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All FCA US Brands Improve in Initial Quality

Discussion in 'Mopar News' started by manoli, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. KrisW

    KrisW Active Member

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    There's a bit of chicken-and-egg here too. The best dealership companies have their pick of brands to take on. Why would they choose FCA's brands, whose customers have historically been low-margin, sub-prime buyers (and there's a lot of truth in the adage that the less you charge, the more complaints you get)?

    When FCA's portfolio is desirable, reliable and profitable, those dealerships that invest more in service will either start to approach FCA or start to take FCA's overtures seriously.

    But it's not all doom and gloom: as FCA shifts away from volume and towards margin, it gives dealerships more time to spend on each sale. Provided the dealerships get to share some of those higher margins, that's another way of improving the quality levels.
     
  2. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    I agree that it all starts with building a better product and FCA has not been consistent with it's new offerings. What has been consistent is FCA squeezing costs out of suppliers and warranty claims. Guess who pays for that? Customers who already think most FCA products are unreliable or worse...
     
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  3. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

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    I've mentioned this in other threads, but there is definitely a push from FCA to "reduce" warranty costs by not honoring warranty repairs, or at least not without a lot of effort on the customer's side. This is an inappropriate method to reduce warranty spending, and will drive away customers faster than anything else.

    The dealer we have used for service since 1990 almost exclusively has been very good to us. My Caliber allowed me to meet just about every employee on the service side I think lol, as it was in all the time to get something fixed. (It sometimes wouldn't even make it to the next oil change before a new problem came up) Anyways, I've seen a marked difference in how my dealer views warranty work over the past few years. Even since 2011, when we had a few minor issues with our Caravan, they were much more receptive and interested in fixing them than they are now.


    (I do have to provide an update to a comment I made earlier, probably in another thread, in that they are going to be replacing the hood on our Caravan due to corrosion. It's going in this month to have it replaced. I'm rather happy to see this happen for my parents, as I just about abandoned FCA for my next vehicle when I thought they weren't going to fix this. We are still waiting for an update on the one wheel that is all corroded though)
     
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  4. aldo90731

    Level III Supporter

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    This has been my personal experience as well.

    Less than two years ago, my CDJR dealer of many years started making up stories to finagle its way out of honoring warranty work. It was very disappointing.

    Then, just six months ago my service advisor, who I've known for years, had to ask me to give him a 9 or a 10 in a satisfaction survey I'd be getting, after his technician told me with a straight face that I had to replace the same steering link and rod on my Rubicon, after THEY had told me to replace, and which they did 1 year prior. That's when it finally dawned on me that they were full of cr*p.

    The dealer I had trusted for many years now only cares about maximizing dollars per customer interaction. Just like il Cost Cuttore himself.

    I wasn't sorry to leave them behind when I relocated.
     
    #164 aldo90731, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
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  5. Erik Latranyi

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    Cutting of warranty reimbursement and pressure on suppliers is all about Net Debt Zero. Nothing else matters, not quality, not customer service, not long-term thinking.......it is all focused on a single goal. Every company that I have worked with that focuses on a single goal, tends to hurt itself badly as it ignores all the other important goals that successful companies meet.
     
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  6. DAGAR

    DAGAR Active Member

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    I share this concern. I wish we really knew what the approach to warranty work is supposed to be from FCA leadership and if it's their intent to risk alienating customers to squeeze a few more dollars out of warranty costs or if this is just happening at some dealers. I haven't had any issues - my warranty has been honored no questions asked - even when the dealer took the easy/expensive/most profitable way of fixing a front suspension clunk. He replaced everything struts, control arms linkages, etc. All covered zero deductible on my Lifetime Max Care.
     
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  7. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    Fun and unintended consequence of my servicing dealer's trim warranty policies: I thought about spending the additional $3,700.00 on my car for the lifetime MaxCare-- but decided against it since they've decided to never repair anything on my car under the 3/36 bumper-to-bumper. Too high a risk that they'd deny work under that warranty, too.

    Secondary fun unintended consequence: I manage office for a high-end automotive service shop and drop clients off at work/home when they leave their cars with us for servicing. These people drive S-Classes, Rovers and Porsches-- and they all comment how nice(and sporty-- they ALWAYS call it sporty lol) the car is. I proudly tell them it's just a basic Dodge-- I tell them about the fancy suspension and active aero features-- the great mileage and the reliability of it so far-- I remind them we sell full-size fancy cars and SUVs that would save them a lot at purchase time-- then... I have to apologize when the dashboard starts singing it's song.

    By saving the costs of my Dart's warranty repairs-- the company has damaged itself in the minds of a few prestige buyers.

    It isn't my intent to overthink this or to overstate my/my car's importance-- I do understand how inconsequential both are to the health of the Auburn Hills mothership-- but there are certainly some consequences to their actions that reach beyond just my satisfaction, and I'm mentioning them.
     
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  8. UN4GTBL

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    x2.

    I'll probably never buy another Chrysler extended warranty again, based off current procedures.
     
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  9. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Different people making the decisions!

    Did you appeal the various repairs to Chrysler or did you take the dealer's word for it?
     
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  10. aldo90731

    Level III Supporter

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    I had been going to that dealer for 10 years. The staff hadn't changed: same family owned it; same service managers; same service advisors. Yet I noticed two key changes in past 18 months: (1) their unwillingness to honor warranty claims, (2) tying service advisor's compensation to customer satisfaction surveys.

    I was flabbergasted when my service advisor of many years, asked me to give him a 9-10 on a survey I'd be getting, or he wouldn't get compensated. He then went on to explain to me how management had just implemented this new program that unless he got 9s and 10s, he wouldn't get his bonus. He added "A lady gave me an 8; might as well I didn't work that day."

    This is a family owned dealership that has been in operation for 100+ years. It is a local institution. The city buys and services its trucks there; I used to see Chrysler factory vehicles being serviced there. The service manager had a lot of clout with the Chrysler region.

    That's all gone now. It's all about the numbers.

    A few years ago, this dealer took a Fiat franchise under pressure from FCA. They negotiated a "trial" period and set up a separate section of the facility for Fiat. As the year was coming up, FCA started pressuring the dealership to make the multi-million dollar investment to build a separate showroom in order to retain the franchise. But having had the opportunity to check for themselves the type of traffic and revenue they could expect, the numbers just didn't add up. The family declined to proceed.

    I don't know if FCA blacklisted them for it, or if the dealership is simply trying to operate within FCA's new reality, but within months the customer experience went from being personal and trustworthy, to indifferent and materialistic.
     
    #170 aldo90731, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  11. aldo90731

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    The dealer should be delighted to do the work; it has no real reason to refuse doing it unless it felt FCA wasn't going to pay them.

    There's a high element of trust when one forks thousands of dollars upfront for the eventuality that something may go wrong in the future. If and when it does, both FCA and its dealers are under the moral obligation to care. If the initial response is of refusal, that trust breaks down.

    Correct, there are procedural and legal means to get automakers and dealers to honor their obligation. But by breaching that trust, FCA is undermining the value of those very same --and very profitable-- service contracts.

    It is all about dollars today at FCA; dollars tomorrow be damned.
     
    #171 aldo90731, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  12. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    Dealers have been screwing customers over warranty work since Chrysler Corporation was a thing — think of it as Medicare vs private practice. They want the private-practice rates. I wonder if doctors say “This isn’t covered by Medicare” for things that really are?
     
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  13. aldo90731

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    All I can tell you is what I personally experience: I never had issues getting warranty work done...until recently. Same dealer; same staff: different outcome.

    From what I am reading on Jeep forums AND on here, I am not alone. So something has clearly changed.

    Judging by that article about the new head of quality at FCA boasting of reducing warranty costs 16%, when FCA hasn't shown significantly improved product quality, my hunch is FCA is simply making it more difficult to claim warranty work.

    That seems to be their "solution" to the problem.
     
    #173 aldo90731, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  14. UN4GTBL

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    We did that when the brakes on our van were toast. The service manager said they wouldn't be covered, and that they all do that. At 40k

    So I called up Chrysler. They seemed disinterested, but finally gave me a case number. Never heard back. Called them back, and "it was up to the dealer" now.

    Never bothered calling in again.

    We took it to another dealer, and they put the rotors through warranty, but we paid for new pads.
     
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  15. DAGAR

    DAGAR Active Member

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    I'd say the dealer did you a favor as the rotors are considered a wear item and not covered under any warranty.
     
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  16. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    True, rotors at 40,000 miles would not be covered by most automakers.

    I have never found appealing to Chrysler to be a waste, but sometimes, given their hiring practices at the phone desks, you have to actually write in.
     
  17. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    I've had success when I contacted Chrysler via phone.

    We bought a 2009 Journey SXT in early 2008. At 22,000 miles the front pads were worn out. I had the service done at our servicing dealer. About that time Chrysler had issued a recall on the minivans which had the same components as the Journey. I called Chrysler and opened a case #. They requested a copy of the service invoice and method of payment. A short time later I received a check for full reimbursement for the service. A short time later a limited recall was issued for the '09 Journey's.
     
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  18. aldo90731

    Level III Supporter

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    That's one thing I don't miss from my 1990s cars: the rotors warped easily and had to be machined every so often.

    Can't remember the last time I had to machine rotors on a SRT or a Wrangler.
     
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  19. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Never had warped rotors on my Acclaims. New rotors didn't cost that much more than machining them so I was in the habit of replacing pads and rotors when they needed servicing. I think it was about $10 to machine them vs $17 new. The front brakes were easy to service so I did them myself instead of paying a shop $100+ in labor charges.
     
  20. iNeon

    iNeon Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, I'm the kind of man that isn't argumentative when people are a-holes to me-- I just find ways to never be in their presence again. Flight, not fight. There was already another service writer arguing with another customer at the desk next to us. It was a complete and utter s-show.

    Would you willingly leave your car with dealership that promised to get to it, eventually-- whenever they'd finished with all the paying jobs, in a flippant tone-- with no estimate of time of completion, or word on whether Chrysler was paying, or you were paying... while there was an argument going on next to you-- and there were ants on the counter? lol

    This is a dealership that charged me personally whenever the car went into **DO NOT DRIVE VEHICLE DEATH MAY OCCUR IF VEHICLE IS DRIVEN** limp mode by a communications hiccup in the engine management system.

    I'm trying my best to keep the warranty on the car valid-- and I'm trying to do that by having it serviced at a Chrysler dealership. The problem is that they've constantly denied repairing anything under the warranty-- and charge me a couple hundred bucks for whatever minor quibble I've brought it in for. I don't blindly sign repair orders-- they just find every reason why the problems I bring the car in for can be billed to me, not Chrysler-- and to argue with them means more potential headaches for me in the future. I would never trust my car to anyone that treated it and me with such absolute disdain.

    I've had all subsequent service work done at an independent euro/performance shop because they've got their s**t together-- unlike the Chrysler dealership. Auburn Hills had more than one shot to make it right and they doubled-down rather than to find a mutual agreement.
     

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