Just like the majority of the automotive industry, recent news about Saleen hasn't been great. After going broke and selling most of their assets, Saleen Inc. announced that they were ceasing operations and would not be honoring existing warranties on cars and parts. To make things worse, the new owner of the Saleen car and aftermarket lines, MJ Acquisitions, Inc., refused to take the responsibility as well, only honoring warranties on parts purchased after February 2, 2009. It appeared that Saleen owners were out of luck. Enter Steve Saleen, who, despite not being involved with the company since the middle of 2007, has just announced that his new company, SMS Supercars, will honor existing warranties on Saleen products.

It's a move that's classy, honorable, and in our opinion pure genius. We could be wrong, but we're guessing that any costs incurred by SMS will be offset by the flood of faithful customers that will gratefully switch their loyalty from the company to the man that bears the Saleen name. Judging from a handful of owners' reactions, the announcement has already had that effect. With an SMS version of the 2010 Mustang on the way, it will be interesting to see just how many Saleen owners return the favor. Check out the press release after the jump for more details on how current Saleen owners can receive warranty coverage from SMS. Thanks for the tip, Chris!

[Source: SMS Supercars, SOEC.org]


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PRESS RELEASE:

Orange County, California. (April 2, 2009) In an unusual step, SMS Supercars Chairman and CEO, Steve M. Saleen, announced a new and bold measure today with regards to customer warranty on products of his former company, Saleen, Inc.

Saleen Inc. announced it has ceased all operations, claims it has sold certain assets to MJ Acquisitions, Inc, and has even changed its name. In a statement made on March 6, 2009 to all Saleen dealers, MJ Acquisitions announced that while "regrettably, Saleen, Inc. is unable to honor any warranties," MJ Acquisitions will "not be responsible or obligated to cover warranties and/or financial liabilities of Saleen, Inc."

Said Steve Saleen "I was saddened about the way the current owners of the proud company I founded, and which held onto my name after my departure two years ago, have now dealt with my loyal and longtime customers." Steve Saleen, who founded Saleen over 25 years ago and who remained its CEO until 2006, left the company completely in the spring of 2007. Since then Mr. Saleen has had no control of, or operational role with, his former company, its operations or its current shareholders, Hancock Park Associates.

Said Steve Saleen, "The ones who have been left out in the cold are the loyal customers of Saleen products. While my new company, SMS Supercars, has no legal or moral obligation to take up any of the warranty claims against Saleen Inc. or MJ Acquisitions, Inc., I would like to make a bold statement on the right way to treat customers."

"If any Saleen customer in the United States who purchased a Saleen Inc. product up until February 2, 2009, has a warranty claim, they can directly contact my new company, SMS Supercars," continued Mr. Saleen. "We will honor their remaining warranties as if they were SMS Supercars warranties." SMS Supercars' warranty terms will apply.

"This unusual step in uncertain times is a measure to assure that my past and future customers, as well as Saleen and Ford dealers around the United States, continue to have faith in products bearing my name", said Mr. Saleen, who went on to say, "Customers who have bought a Saleen product in the past will receive the attention and care they and the Saleen products deserve."

"Despite claims from any other company", continues Mr. Saleen, "SMS Supercars is the only company that today offers products endorsed by Steve Saleen."

SMS Supercars, based in Orange County, California, is a manufacturer of high-end lifestyle performance vehicles. As his first new product, Steve Saleen launched the new SMS 570 Challenger in Newport Beach, CA, on January 21, 2009. The world premiere of the new SMS 570X Challenger is scheduled for April 9, 2009, at 1.30 pm on the New York International Auto Show.

Customers with warranty claims can contact the SMS Supercars warranty department at (714) 400-2121, warranty@smssupercars.com or visit www.smssupercars.com.