During Chrysler’s darkest days between 2006 and 2009, the company “Lifetime Powertrain Limited WarrantyPromising replacement for any major engine or drivetrain that fails anytime during the life of the vehicle’s first owner. It was an incredible deal, and it’s surprising that Chrysler even offered it.
Seriously, the Lifetime Powertrain Limited Warranty seemed like a great deal. My friend in college had a 2007 Jeep Wrangler, outfitted with a Daimler-sourced NSG370 six-speed manual transmission and the same 3.8-liter V6 “minivan motor” that would make less power after a while. and was known to burn a lot of oil.
He told me about this lifetime warranty he had on the Jeep, and how he was never going to sell it because of it. I was never really looked into that warranty, but once I did, I was Surprised.
warranty, described here a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Owner’s Manual, Covers the entire engine, transmission and driveline:
what’s the catch? Well, there doesn’t really seem to be one, except that the warranty doesn’t transfer to the other owner. The other thing to note is that, for the warranty to remain valid, owners must have their vehicles inspected free of charge by a Chrysler technician at a dealership every five years:
This oversight requirement caused a lot of uproar. Last May, a group of disgruntled owners filed Class Action Lawsuit Against FCA in Michigan State. The lawsuit originally resulted from the owners’ frustration that their warranty was voided because they forgot to get the required inspections.
Here is a quote from the class action complaint:
As a result, plaintiffs have been forced to incur significant expenses for parts and labor to fix their vehicles. To add insult to these injuries, FCA has expressly denied plaintiffs’ lifetime warranty of their vehicles by “aborting” their obligations to repair them entirely. Thus, the plaintiffs will in the future bear more expenses for the repair of powertrain components and parts of their vehicles.
5. Plaintiffs hereby allege that non-performance of its liability under the Lifetime Warranty by FCA is without justification because (1) the plaintiff was not given proper notice of the existence of the inspection clause at the time of purchase of his vehicle and (2) the inspection section is unconscious
My opinion on this doesn’t really matter, but I’d say the warranty inspection requirement is right up front owner’s manual, and I’ll also say that – if I ever buy a car that’s offered a lifetime powertrain warranty – first thing I’ll look at the fine print.
NSHonestly, I get why Chrysler needs an inspection. If one does not take care of his vehicle, then surely the engine is going to explode; Chrysler needs a way to protect itself from that abuse. (With that said, no doubt I’ll forget, and then lose my warranty forever.)
Anyway, this is not what this short article is about. This article is “Question of the Day”. It’s basically an easy way for Jalopnik to increase reader engagement and get two free Posts per day – One question and one that basically lists your answers as a slideshow. We get one pageview per slide, so this helps us really crank up our metrics, which means more ad sales, which means more money..
Anyway, with the Lifetime Powertrain Limited Warranty as an example, it’s time to tell us about the wildest tips you’ve ever seen automakers and dealerships use to sell cars.