Chrysler Ditches Its Lifetime Powertrain Warranty

BY Scott C. Benjamin / POSTED August 20, 2009
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Beginning with its 2010 models, Chrysler will no longer offer a lifetime powertrain warranty. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Do you remember not long ago when you could buy a new Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep product and get a lifetime powertrain warranty to “sweeten” the deal? Unfortunately, those days are over. It was announced just yesterday that Chrysler has decided to back off the warranty on its products, starting with the 2010 models. But don’t get too upset if you were in the market for a new Chrysler-built car or truck — the new warranty has a few surprises of its own.

In an article from CNN Money, writer Jeff Bennett reported that Chrysler will now offer a five-year, or 100,000-mile warranty for almost all of its product line — with the exception of its “Sprinter commercial [van], diesel-powered trucks and Sterling trucks. It also doesn’t apply to the Volkswagen Routan and Mitsubishi Raider which are also built by Chrysler.”

So what are the surprises, you ask? Well, according to Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson, the five-year, 100,000-mile warranty can be transferred to a new owner. That’s a pretty big plus, because Chrysler’s lifetime warranty was only valid for the car or truck’s original owner. The second surprise involves a few vehicles that will now be covered under the new warranty — ones that were previously left out in the cold on the lifetime offer. These include the fleet vehicles, police cruisers and limos, for instance, and even Chrysler’s powerful SRT lineup is covered now, too.

Even though the new warranty covers more Chrysler products, and even though it carries the added benefit of transferability, I think it’s still more than a little disappointing to see the lifetime offer go away. Chrysler’s lifetime powertrain warranty made a real statement — whether it was about the product durability or the company’s commitment to its customers — and I think you’ll agree that a lifetime warranty simply sounds a heck of a lot better than what they’re offering now.

More related stuff:
How Chrysler Works
How Dodge Works
History of Jeep
New Chrysler Prices & Reviews

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