Chrysler Warranty = VOID

On May 26th, I got a call from a very nice gal named Stephanie who informed me that Chrysler received my letter and that she was given the responsibility of handling my case.  Once again, I explain what I had been going through to her and she was very understanding and sympathetic about my situation.  In fact, she went so far as to apologize for the trouble I had been going through and informed me that she would try to have the work I had done at Bob Baker refunded to me.  Surprised by what I was hearing, I thanked her for all her help and asked if there was anything she could do to have the mark on my Jeep removed.  Unfortunately, she let me know that was not something she was able to do but, she said that she would look into it and get back to me as soon as possible.

Fast forward to June 4th.  Just when I was about to give up hope on Stephanie, I get a call from her to first let me know that the charges for the work I had done at Bob Baker were going to be refunded and that I should be getting a check for it soon.  Unfortunately, she also informed me that the only way I could get the mark removed from my Jeep was for me is to contact what she referred to as, a “Business Center”.  When I asked her how I could contact them, she let me know that I needed to have Tuttle Click contact them for me and work through them to have the mark reversed.  When I explained that they were the reason why I had the mark in the first place and that I would prefer not to deal with them, she apologized and let me know that was the most she could do.  After thanking Stephanie again, I hung up the phone and decided to try a new approach – go directly to the top…. if I could.

After doing a lot of research online, I managed to find what appeared to be an email contact to Sergio Marchionne, the current CEO of Chrysler Group, LLC as well as a contact for C. Robert Kidder who is the current Chairman of the Board.  Granted, the email addresses weren’t theirs specifically but, I figured they were better than nothing.  Anyway, I sent off the following email back on June 4, 2010:

Dear Sergio Marchionne,
I am writing you today in regards to Chrysler Case #19566798 and I’m hoping that you might be able to assist me.  In a nutshell, I’m desperately trying to have a mark reversed that was applied against one of my three Jeeps. This mark was unjustly given as a form of retribution and now prevents me from having any warranty work performed on my Jeep at any dealership and all because of an honest formal complaint that I filed against Tuttle Click Jeep in Irvine, CA.  Apparently, my complaint resulted in them getting “dinked” as they put it and this caused them to endure financial hardship.
 
Please note that I have already spoken to several Chrysler Dealer Complaint Center representatives regarding this matter but was ultimately told that I needed to speak with a case manager.  After speaking to a case manager, I was told that I needed to write a letter directly to Chrysler Group, LLC.  I did just that and eventually got a call from a representative who then told me that I needed to speak to what she referred to as, a “Business Center?.  Unfortunately, I was told that the only way I could speak to them is to contact the dealership that punished me for apparently hurting them.  Needless to say, I hope you can be understanding of my reluctance to speak with them and why I am contacting you directly now.
 
As mentioned, I am a proud owner of several Jeeps the first of which is a 2009 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited X, the second a 2007 JK Rubicon Unlimited and the third a 1997 XJ Cherokee.  In the past, I have owned a 2000 TJ Wrangler Sport of which I just sold a few months ago, a 1994 XJ Cherokee 2-door and a beautiful 1981 CJ7.  I have always been a loyal fan of the Jeep brand, I’m currently in the business of helping to promote it and in all my years of being a Jeep owner, I can tell you that I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before and to be honest, find it quite troubling.  Believe me, had I known that a complaint made in an customer evaluation could result in the loss of my Jeep’s warranty, I would have just kept my mouth shut.  In fact, it is what I currently advise all my readers to do now as well.
 
In short, all I’m asking is for you to do is review my case and if at all possible, I would be grateful if you could help me to have the mark placed against my Jeep reversed.  If needed, I can provided you with names, dates and any other details you might need concerning this matter. 
 
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
 
Sincerely,
Eddie

Today, I received a call from a Chrysler representatives by the name of Mayone who informed me that she received the email I sent.  Being all business, she cut to the chase, promptly informed me that the mark I have against my Jeep was given as a result of the lift that I have on it.  She said that Chrysler would still warranty any work my Jeep may need so long as it had nothing to do with the suspension.  I let her know that the work I was attempting to have fixed under warranty was an exhaust manifold that was apparently leaking.  Much to my surprise, she agreed that this should have been covered being that it was a part of the the emissions system.  I let her know that’s how I saw it but was unable to have the work done in spite of the fact and that it was because my Jeep had been “flagged”.  She informed me that a dealership needs to go through a process of which included the need to prove that the lift kit on my Jeep caused the damage to the part in question.  I let her know that this was my understanding as well but that Bob Baker told me that the exhaust manifold fell under the “Powertrain” portion of the warranty and, being that the mark my Jeep has is against the powertrain, they would not be able to help me.  Upon hearing this, Mayone asked if she could look into this and call me back.

15 minutes later, Mayone called me back as promised and let me know that she verified that the exhaust manifold was in fact a part of the powertrain.  Apparently, everything from the catalytic converter back is considered to be emissions and therefore, my exhaust manifold would not be covered.  Upon hearing this, I said fine and reminded her of what she had stated in our previous conversation regarding proof and the need to provide evidence that my lift was directly responsible for my exhaust leak.  To this, she said that the lift kit was the evidence.  Stupefied by the answer, I paused and then asked… how?  Following a condescending chuckle, Mayone informed me that “installing a lift changes the torque on the transmission and that is what caused my exhaust manifold leak.”  Dumbfounded by this response, I asked Mayone if she could explain what she just said again.  Annoyed, she proceeds to tell me with a sharp tone that she’s “not making this up” and that this is common knowledge.  She goes on to say something to the effect that “if people want to lift their Jeeps, hey, Chrysler can’t stop them but they need to know that their warranty will be voided if they do”.  I tried to respond by telling her about the Jeeps I own, about how built up they are and how I’ve been able to get warranty work done on them and without any troubles in the past.  I start to explain how it was because of Tuttle Click flagging my Jeep that I was in this mess now and if it weren’t for the formal complaint I made against them, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  I explain how if I had known that I would be going through all this trouble over a stupid complaint that I was encouraged to make by a service advisor, I would have just kept my mouth shut.  Frustrated with me, Mayone began to interupt me and so I let her know that I thought she was being rude.  To this, she snapped at me and that’s when I decided to ask for her representative number.  I let her know that I knew she’s not allowed to give me her last name but that I would appreciate it if she could give me her representative number and this is when she said “have a good day” and hung the phone up on me.  Yes, you heard right, a direct representative of Sergio Marchionne, the current CEO of Chrysler Group, LLC or C. Robert Kidder, the current Chairman of the Board just hung up the phone on me just and because I asked for her representative number. 

I’ve got to be honest and tell you that deciding to write these articles was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I absolutely love all my Jeeps, the Jeep culture and the Jeep lifestyle.  I have always been a loyal fan and huge supporter of the brand but I have to say that this recent experience has left a really bad taste in my mouth.  Certainly, in all these years, I never thought there would be a day where the company who makes the vehicle I love so much would snub me in the way that they have, without merit and right from the top.  The crazy thing is, I don’t have a problem with not being able to get my Jeep fixed under warranty.  Heck, Jeeps are so modified that there wouldn’t be much to get fixed under warranty.  If proof can be shown that a modification I made caused a part to fail, I am fully willing to accept that it cannot be fixed under warranty.  I just don’t think it’s right for Chrysler to be able to make the broad strokes that they have with their definition of “powertrain”, effectively making it so that nothing can get fixed under warranty if they want.  Likewise, I am trouble by the fact that Chrysler allows dealerships to flag customer Jeep’s preventing them from getting any warranty work done anywhere.  Last but not least, I am deeply trouble by the fact that customer evaluations are not kept confidential but can and will be used against you if you file a formal complaint against a dealership.  Suffice it to say, I felt that the readers of Project-JK.com and the members of JK-Forum.com needed to hear about my experiences and see the truth about Chrysler, the way they handle their customer evaluations, the warrantees they pretend they have, the unwillingness they have to stand behind them and the eagerness they have to permanently void them the first chance they get.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, be careful what you say and when in doubt, just keep your mouth shut.  Chrysler may make one the best off road vehicle on the face of the planet but unfortuantely, they are no friend of yours.

Please note that this is a follow up article to one that was published earlier and can be read here:
Dealership Retribution: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

25 Comments

  1. Sorry to hear this Eddie, and I’m not going to lie… kind of makes me want to buy an out of warranty LJ instead of a new 4-door JK just to avoid possible future hassle.

  2. If anything good comes from this, it’s the addition of parts of the emissions system (or at least the first part of the exhaust system) to the lifetime powertrain warranty that some of us have. Of course, if Chrysler fights this hard to deny coverage, it may be a moot issue anyway…

  3. After reading this I am wondering why the dealer would not try to fix your issue. I am a Jeep tech and when we get any kind of complant we do everything we can to help the custemer. I am very interested in why this happened to your Jeep.

  4. 3 words: SMALL CLAIMS COURT. Make them prove before a Judge that the lift kit caused problems with the emission/exhaust system.

  5. Oh man… sad story… proud owner of a brand new 2010 JK’s here.. Good Luck Eddie !!! Keep Going !

    MasterG

  6. Eddie… Do you need 2-300 angry Jk-Forum member in front of the Tuttle Clik with huge post ?

    you know what ?.. just start a thread and we’ll be there !

    G.

  7. Unfortunately, If they void mine for a stupid reason, I’ll be done with them. I love my Jeep, but I had a Mustang GT I liked pretty well too.
    Government operated auto don’t give a rip about you or your Jeep.

  8. Driving your jeep off the lot was like a divorce, your the new guy, dealership is the ex. And they are just ruining your relationship. Good luck!

  9. …maybe I’m an idiot… but I thought torque was created by the engine horsepower paired up with the transmission gear ratios… transferred through to the differentials/wheels??? And by saying transferred through… that implies that the torque is already created… How the heck could a lift kit affect that in reverse??? I could buy that the larger tires could put extra strain on the tranny… but not the lift kit… I’m deeply confused.

    Sorry to hear that eddie…

  10. Quote: //Sorry to hear this Eddie, and I’m not going to lie… kind of makes me want to buy an out of warranty LJ instead of a new 4-door JK just to avoid possible future hassle.//

    Huh??
    So you would buy an “out of waranty” Jeep, to avoid possible warranty problems??
    What’s the difference between an old Jeep with no warranty, and a nice new Jeep without a warranty?

    You still have no warranty, but at least you have a nice new Jeep that’s not been abused by who knows who…

    Does not make sense to me.
    If you buy a new Jeep you may as well find a good dealer that will work on it under warranty even though you mod it… Just dont complain when they dont I guess…

  11. Wow,
    This is unbelieveable.I have one problem with this…..As i read the article you mention that Chrysler may make the best off road vehicle ever….I beg to differ If they made the best vehicle ever We would not be Modding them Like we do……So WE make the best off road vehicles ever.With the mods we do……

  12. Me and my buddies took similar actions against a dealer here,we expressed our dis contempt with a particular dealer on Facebook and the response was quick.Our club president got a meeting with the dealer in question,and they will from now on be more open minded to modified jeeps.It will be on a case to case,and not judged as a group.The dealer was scared of the bad reputation we could be able to make for them,since we are well known and recognized in our region.Maybe be a collective effort made by our part as JK owners with Chrysler could have beneficial effort for all of us.

    Good luck to us all.

  13. This is too bad Eddie. I think many companies try to get out of their warranty obligations these days, in the mistaken view that it will save costs. Of course, it’s a short sighted strategy, since dissatisfied customers will go elsewhere.
    What amazes me is that you and Project-JK.com have done more to promote the Jeep brand and lifestyle than any Chrysler ad campaign. You’d have thought that they would have treated you better!

  14. Check this!
    http://www.semasan.com/main/main.aspx?id=60128

    SEMA has alot of good info on fighting cases of dealer abuse like this. There is also verbage on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act which is a Federal law to prevent manufacturers/dealers from unjustly denying warranty coverage. They must prove the link between the problem and the cause.

    As a mechanical engineer I can say with relative certainty that it would be damn near impossible to trace a problem with an exhaust manifold back to a 3″ lift and bigger tires. The torque argument made by the Chrysler rep is ridiculous.

  15. Wow. I would guess that Ms. Mayone hung up on you because she could not intelligently and informatively argue further.

  16. Eddie, I know it had to be hard to write these articles. I don’t think you had a choice. I am glad that you let the rest of us know the true DC and how they handle customer service. This could have been a completely different article with a different tone if they just would have done right by the customer, you. It makes my stomach turn that they would treat a customer they way they treated you. Let us know if there is anything that we can do to help. Maybe a petition on how they “define” powertrain or something like that. We are definitely here to help.

