I lease a Chrysler minivan, and am wondering if their bankruptcy will give them the ability to “devalue” my van at the end of the lease (July 2010). I already see 2009 versions of the same van going for nearly $10K less than what we leased it for, and I’m worried.
Fiat has completed their purchase of Chrysler, clearing the way for the troubled automaker to exit bankruptcy — but what will the new company look like for consumers? Well, according to BusinessWeek you may be visiting your local Fiat, Jeep, Dodge dealer.
New Pick-Up Truck Crash Test Videos! “Full-sized pickup trucks are marketed as tough machines, though new tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that crash-test protection varies widely. The latest IIHS test data reveal side-impact protection is Marginal or Poor for the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Dodge Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Nissan Titan.” [Consumer Reports] [Videos]
A hybrid vehicle might be more fuel efficient than the non-hybrid version of the same car, but some hybrid vehicles can get as few as 19mpg. Check out this list of the least fuel efficient hybrid vehicles before you head out to the dealership.
The Chicago Public School system has given a car to a 12-year-old in recognition of her perfect attendance over a three month period. “By attending school every day within any one of three time periods, a total of 189,115 students were eligible for the Dodge Caliber, which was donated to CPS by Clear Channel and South Chicago Dodge.” We suppose giving cars to 12-year-olds is one way to advertise your car dealership. [Chicago Tribune]
Chrysler is betting that you’re worried about volatile gas prices. So worried, in fact, that you’ll leap at the opportunity to “lock in” a price of less than $2.99 a gallon for 3 years by buying a new Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep.
Whenever Brian drove his Dodge Charger in the rain, all the dash lights flashed and he had trouble restarting his car, but after 8 months of strife, his problem got fixed after his story posted to The Consumerist. The next day after the post went up, Brian got a call from Paul at Danbury Dodge, his dealership. Paul wanted Brian to bring his car in so the Chrysler tech could inspect it. Brian brought in the car during a rainy day, the problems were recreated, and the Chrysler tech diagnosed and fixed the problem in less than four hours. On repeated visits before this, the dealership kept claiming they couldn’t recreate the problem. A rep for Chrysler VP TP Lassdora also called Brian up, apologized profusely, and offered five years of free oil changes and extended Brian’s service contract. “In the end, I believe that the Consumerist story forced Chrysler to get involved, whereas Danbury Dodge was content to ignore my complaints,” writes Brian. “Thank you to the staff and the readers of the Consumerist for motivating Chrysler and Danbury Dodge to fix my car.” Inside, the original video showing how Brian’s dashboard reacted in the rain.
Whenever Brian drives his Dodge Charger in the rain, all of the dash lights flash and has trouble restarting his car. He’s taken the car to the dealership multiple times, but they say they’re never able to recreate the problem. Above are two screencaps of the video he took last time this occurred. He’s now taken to writing a letter to Chrysler CEO Big Bob Nardelli, which is most likely a futile effort. You might instead email Cerberus, the company that now owns Chrysler’s ass. Maybe the dealership will find it’s able to recreate the flashing signals if Brian rides along the next time they test the car. Maybe call the Car Talk radio show. Inside, a video of this bizzare phenom in action, and his letter to the CEO.
Chrysler’s new CEO Robert “Big Bob” Nardelli, formerly of Home Depot, has started cutting costs at Chrysler. The first to go will be the popular PT Cruiser, says the WSJ.
Reader and commenter PAConsumerist alerts us to the deal of the century: A 2002 Dodge Neon for only $54,995 from Del Toyota of Thorndale, PA. We heard a rumor that it was previously owned by Jon Voight.
Why should you care? Because you’re more likely to need the protection of a headrest than you are an airbag. Rear collisions are common. The above painfully boring, yet awesome, video from the folks at the IIHS shows a failed test of a 2007 Dodge Nitro seat. (Hey, we like crash test dummies, ok?) You can see that the head is not supported from behind, which would cause the dummy to sustain neck injuries and have to wear one of those embarrassing neck brace things to school the next day.
Chrysler is recalling 400,000 Dodge Caravans and Chrysler Town & Country minivans over concerns that road salt may corrode sensors, preventing air bags from properly deploying. Chrysler told the government, “brass brushings on the sensors could corrode and crack on the front air bags, allowing water to enter the sensor and causing it to fail.” Were that to happen, the air bag warning light would illuminate, meaning you should try really hard not to crash.
Jim Broomell thinks Cherry Hill Dodge sucks. In fact, he feels strongly enough about the issue that he’s taken it upon himself to educate the general public about the ways in which Cherry Hill Dodge sucks. He’s using the internet, the courts, even the side of his truck to warn unsuspecting potential Dodge-buyers. Unsurprisingly, Jim Bromell was recently sued by Cherry Hill Dodge.