The 2.7 litre engine, extended warranty, failure of an internal bearing on the crankshaft - these are just a few of Chrysler's continual problems. Here are reports from three disgruntled consumers...
Jason Remson, from Peabody, MA bought a brand new Dodge Magnum 2005 last March. But on Christmas Eve, 2005, the car stopped running. He only had 20,000 miles on the odometer.
"The engine seized and I had someone tow the car into the dealership where I bought it. A sales person sent me to a mechanic but everyone was on Christmas vacation so I left it there for a few days. When someone finally looked at it, he told me there was no oil in the engine and I would have to pay $7,000 for a new one. But I had an extended warranty. I figured the warranty would cover anything that went wrong; it is part of the power train warranty that I paid extra money for."
But Chrysler said that Remson was not covered. On its [warranty]DaimlerChrysler (Dodge, Chrysler) covers the powertrain for "seven years from the date the vehicle has been in service or 70,000 miles on the odometer, to the first owner."
According to a report by [Warranty Week], DaimlerChrysler "continues to reduce its warranty expense from the disconcertingly above-5% level seen in early 2005."
The report estimates that close to $1.6 billion was paid out in warranty claims by Chrysler in the first and second quarters and "In terms of the percentage of sales spent on warranty claims, DaimlerChrysler is now at 4.4%, which is the lowest it's been since 2004."
These statistics can be interpreted in two ways:
(a) warranty claims have decreased
(b) the corporation isn't honoring its warranty claims.
Given the increasing amount of complaints, chances are it is (b).
Remson left his car at the dealership, "And it is going to stay there until I figure out what to do," he says. "Someone came [to the dealership] from Chrysler and said the oil engine filter was cracked. They needed a specialist to prove that was the problem.
"But I'm not the first person to have this problem. My mother sent me a link to a [website] and people there have been complaining about the exact same problem - that their 2.7 litre engine seized up.
"Now there is only one car in the household and this is interfering with work. It isn't fair that I have to pay to fix my car when it is Chrysler's fault. I'm hoping that something gets done. Someone needs to address this issue; nobody should have to go through this when they purchase a new car. That is why you pay the big bucks and buy extended warranties.
"Me and my Mom spoke to the people at Chrysler. I called the main office in Detroit and they told me that there was something wrong with my oil change schedule. My point is, even if I didn't change the oil, it still shouldn't have seized.
"It must be hard for those people at Chrysler to tell customers all day long that it is all their fault. I have always taken care of my vehicles. It is important to keep up with maintenance; I've had cars since I was 16 and always looked after them.
"In retrospect, I should have bought a used car. I just paid $25,000 for this car and now Chrysler wants me to pay more?
Just like Jason Remson's Dodge Magnum, Juliann Buckland, from Ann Arbor, MI had her 2.7 liter engine seize. She was driving a 2000 Dodge Intrepid.
"It happened one month ago," she says. "I got the oil changed every 3,000 miles; I bought the car through a third party and I have oil change records to prove that it was well maintained.
"But the engine died without any warning. I was driving to work and it started knocking, so I pulled over and the oil light came on. I had it towed to the mechanic and he told me that it wasn't worth fixing because if I put this same engine back in it, it could do the same thing again. The mechanic told me that he had the same problem with his own Chryslerengine!"
It only had 70,000 miles on the odometer. Buckland was quoted $2,500 for a new engine. But she is a single mother with two kids. She is in a bind: her job is 60 miles away and she can't take the bus to work. At the moment, she has to rely on friends and family to get to work and drive her kids to their after-school activities.
"I called Jasper Engines and they said they had a comparable engine but it would cost $4,200. If they can put a different engine in the car, why can't Chrysler?
"Then I called an auto technician at the local Chrysler dealership and he snickered, and told me that he had good deals on leases. I said if I was going to get another car it would be a Honda. He replied, I don't blame you!
"Maybe I can find a car for a few hundred dollars before I get fired. I had saved my money for a long time to get this car and I only had it for a few months.
"It is amazing that Chrysler can get away with this... I'd like to put flyers all over town, stick a sign in front of every dealership, saying "Don't buy a car with a 2.7litre engine." The next car I get, I'm going to do a lot of research.
"Where is Chrysler's ethics, integrity, pride in workmanship? It is unbelievable that it still makes these engines..."
Donna Nchekwube's 2003 Chrysler 300M had just over 102,000 miles when the engine suddenly stalled and the steering became virtually non-responsive.
"Fortunately, this did not happen in traffic. The car was well maintained and had just had a service; oil levels were correct. Our local mechanic listened to the engine and diagnosed an internal failure and sent it to the dealer. The dealer diagnosed the failure of an internal bearing on the crankshaft, requiring engine replacement with a rebuilt engine. The sudden failure was reported to both the company and the national highway safety regulation board, due to the sudden loss of ability to steer. The company denied being notified of any similar problems and is not planning a recall, but is referring our complaint to its engineering department for further study. We have driven this car at several times the mileage rate characteristic for drivers, so whether or not our experience is a harbinger of other problems is unknown."
DaimlerChrysler (Dodge, Chrysler) has a long history of defective vehicles and poor service, despite its claims of new quality standards. Clearly, it continues to deceive customers and doesn't honor its warranties. It puts consumers lives at risk by building unsafe vehicles.
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Countless Complaints about Chrysler
|. By Jane Mundy|
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