— Chrysler warranty problems have caused a class action lawsuit filed by Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep owners.
According to the plaintiffs, the lawsuit includes 2006-2009 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles sold on or after July 26, 2007.
Each vehicle came with a Lifetime Powertrain Warranty to repair or replace powertrain components.
The class action includes Chrysler customers in these states.
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
Each plaintiff alleges they took their vehicle to an authorized dealer to diagnose and repair failed powertrain components under the Lifetime Warranty, but Fiat Chrysler (FCA) allegedly refused to diagnose and repair the vehicles.
The plaintiffs say they were told the warranties were cancelled because the vehicles weren't inspected according to the warranty terms.
The Lifetime Powertrain Warranty terms say a vehicle must undergo a free powertrain inspection within 60 days of each 5-year anniversary of the in-service date. The inspection must be performed by an authorized dealership, but the plaintiffs say they didn't know about the inspection clause of the warranty.
"In order to maintain the Lifetime Powertrain Limited Warranty, the person or entity covered by this Powertrain Limited Warranty must have a powertrain inspection performed by an authorized Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep dealer once every 5 years. This inspection will be performed at no charge. The inspection must be made within sixty (60) days of each 5 year anniversary of the in-service date of the vehicle. You must have the inspection performed to continue this coverage."
According to the class action, customers face warranty problems without knowing there are any problems, then learn the warranties were completely cancelled for not following Chrysler's warranty terms.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs couldn't have known about the inspection requirement because the "terms of the Lifetime Warranty were excluded from warranty manuals provided to all purchasers of 2006 through 2008 model year Class Vehicles."
The plaintiffs say they have suddenly been forced to pay a lot of money for powertrain repairs they believed would be covered by the Lifetime Powertrain Warranty. Adding to that pain is learning Chrysler revoked the warranties for an inspection clause unknown to owners.
The two primary arguments in the lawsuit include the claim the plaintiffs were never provided reasonable notice of the warranty inspection clause when they purchased the vehicles. In addition, the plaintiffs allege the inspection clause is "unconscionable."
The automaker allegedly routinely voids the Lifetime Warranty because customers don't have the powertrains inspected "within that arbitrarily narrow window."
According to the class action lawsuit, Chrysler did include the inspection clause in 2009 model year warranty manuals, but it's in "fine-print and indistinguishable from the surrounding text."
The Chrysler warranty lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division: Grundy, et al., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by The Miller Law Firm, P.C., and McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP.