— A Chrysler lifetime warranty lawsuit alleges Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) included an inspection clause in the powertrain warranty that is "unconscionable."
However, a motion to dismiss the Chrysler lifetime warranty lawsuit argues customers sued because they failed to read the terms and failed to follow the warranty agreement.
The class action lawsuit includes the following 2006-2009 vehicles sold on or after July 26, 2007: Dodge Ram 1500, Chrysler Aspen, Jeep Commander, Chrysler 300, Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep Patriot, Dodge Journey, Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 300C, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Avenger and Dodge Nitro.
Those models were sold with Chrysler lifetime powertrain warranties to repair or replace components of the powertrains for free.
The plaintiffs say they took their vehicles to FCA dealerships which allegedly said they couldn't provide repairs under the lifetime warranties because vehicle owners didn't follow the warranty terms. The owners also claim they were told the powertrain warranties were cancelled because drivers didn't follow the rules.
According to the terms of the Chrysler lifetime powertrain warranty, a vehicle must have a free powertrain inspection performed by a dealership within 60 days of each 5-year anniversary of the in-service date of the vehicle.
"In order to maintain the Lifetime Powertrain Limited Warranty, the person or entity covered by this Powertrain Limited Warranty must have a powertrain inspection performed by an authorized Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep dealer once every 5 years. This inspection will be performed at no charge. The inspection must be made within sixty (60) days of each 5 year anniversary of the in-service date of the vehicle. You must have the inspection performed to continue this coverage."
But the plaintiffs claim they didn't know about the inspection clause because the lifetime warranty inspection clause terms were not included in 2006-2008 warranty information manuals.
The lifetime warranty inspection clause was included in the warranty manuals for model year 2009 vehicles, but vehicle owners claim it was in small print.
The plaintiffs claim they have been forced to pay out-of-pocket for repairs, and at the same time FCA revoked the lifetime powertrain warranties.
Motion to Dismiss the Chrysler Lifetime Warranty Lawsuit
In its motion to dismiss the class action, attorneys for Chrysler argue the plaintiffs admit they didn't follow the agreement terms of the warranties, yet they still want the automaker to honor the warranties.
FCA says the entire lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiffs fail to state any plausible claim. According to Chrysler, vehicle owners plead only breach of warranty/contract claims and base all of them on FCA’s refusal to provide repairs under a written warranty.
But the continuation of that warranty "was expressly conditioned on Plaintiffs’ presenting their vehicles for an inspection every five years. Yet, Plaintiffs admit they did not have the required inspection performed."
The claims are allegedly implausible because no breach of warranty could possibly have occurred because the warranty provision was presented to vehicle buyers in writing when the vehicles were purchased. Then FCA owners admit they didn't do what was required according to the lifetime warranty terms to continue coverage for their vehicles.
Both breach of express warranty and breach of contract claims should also be dismissed allegedly because they are based on identical facts and allegations of a breach and because they seek the exact same relief.
The multi-state class action allegations are allegedly legally insufficient because it is "impossible to know who is a member of the class without individual fact-finding and without a final resolution of a vital merits issue."
The motion to dismiss the lifetime warranty lawsuit also argues other claims should be tossed because the plaintiffs already have sufficient remedies available according to the contracts.
The Chrysler lifetime warranty lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division: Grundy, et al., v. FCA US LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by The Miller Law Firm, P.C., and McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP.