Chrysler - 2008 Jeep Rubicon: Rocker bearing separated. Dealership wouldn't fix. Need new engine now
My response to Chrysler asking if I wanted to purchase a warranty.
Thank you for your email. An extended warranty is a lot to think about and naturally I have some questions.
My primary concern is that if Chrysler wouldn't honor an existing warranty, then, considering that precedence, would I be really *** to pay for another one? To clarify, when I purchased my vehicle, the Auto Park Chrysler Jeep dealership in Cary, NC, informed me that I had a 3-year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and a 5 year limited power train warranty. That fact has been confirmed by two separate people at the Nichols Chrysler Dodge dealership in Burlington, NC over the years. When my jeep hit about 70,000 miles, I heard a knocking noise. I took it immediately to the Sport Durst Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership, in Durham, NC, to identify the problem. I insisted the technicians would need to drive the jeep for a few miles before the knocking would become apparent. They had my vehicle for a few days but alas, they never heard the knocking. They changed the oil and told me to bring it back after driving it 500 miles. When I picked up my jeep, about two or three miles into my trip home was when the knocking started up. Don’t you think it’s weird Alan, that in just a few minutes, I could easily hear the noise, but the technicians never could? A week later, the knocking got worse. I decided to take it to another dealership, Nichols Dodge Chrysler in Burlington. They got my vehicle in and after two days of tearing it apart, first the top, then the bottom, they found the knocking. A rocker bearing had begun to separate and come apart. They said wear of the broken part has ruined the engine, and that I would need a new one which would run about $8,000.
This was very unfortunate news because the service desk representative had confirmed the same information that the Auto Park Chrysler people told me: my power train warranty was invalid since the five years were up. Want to hear something crazy though, Alan? As I looked online for other issues like this, I ran across a web page. This webpage actually contradicted the service desk rep. I actually had an unlimited power train warranty. What luck huh? So naturally I called the warranty people at Chrysler. Now brace yourself, Alan, because this is where it gets sad. To keep the unlimited power train warranty, I was supposed to get an inspection at the five year mark. The warranty representative said that they definitely sent me a notice. Unfortunately, she confirmed they sent it to an old address. At this point, you’re probably saying, Mr. Delosh, you are responsible for providing Chrysler with any change of address information in order to ensure warranty information can be sent to you. Good point, Alan. However, I would ask: when you change banks, do you send your old bank your change of address so they can continue to send you bank statements? So if I was informed that my warranty was up in five years, and I moved at the five year mark, why would I send Chrysler a change of address notice? So if we think critically about this, it would not be logical to expect someone to provide a change of notice to a company to ensure service information is sent to them, when it is clear that the services are not covered.
So this warranty rep is telling me my lack of inspection means the warranty is void. She says that Chrysler would have been willing to renew the warranty, except for the fact that I don’t take care of my jeep. “How would you know that?” I asked. She replied that she knows because she has no records of me brining my vehicle in for maintenance. Now Alan, any sensible person would know that just because a dealership didn’t complete and oil change doesn’t mean that oil changes were not done. Nor does it mean that transmission flushes, tune ups, plug changes, filter changes, etc were not done. I seem to recall reading somewhere that a company could not require that customers use the dealership for maintenance as a criteria to honor a warranty. I want to say it’s actually illegal. I bet if you and I Google searched that, we could find the answer, couldn’t we? So from your warranty reps point of view, not using the dealership for maintenance is sufficient evidence to conclude the vehicle was not taken care of and therefore, the warranty could not be re-instated, even after she confirmed with the Nichols Dodge Dealership service rep that she in fact did not know what my warranty terms were.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Mr. Delosh”, consumers need to be responsible. I totally agree, Alan. I would also add that consumers need to be informed. So, corporate representatives should be conveying correct information, don’t you agree? In this case, it would also be quite a double standard to posit that consumers need to be responsible for understanding their warranty information, when the dealership people don’t even know it. That’s pretty sad actually.
So, it cost me $2,000 for Nichols Dodge Chrysler Jeep to tear apart my engine and put it back together only to tell me that the engine needed to be replaced. The idea to keep in mind here, Alan, is that the warranty representative indicated the warranty is void due to not completing a five-year routine inspection. Let’s ignore the fact that the problem was due to an internal part failure and focus on this inspection. Is the implication here that the inspection would have caught and prevented this defect and the resulting damage? Maybe someone should tell Nichols Dodge Jeep that the two days they spent looking for the source of the knocking noise could have been identified without needing to tear apart the engine at all. That’s one impressive inspection you guys must do, to be able to detect a problem before it occurs, when technicians at two separate dealerships couldn’t detect it while it was happening without tearing the whole engine apart. You guys should really share technology like that with all the dealerships.
I will say that the technician there was quite empathetic. He didn’t understand why that inferior engine was even in a Wrangler to begin with. He said it was a fine engine for a min-van, but never should have been put in a Wrangler. That kind of sets off a red flag, don’t ya think? As I think about that, and your email, Alan, I think I’m leaning towards not purchasing any warranties from Chrysler. I’m sure you’re quite clever and gleaned that information by now, haven’t you? As a matter of fact, I decided I would try my best to prevent anyone I know from purchasing a Chrysler product. So far, I have stopped two people. I am also quite pleased with my progress to discourage a couple other people from even considering Chrysler, although, I am not sure they were seriously considering Jeep or not. It’s actually not too hard to do. All I have to tell them that is within about 70K miles; I have had to replace a power steering pump, alternator, starter and clutch. I also had to have electric windows, door seals, stereo, and speakers repaired/replaced. I also have two cracked manifold, a cylinder-one misfire, and a catalytic threshold code firing. The kicker, as you can imagine, Alan, is when I tell them that Chrysler would not be accountable for an internal engine component, even after the dealership technician said that it was a faulty part; a faulty part that requires a new engine at only 70K miles. It’s pretty much smooth sailing after I tell them that, Alan.
So alas, I must pass. Maybe Toyota will be my next vehicle. I hope Chrysler is enjoying the money they saved by not being accountable for inferior parts in my vehicle, as I am enjoying preventing Chrysler sales on car at a time.
Review about: Chrysler Part Replacement.
Reason of review: Damaged or defective.