I bought my Dodge SRT-4 in may of 2003, with this being my first new car purchase. What sold me on the car was the mention of the Mopar aftermarket parts that were "designed and manufactured by Daimler Chrysler specifically for this car."
Everything was fine for the most part until around the end of July of 2004. I pulled out of a parking lot and noticed a funny feeling in my clutch pedal and a load chattering noise that increased in intensity with the engines' rpm's. I took it in the next morning before work for service and was given a diagnostic work order for around $130. I mentioned that the car is under warranty and asked why I was being billed and I was assured that once they pull up my warranty info and if it's covered I wouldn't be charged.
A few hours later I received a call from Kevin in the service department and this is how it went:
Dealership: "Sir, we noticed a couple strange noises coming from your car. The loud knocking we beleive may be your balance shaft. It also appears that you have installed a blow off valve on the turbo and we noticed a noise from there too."
Me: "Yeah, that hissing noise is from the blow off valve, it's supposed to do that."
Dealership: "We need to pull your oil pan to further inspect and see if the noises your car is making is indeed coming from the balance shft. That brings the total up to $6xx."
Me: "Well the car is under warranty, so why are you saying it's going to be $6xx?"
Dealership: "Sir, your warranty is now void because of modifictaions to the vehicle"
Me: "What? Why is that?"
Dealership: "Sir, your warranty is now void because of modifictions to the vehicle"
Me: "How did my blow off valve cause my car to break?"
Dealership: "Sir, your warranty is now void because of modifictaions to the vehicle. What other modifications have you done?"
Me: "Well, I also have the Mopar Stage-1 installed and a cold air intake. Umm, unless my mods caused the engine troubles, it should still be under warranty."
Dealership: "Sir, do you want your car fixed or what?"
Me: "Of course I do, but there's the issue of you denying my work under warranty. If something I did to the car causes it to break, I'll go ahead and pay for it. Do you think the modifications had anything to do with it?"
Dealership: "I'll have the service manager call you back."
So before they're even sure of the problem, my power train warranty is now supposedly instantly voided by them. I did my homework before I changed anthing on my car and according to federal law (Magnusen Moss Act), aftermarket parts cannot void a warranty unless the parts are a direct cause of the problem. So the service manager calls me back a couple hours later and tells me that the district rep must inspect my car before they can get back to me. The next day I call in to find out that supposedly my car was inspected and my entire powertrain warranty is now void. I was also told that if I have any questions, take it up with Chrysler.
So then it gets even better. They call a day or so later to tell me that after all they've done so far (at my expense) they still haven't pinpointed the problem and they want to pull my transmission adding another $5xx to the equation. It turns out that my flywheel bolts were loose and in turn backed out and ruined my clutch, bringing the total to over $1800. This defect has absolutely nothing to do with my Mopar parts on the car was clearly a manufacturing defect.
So before the dealership even knew what the problem was my I was told that my warranty was void for the mere presence of aftermarket parts, until I mentioned the Mag-Moss Act. Then the story changed to, "The added power (25 horsepower) must have caused my balance shaft to break. Then when they found that my flywheel bolts came loose by themselves, they blamed Chrysler, not themselves for voiding my warranty. Kinda funny considering they told me my warranty was void before they even contacted Chrysler.
So when I called Chrysler's customer service (Yeah, right...) I was told to take it up with the dealership. When I asked who the district rep was and their contact info, I was told that they're not authorized to release that information to me. Not even a mailing adress. The best they could do was put a request in for them to contact me. Big surprise, I never heard back. So after countless phone calls, Chrysler will only tell me to take it up with the dealer, not them. When I went to Lithia, they turned me right back around and said that I'm barking up the wrong tree, that I need to contact Chrysler. So after going back and forth on the phone, I decided to try the e-mail approach. I tried asking why my aftermarket parts automatically voided my warranty when in fact the warranty contract and federal law state the opposite. I was replied to with the excuse that they couldn't answer me, that I need to talk to the dealership. All further attempts to write Chrysler have gone ignored since then.
After filing with my local BBB, Lithia responded with yet another one of their excuses that my Mopar parts "Aren't legal for sale on cars registered for highway use and are for off-road use only." Even though this is totally irrelevant to my flywheel bolts being loose, this is yet another attempt on their part to get out of the warranty work. So if my window tint was too dark or I removed my front license plate, would this too void my warranty?
If my aftermarket parts cause a problem, I'll more than willingly pay for the repairs, but this was the most blatant attempt to escape warranty work that I've ever heard of. As soon as one excuse was proven wrong, they threw another on the table. So after exhausting every avenue possible to get an answer from them about why they denied my warranty for the mere presence of aftermarket parts, even though it contradicts the warranty contract, I had to seek legal help. This is an obvious, blatant, outright breach of contract.