What's the hottest new trend in Motown? Increasing the length of your warranty coverage. Hyundai turned up the heat when it began offering its 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty back in 2000 before passing it on to Kia. Last summer Ford increased its powertrain warranty to 5-years/60,000 miles. Then late last year General Motors decided to increase its powertrain warranty to 5-years/100,000 miles and applied the same coverage to its Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles earlier this year. Finally, Hyundai recently announced its Super Sized coverage would also be applied to its CPOV fleet, meaning that it could potentially warranty one of its own engines for 15 years. Wow.
Chrysler is now reportedly thinking of increasing its own warranty coverage to better compete with the safety nets of its competitors. While no details were given on what the new warranty would be (it's bumper-to-bumper warranty is now 3-years/36,000 miles), chances are it would need to cover the powertrain for at least 100,000 miles to make an impact.

[Source: The Detroit News]

According to a copy of a survey sent to Chrysler employees, the automaker says that Sales and Marketing are reevaluating the business case for increasing its warranty coverage. Unfortunately, neither of those two departments are qualified to judge whether or not an automaker's lineup is built well enough to offer a bigger warranty without breaking the bank. Of course the marketing people want to do it, but shouldn't some engineers and Plant Foremans be asked if they think the automaker's current crop of cars and trucks will hold together for the additional years of use? Just a thought.

We should note that Chrysler did actually offer a larger 7-year/70,000 mile warranty in the wake of the September 11th attacks to help boost sales. The larger warranty was dropped in 2005, though, after it was determined the additional coverage no longer helped to increase sales. We're guessing it may also have led to some pretty big warranty bills.


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