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August 6, 2007

Chrysler’s Lifetime Warranty: The Ultimate Hidden Guarantee

Filed under: Autos,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:27 am

With much fanfare, Chrysler recently announced that it was the first automaker to offer a lifetime powertrain warranty on most of its vehicles starting July 27th.

Our trusty mouse wanted to see the fine print of the warranty, just to make sure they weren’t pulling any fast ones. A visit to the Chrysler website provided virtually no details about the warranty, let alone a copy of it. For that you are directed to your local dealer:


Chrysler see dealer

A visit to a local Chrysler dealer proved just as frustrating. They had no copy of the warranty. One salesman said it would be in the owner’s manual when you bought the car. Another salesman pointed to a few lines on a new car price sticker claiming that was the warranty. How cheesy.

Next, our trusty mouse called Chrysler’s customer service department to ask that a copy of the lifetime warranty be sent out. After much checking, the call center operator said that she was “not empowered to do that.”  How about emailing it?  The answer was no to that too. “How do I get a copy?”  “Go to a dealer.”  “The dealer doesn’t have it yet?”  “Go to another dealer.”

A second dealer was contacted, and it had no copies of the warranty either.

Not yet giving up on the customer service department, we emailed an inquiry to them using their webform.

A senior staff representative responded:

Thank you for contacting the Chrysler Customer Assistance Center regarding the Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty.

Terms and conditions of the Lifetime Limited Powertrain Warranty should be available through any Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep dealership to customers purchasing a vehicle with such a warranty. If your dealer is unable to provide this information, you may wish to seek the assistance of another authorized dealer. The information cannot be dispensed electronically.

As a last resort, we contacted the media folks at Chrysler, who were the only ones able to provide a copy of the Chrysler Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. [.pdf]

It is essentially the same as their previous “7/70” powertrain warranty but without the requirement of having to pay a $100 deductible for each repair. The new lifetime warranty picks up after their regular “3 year/36,000 mile” warranty expires.

*MOUSE PRINT:  The only two restrictions are that the warranty is not transferable if you sell the car, and you must let Chrysler do a free inspection once every five years within 60 days of your anniversary date.

It is a shame that Chrysler is making it difficult for car shoppers to learn the terms of their new warranty before  purchase particularly when they really have nothing to hide.

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  1. The big Mouse Print is obviously the ‘Non’transferable’ part of the warranty. Virtually no car does not get sold during some part of it’s life. My guess is, Chrysler did a little study and found that 99% of their cars get sold in the first 7 years, and they’re only happy to track those very few extremely loyal customers.

    Comment by Jasper — August 6, 2007 @ 9:29 am
  2. Only covers parts that are “defective in workmanship and materials.” To me, that means normal wear and tear is not covered. My ’98 Voyager transmission died at 96,000 miles. How can you argue a transmission that went almost 100k miles was defective in workmanship?

    Comment by Robert Eden — August 6, 2007 @ 10:48 am
  3. Regardless of the written warranty, we’ve had three Chrysler products. Only one needed a repair during the first 100,000 miles, and that well after expiration of the warranty period. Chrysler repaired the problem at no cost to us, even though it was outside the warranty.

    Comment by Bob — August 6, 2007 @ 11:55 am
  4. This is the typical Chrysler runaround. I’ve encountered it on several occasions. I had a Voyager minivan and the transmission broke down 4 times, with the first episode only 5 months after purchase. That year of Voyager had known problems with the transmission which were even publicized after a year or two, and yet Chrysler still continued to deny any problems. I had to eventually get it fixed privately. Even my letter to Chrysler’s chairman yielded no satisfaction at all. Over the first few years the power windows broke twice, power seat broke, and the power door locks broke twice, with Chrysler picking up NONE of the tab. I will never even entertain the idea of ever buying another Chrysler product. They will not stand behind anything they sell.

    Comment by Greg — August 10, 2007 @ 5:26 pm
  5. your usual crackerjack staff was not up to snuff i found it the same night on jeeps online site with no trouble whatsoever.

    Comment by bg fitz — August 10, 2007 @ 10:39 pm
  6. Typical Corporate America.

    Comment by Bill — September 3, 2007 @ 8:25 am
  7. Just spoke to Chrysler Corporate @ 1-800-992-1997 The “Supposed”
    Lifetime warranty only covers DEFECT in Workmanship… IT Will NOT Cover
    an engine that wears out normally, just if it was a defect in
    workmanship…. There is NO real Lifetime warranty from the horses mouth,

    call chrysler and ask about normal wear and tear…

    Comment by Joe Momma — September 10, 2007 @ 7:37 pm
  8. i have had three chryslers the tranny has been changed some two to three times
    and that was not all these cars were 3 to 4 years old way less then 100k
    the last one if i would have keeped it i would have put a credit card excepter under the hood
    they were all a peace of crap i’m still paying on the credit card no one in my faimly will buy a chrysler st
    i would buy a kia firt but after all they would not be up for sale all the time if they were such wonderful

    Comment by harold briggs — September 14, 2007 @ 7:22 am
  9. I just got myself a Minivan and there was a small booklet, about 10 pages or so, on the powertrain lifetime warranty. The catch is that it is not transferable, I guess chrysler figures most vehicles do get traded or junked after a few years, and is usually other components that break down and need replacement, not the powertrain. I am no fan of chrysler or any auto company for that matter, but the big 3 do get an unfair amount of flak. I have had friends driving camrys and accords whose ‘high quality’ engine and transmissions literally exploded, like in the movies, around 60k miles, not a penny pitched in by honda or toyota for their repair expenses. Meanwhile my honda dealer has the same answer for any problems or weird noises that I have with my honda, “thats normal, thats the way hondas drive’ and I end up arguing and spending a whole lot of time to get things fixed under warranty. go figure..

    Comment by Nick Marker — October 10, 2007 @ 3:21 pm
  10. If there is one thing I learned while working in the Auto Industry is that there is always an alterior motive for things being done. Example, the statement “defective in workmanship and materials” is what you, the owner, will have to prove if you want anything fixed (any brand of auto). The only way I got my dealer to fix anything was by pulling the Engineer card and shoving it down their throats and embarrassing the manager in front of his employees. Let’s assume they stand behind this warranty and fix all problems. Example of how they can afford this… When your oil sludges up and destroys your piston rings, Chrysler will simply say you didn’t maintain your vehicle properly. Only way to prove you did is by having all your paperwork (dealer certified not Joe Public) to show them. Make sure you keep the paper copy of service work, trust me you aren’t in the computer records. They delete that stuff and without proof, you’ll get nothing. So they will make more money on your oil changes than they will have to pay out in repairs because 90% of people won’t have wasted the money on dealer servicing and/or have saved the paperwork to prove it. Good luck! Also, goofd luck getting paper copies of service work, because a couple Nissan dealers have refused to give me paperwork. So keep moving on until you can find an honest dealership.

    Comment by Trevor — November 1, 2007 @ 10:11 am
  11. I saw a detailed comparison between GM, Ford and Chrysler and it was plainly obvious that Chrysler’s was a marketing gimmic. GM’s warranty was for 5 years/50,000 miles (at that time) and transferable. And it didn’t matter why it failed (unless you failed to maintain it). To me GM’s was a real usable non-gimmic warranty. All Chrysler did was damage their reputation further (like they have ever had a reputation for reliability?).

    Comment by Mark J Smith — November 28, 2007 @ 10:16 pm
  12. well my father and i have own dodge pickup truck since 2002 and im happy to say
    that theyve been grate working trucks, weve used them for contruction and towing
    stuff so far no complains

    Comment by luis ayala — February 14, 2008 @ 11:23 am
  13. I work at a dealership, and we do keep records of the service work done for 7 years. We are required by law, and also under State law we are required to give a paper copy of the invoice, you people that say dealerships “delete” recordsa and won’t give paper copies are either idiots or naive. Have a nice day

    Comment by Chris — May 21, 2008 @ 3:58 pm
  14. Every warranty has its flaws. I’m surprised at how much you had to go through just to get a copy of the thing! That alone would discourage me from buying a chrysler

    Comment by chevrolet transmission — May 28, 2009 @ 6:21 pm
  15. Well, that settles it. I’m putting lockers in my Jeep, since I won’t have to worry about them voiding my “warranty”. Thank you everyone for shaking off what little confidence I had in Chrysler.

    Comment by Jesse — August 20, 2009 @ 2:16 pm
  16. Just to know the process of getting the warranty information for the purpose of reviewing makes me totally dissapointed with Chrysler. If company is not hiding anything there’s no reason not to make the warranty copy available. And to think that a review is a good chance to let the people know the genuinity of the offer.

    Comment by jane — December 7, 2009 @ 1:30 am
  17. Any warranty is only as good as the dealer. I was a service advisor a couple decades ago and handled many a customer that had been taken through the grinder by other dealers before we got it correct or worked out something. I still buy my Jeeps there and have little problems.

    Comment by Glen — March 2, 2010 @ 12:01 pm
  18. The vehicle is covered with no charges for parts or labor for as long as you own the vehicle.
    So if someone tell you that it only covers defects in parts or labor, they’re wrong.My son was charged for a bad rear axle seal, paid for the work , and then called/wrote the company about the charges. His money will be refunded within thirty days.
    If a seal leaks after 40,000 miles, it is defective.
    If a motor wears out after 100,000 miles on a lifetime warranty, the motor is defective. Period.
    Read the warranty

    Comment by Peaver — May 4, 2011 @ 6:08 pm
  19. I have a 2008 Dodge Charger purchased new. The air conditioning was worked on while under warranty and repaired. The car is now three years old with only 42,000 miles and an a/c line started leaking. We of course paid for it to be repaired. After talking with the service rep he sent an email to Chrysler and they are refunding the cost of the repairs.

    We also had to change the seals in the rear end and did not realize the warranty covered them so we paid for that. I spoke with the service rep again and he said it should have been covered under the Lifetime Warranty, so he sent an email to Chrysler and we are going to be refunded the cost of the repairs for this also.

    We purchased this car because of the warranty. I have never been a strong fan of Chrysler but this has been the best automobile I have ever owned. The dealer has always stood behind the warranty and my service rep calls me when it is time to bring it in for different intervals of service work.

    I guess it all depends on what dealer you get and what type of service rep you have. Thanks Mark Dodge of Lake Charles, LA and thanks Monty for your hard work as a service rep.

    Comment by Gerard — September 14, 2011 @ 3:55 pm
  20. I have a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab… 64,000 Miles the front end had to be completely rebuilt, at 74,000 miles both batteries went bad at the same time and the universal joints had to be replaced. It has its third set of tires on the front………..I have had other makes of cars that were driven in excess of 189,000 miles without any these types of issues…………I have ask the dealer to have chrysler to pay for the cost of the tires that had to be replaced and they informed me that tires were not chrysler problems. I feel that 3 sets of times in 74000 miles is ver excessive and should be replaced by the car manufacturer………I have one of the models that is suppose to have a lifetime drive terrain warranty and the deal is saying that they do not show the vehicle having they kind of warranty although they are the one that sold it to me and informed me that it did have they kinda of warranty….and now the transmission will not go into park………..75,000 miles…………unless something changes with the work being performed on my truck and the warranty issued I will never purchase another chrysler product and will not ever recommend anyone to purchase one of their vehicles……..

    Comment by Charles Alexander — December 19, 2011 @ 11:27 am

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