Chrysler Dumps Lifetime Powertrain Warranty

August 19, 2009

Chrysler's lifetime powertrain warranty won't be a part of the new Fiat-owned operation, but there's a new warranty poised to take its place: a 5-year, 100,000-mile offer that sticks with the car. The warranty change is effective with all 2010 model-year cars and trucks.

There's a strong argument to be made that even the lifetime powertrain warranty didn't serve as much enticement to the purchase of a Chrysler vehicle. The new warranty that takes its place is just as useful in many ways, thanks to its easy transferability.

One upside to the new warranty program is that SRT vehicles - Chrysler's high-performance vehicle line, including vehicles like the 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT8 - are also covered. SRT vehicles didn't get the lifetime powertrain coverage their more every-day counterparts did.

A few elements of the current Chrysler lineup won't be joining the 5/100 party however: Dodge Ram trucks with diesel engines aren't covered, nor are Freightliner-assembled Dodge Sprinter commercial vans.

Transfer of the warranty to buyers further down the line is made easier because there is now no charge to transfer the warranty. That could be worth a lot, as second and third owners are arguably more likely to need the benefits of a warranty than buyers that sell in the first few years.

Automotive News quotes Chrysler spokesman Rick Deneau as saying, "The issue of transferability was something people found very appealing." Deneau went on to note that the lifetime warranty wasn't as valuable to customers as the company had thought.

Vehicles sold prior to the 2010 model year won't be affected by the warranty coverage change.

[Auto News - sub. req.]

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