Chrysler Warns Consumers About Their Own Shady Hellcat Dealers

You may have heard that Chrysler debuted new supercharged, high-powered Charger and Challenger vehicles known as the Hellcat earlier this year. The limited-edition muscle car is already in high demand with consumers, but with such popularity comes concerns about shady behavior on the market.

The Dallas Morning News reports that executives with Fiat-Chrysler issued an unusual warning to consumers about bad behavior on the part of its own dealers.

According to the company, some unidentified Dodge dealers have continued to take deposits for the Charger and Challenger vehicles knowing full well that they wouldn’t be able to get enough of the limited-production cars to fulfill orders.

Gualberto Ranieri, senior vice president for communications at FCA, says in a blog post that a “handful” of dealers have accepted a large number of orders for the cars, but failed to tell customers that they may not be able to produce the vehicles for several months.

“Overall, our independently owned and operated Dodge dealers have been doing a great job managing Hellcat orders,” he writes. “In a situation such as this, where demand is so high, the dealer allocation formula can then become an easy target for a disappointed or misinformed, yet, enthusiastic new car customer. Worse yet, it can be an even greater opportunity for unscrupulous businesses or individuals to take advantage of customers.”

Under the Chrysler allocation formula, dealers are eligible to receive Hellcats based on their total Dodge sales in the previous 90 days.

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Chrysler encouraged consumers to protect themselves from the dishonest practices by asking dealers the following questions:

• Is the dealer an authorized Dodge dealer?
• How many Hellcat orders does the authorized dealer have pending and where would I be on the list?
• Based on the dealer’s prior 90-day Dodge sales and previous Hellcat scheduling, when can I expect to receive my Hellcat order?
• Does the authorized dealer require a deposit for a Hellcat order?
• Is the deposit refundable and at what point in time? Please consult your state law governing the vehicle orders and the return of deposits.

Chrysler exec warns buyers about dealers [Dallas Morning News]