Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chrysler Changes To Lifetime Powertrain Warranty

Autoweek is reporting (link to article) that the Chrysler group, on the verge of becoming an independent company again, is changing their powertrain warranty coverage to extend the lifetime of the vehicle for all 2006, 2007 and 2008 vehicles. Unfortunately diesels and SRT vehicles will be excluded. The article does not mention this but I have read elsewhere that this will only apply to the original owner and will not be transferable. The rest of the vehicle will still be under the 3-year/36,000 mile warranty. This is apparently a response to GM's 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

If any manufacturer needs something like this, it's Chrysler. Real or imagined, I think most people seem to see them as the least reliable of the American manufacturers. I know I do. This is partly because at one time they pretty much were. Though the mid 70s through the 80s were a low point for all American auto manufacturers, which they are all still trying to live down, Chrysler in particular was stand out bad. I remember my father buying the only new Chrysler product he would ever purchase in his life, a 1980 Reliant K. Yes the K car which was supposed to resurrect Chrysler and did for the most part because it was cheap. And cheap it was. It was the only new car I have ever seen that would run poorly when it rained out. The sunroof leaked, the doors at times would not latch closed, it was brand new and it was a mess. The worst car decision my father has ever made. Interestingly enough, someone was stupid enough to steal it.

Luckily for them though, Chrysler does seem to have some of the best designers in the business. Cars like the Viper, Magnum, 300C and upcoming Challenger are fantastic designs and sell in spite of these perceived quality issues. This change in warranty coverage can only help sales.

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