As I have stated many times before over the last couple weeks, when in doubt, it’s best just keep your mouth shut. Trust me, no matter how bad of an experience you may of had with your dealership, providing a customer evaluation that’s anything less than stellar will come back to bite you. Your evaluations are NOT confidential, are purposefully shared with your dealership and believe me, if your review causes them to feel any pain, they will do what they can to return the favor. In my case, the dealership in question was Tuttle Click Jeep in Irvine, CA, and they decided to retaliate against me by placing a “flag”, or what Chrysler refers to as a “restriction” on my Jeep.
Now, while Chrysler will try and suggest that a restriction should only require a dealership to closely inspect any aftermarket modifications that you might have made prior to performing any warranty work, the reality of it is, your Jeep will be seen by ALL dealerships as having NO warranty at all. Essentially, you are guilty until proven innocent or, more specifically, your warranty will be voided until you jump through hoops just to get Chrysler to review your case. At least, that’s what happened to me and what I had to go through before I could get Chrysler to finally admit that an exhaust manifold leak I paid to have fixed at another dealership should have been covered under warranty. While I was refunded for the charges, I was dismayed to find out that the wrongful restriction placed on my Jeep was still in place and that’s when I decided to write about my experiences and fight to have it removed.
After doing some research online, I decided to try and send an email directly to Sergio Marchionne, the current CEO of Chrysler Group, LLC as well as C. Robert Kidder who is the current Chairman of the Board. As luck would have it, this put me in touch with the Head of Top Care at Chrysler and thus began a two week long dialogue that was certainly frustrating at times but, ultimately proved to be an educational experience. During this time, I learned a whole lot about warranty restrictions and the fact that the one placed on my Jeep was clearly given as a form of retribution. However, in spite of the fact that my restriction was wrongfully given, I was told that it would not be removed as my Jeep was still modified and therefore should have been restricted anyway. As Chrysler would explain, they have a policy that requires all dealerships to apply restrictions on any customer vehicle if it is determined that it has been modified.
Fortunately for me, I have the wonderful support of the members on JK-Forum.com and thanks their keen attention to detail, I was shown that no such policy was listed in the Jeep owners warranty handbook. Sure, there are sections that go over what would be covered under warranty, what wouldn’t be and there’s even a section that covers restrictions. However, this section clearly states that restrictions would only apply to vehicles that have been neglected, abused or not properly maintained. Absolutely NO language exists regarding modified vehicles or that they should be restricted just because of it and to be quite honest, I don’t see how there could be without it standing in direct conflict of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. 2302(C)). Needless to say, I made to sure let Chrysler know as much.
In the end, this is what would make all the difference. Even after their lawyers spent days looking into this matter, Chrysler ultimately came to the conclusion that the restriction placed on my Jeep had no merit and, as a result, finally decided to lift it. Yes, you heard right, my 2009 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited X once again has a clean record, has no restrictions placed on it and, a call I made to 877-I-AM-JEEP this morning confirmed as much!
While justice prevailed, it certainly wasn’t without its trials. And, if you wish to avoid all the trouble I had to go through, please try to learn from my experiences. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut, refuse to participate in any customer evaluation you might get by phone and toss the ones you get by mail in the trash. If I had known what I know now, that’s what I would have done and will do from here on out.
SPECIAL THANKS: I would like to take a moment and thank everyone for all the encouragement and support I received during this crazy ordeal. I would also like to thank Nate over at Chrysler for all his help. Unlike some of the people I’ve had to deal with over at Chrysler, Nate was always professional, friendly and really went out of his way to help me out and for that, I’m grateful.