  17. Thanks for writing this. It’s good to see i’m not the only one with issues. I’ve had 3 sets of door hinges and the cold start noise is real bad in the winter. The response i got was theres nothing we can do, but you do have a lifetime warranty so dive it till it blows. Sweet thanks for all your help. So i guess when the engine blows and i don’t get it covered under warranty, i’ll just have to put a ford v8 engine in it. haha jk
    ps I love my 08 jk and this great website, keep it up

  18. I drove 09 JK off lot 30 days later they replaced trans. no problem (great) this time my spare tire carrier which is held by the tailgate is coming apart (welds are loose)they are telling me because I have new fender flares (new flares but same tires) they don’t think it will be covered by warranty. More will be revealed. I like the idea of a dealership protest, that may change ones mind. Good luck

  19. Thanks for your write-up on this. I’ve got a beautiful 2008 4 door JK X and thanks to you efforts I now know that I’ll have to wait till the warranty expires before I make any of the mod’s that are more than cosmetic.
    I hope you can find another avenue to perhaps resolve your problems.

  20. WOW! I’m a first time Jeep owner and I am going through a similar situation right now! My JK Rubi unlimited is less than 2 months old and I’m already having to dish out over $600 worth of repairs! I read the user manual that was provided when I bought my Rubi brand new on 06 Dec 2010. I then took my Rubi offroading for the first time just this last week. I operated it within the specifications that were in the user manual, but as a result my alternator was fried which then caused a short to the PCM. At least that’s what I’m being told by my dealership. I was told that the warranty would not cover the cost because they said I submerged my engine. That pretty much insults my integrity as they are calling me a liar in no uncertain terms. I went through a puddle that was no more than 20in deep, the manual says the Rubi can handle up to 30in. Even though Chrysler is advertising their JK as “the ultimate offroad experince” (at least that’s what the service rep told me after he refused me warranty coverage) I being a less than 2 month old Jeep owner am now left to front the bill because Chrysler will not stand behind what they say their product can do. Can we say not a repeat customer?

  21. Thats why i stick with my 01 XJ, no warranties to deal with and no greedy, or in this case stupid dealerships, and any issue is relatively cheap to fix. I want a JK Rubi very badly but im gonna just wait to find a used one. I love my jeep and my whole family drives or has owned one. Ill probably drive one the rest of my life but im not goin through an actual dealership to do get one.

  22. Eddie,
    I Just had to take my 2008 Rubicon unlimited to the shop (actually towed) due to the weld on the front axle that holds the steering stabilizer breaking clean off the axle housing. I’m being told that my warranty will not cover the axle housing, but only the internal axle parts. No one recommends welding it causing me to have to pay the dealership $5,775.00 in repairs. They have had the jeep a week, and now when finishing up the alignment they call to inform me that the steering gear is broke. Tires turn to the right, but won’t turn left. They will be asking the warranty company if they will cover the $15.00 part or not and go from there. I haven’t been off road yet, and also bought the jeep from the dealership already lifted and they are using that also to say “you’re not covered”
    You would think when a weld breaks off CLEAN, that would be a factory thing. Thank god I was only going 25mph on base and not 55 in town when it gave away, as the service manager even said… “You’d be lucky to walk away from that”
    I think it’s a shame that they are backing out of everyone’s warranties’

  23. Yeah, I had no idea Chrysler was like this but they just voided my lifetime powertrain warrant too. I haven’t done any modifications, yet, but they said I missed my inspection date because I was on Military Orders and unable to bring my Jeep to the dealership. They will not grant me an exception even though I was only 15 days past the window. I will be telling everyone I know that a warranty from Chrysler is like no warranty at all.

  24. Sam, thanks for your service and sorry to hear about your circumstances. I’m also a veteran. What a load of non-sense that Chrysler fed you with. You’d think they would be military friendly/supportive. I believe you may have a fighting chance to argue this matter considering there are many exceptions made for deployed Soldiers in terms of personal matters (i.e. tax deadlines being pushed back, etc.). How do you expect loyal customers if you (Chrysler) are not loyal to them?

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