise, some people are going to be curious as to the Demon’s full potential long before they get it onto a drag strip. Even if you can resist the urge initially, teenagers in modified Honda Civics are everywhere and one of them is going to convince you to hit the throttle eventually. Just remember that the odds of impressing him are roughly equal to you embarrassing/killing yourself — which is why the contract exists.
Realistically, Dodge could never sell the Demon without a waiver and this one possesses some useful information in addition to absolving FCA from any wrongdoing. For instance, there is a reminder that the car is equipped with drag radials and not normal tires. The manufacturer reminds new owners that the Nitto NT05Rs do not have the longevity required for highway usage or the tread pattern necessary to keep you from hydroplaning in the rain. FCA suggested owners not even move the vehicle in extremely cold weather in order to avoid warping the rear tires.
TTAC recommends you be a massive nerd about it: If you live in a cold climate, put the car on jack stands, deflate the tires, bring them indoors, and lay them on their side. C’mon, show us you are serious about tire maintenance.
Dodge’s acknowledgment for the Demon wraps in an all-caps declaration that the purchaser assumes all risks and waives “any and all claims against FCA US LLC and/or Dealer.” That risk extends not only the driver but “their personal representatives and heirs and next of kin.” An ominous reminder that this is not the kind of car you want to screw around in.
At the very bottom is FCA’s final attempt to keep dealers from marking up the Demon’s final price to stratospheric levels. Signees have the option to indicate if they were screwed by the dealership or not by checking one of two boxes:
“___ Yes, the purchase price of this Vehicle is AT OR BELOW MSRP, thereby qualifying this Vehicle order for priority scheduling; provided, however, that Vehicles in the following colors: B5 Blue, Indigo Blue, Plum Crazy and F8 Green will not be available until 01 of 2018 (at the earliest (as set forth in Section 10 above)).
___ No, the purchase price of this Vehicle is NOT AT OR BELOW MSRP, and I acknowledge that this Vehicle order does not qualify for priority scheduling.”
We doubt many people will be checking the top box but it’s nice to see Dodge making a continued effort to keep dealerships from taking advantage.
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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