According to Drive, Kate and Joe Masters owned an infuriating 2010 Dodge Journey that they claim was plagued by mechanical and electrical issues. After numerous failed attempts on their part to get the issues fixed by Fiat Chrysler and Dodge Australia, the couple decided that they'd had enough. Working with Queensland consumer advocate Ashton Wood, the Masters held an event where they smashed the Dodge with a sledgehammer and fired arrows at it. Finally, they rolled out a retired Centurion Mk.V tank and proceeded to crush the doomed Dodge monster truck-style.
Fiat Chrysler issued a statement refuting many of the Masters' claims about both its vehicle and the steps taken to remedy the situation. The company claims that the vehicle was serviced outside of its dealer network and that the Masters did not work through established consumer complaint channels established by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
"We had attempted to work proactively with this customer, offering free service work and free genuine parts after their warranty had expired," FCA said in a statement. "While Dodge Australia was keen to resolve this issue, we weren't in the position to issue the demanded refund of $43,000 for a vehicle purchased in 2011, that was driven for more than 100,000 kilometers (62,137 miles) and that has no known manufacturing defects, nor had any evidence provided by the owners to substantiate these claims.
Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus, who was involved with the tank event, stated that Australian motorists need better consumer protections against automotive dealerships and manufacturers.
"Countries around the world have successfully implemented lemon laws to provide consumers with protection and I believe it's about time we did the same in Australia," he said.
Destroying cars in a public act of frustration is nothing new. In China, a Lamborghini Gallardo owner smashed his luxury ride with a sledgehammer after he felt he wasn't given a premium experience at the dealership.