This one hit a bit home for me, I’m not just a (very happy) customer – I’m also one of the more well-known folks that has covered this topic in-depth over the years.
I’ve received word from a dealer that FCA and MOPAR are ending their quietly-promoted gem of lifetime extended service policies. The Lifetime Vehicle Protection program will stop sales of all Lifetime extended service contracts on November 30.
Chrysler resumed offering lifetime extended warranties shortly after their merger with FIAT. However, when relaunched, they were no longer part of the standard lifetime coverage – you had to seek it out, and have Lifetime coverage added on. It was solely offered as a mostly under-the-table policy, meant to retain sales and appease fleet buyers on the fence about the reliability of a FCA vehicle.
If you have a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles car in the primary brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM) as well as FIAT, you should run (not walk) to your dealer’s finance department, or call MOPAR directly and get a quote (preferably do both, to get the best deal).
I am a proud owner of a MOPAR Max Care lifetime policy, and it’s a real shame to see this go. I was really hoping that the Fiat 124 would pick up that wonderful 2.0T that FCA just released, and I would have bought a lifetime policy on that in a heartbeat.
To lock in a MOPAR Lifetime policy, your car has to be four years old or less, and 48,000 miles or less on the odometer.
The reason for this is quite clear – it’s all about residual values. By offering extended lifetime policies, FCA was able to keep up its residual value on its vehicles. This means people (like me) were willing to buy certified or off-lease cars, keeping their residual value up. This is important if you’re an auto maker, because having a poor residual value for cars coming off lease – means banks aren’t likely to finance your cars on good lease terms.
One thing that could help keep it going, is a sales surge to demonstrate pent-up demand. So if you think the industry should have products like this (ahem), and you have a FCA car, go to the finance department at your dealer and ask for a quote.
This isn’t the first time MOPAR Lifetime policies have been pulled, but it may be the last. I hope not. But FCA reliability scores have marginally improved, but more importantly, there’s a new CEO. It may be FCA is pulling these options off the table, and seeing what impact they have on future sales…
… I do know for sure, it just took one 2020 Fiat 124 2.0T Hurricane sale off the table… not to mention a Jeep Gladiator I was dead set on convincing my dad to trade up to next year as well.
Any after market, non dealer lifetime warranties available?
Unfortunately no. A couple companies like CNA are offering lifetime wrap options for dealerships – but they usually require the dealership to enroll/sell it with their entire sales volume.
This creates a risk pool that absorbs the arbitragers that intend to buy a car and keep it for 25 years, just because of the lifetime coverage.
No other auto maker nor insurance company offers a “walk in, sign up” lifetime extended warranty. And I don’t think they will anytime soon – particularly as used cars continue to dry up.
Thanks Chris. If it is the end for lifetime warranties I may have to go foreign, based on dependability. I’d love to buy a Chrysler Pacifica, but spending 35k or so on a minivan does not make sense without peace of mind on dependability. And Consumer Reports and others continue to give bad repair and dependability reviews to Chrysler. Is there any reputable organization that rates long term dependability over 100,000 miles?
If you are desperate you might want to consider a Dodge Grand Caravan. Older platform, can be had for $20,000 or less within the 48/48 requirements for Lifetime, and the same Pentastar V6. (A late model Town & Country would also qualify, I liked the GC’s exterior but the T&C’s very subtle interior difference a bit more).
The problem is the more reliability, the more the brands try to chop down their warranties. It’s bonkers, but the bean counters love it. It improves their balance sheets with investors instantly – and they figure people who keep cars for 20 years are an extreme outlier.
Like I said in the article, FCA only did it to boost their image with banks on residual to get better financing terms, since FCA cars had such terrible residual values – for a long time, FCA couldn’t get anyone to lease with them. It really brought the company a lot of financial pain.
That’s why it’s the more reputable the car, the more they don’t need to offer stuff. Even though in theory, it should cost them far less to do it.
Yeah, the big wigs dont care so much for their reputation on reliable cars over the long term. The American car manufacturers have a big issue with proving their quality is as good as the Japanese manufacturers, which it’s not. You would think, if the American manufacturers want to compete, they would offer attractive warranties that are included. Some dealerships are doing this on their own to be more competitive ( I found this on web surfing). I want the stow and go seating on Chrysler minivans, but if they cant give me peace of mind on quality, I’ll get another brand and store the seats in my garage.
Unfortunately, if Chrysler can’t provide peace of mind in a 35k+ investment, I guess I’ll have to go to Toyota or Honda, and just store the rear seat in my garage. Check out this list! It tells all! https://clark.com/cars/new-report-the-top-15-cars-that-people-keep-for-15-years-or-more/#disqus_thread
I just bough a new 2019 Jeep Cherokee from local dealer he said he could offer me at lifetime wareenty through Chrysler and finance it with car , I paid 4500 for it I have read online that it should be much cheaper that dealers can jack up price , I have a week to cancel it with no penalty I understand on nov 30 they stopped selling them I want to keep warranty but if I paid to much I feel ripped off what should I do ? Please advise thanks Larry Handley
I feel for you, it’s not a great situation to be in. The good news is, you did lock in a policy, so you have options.
I don’t know what the base range for a policy is on a Compass. The Compass is technically a CUV/SUV, so they’re probably expecting it to hold its value longer.
I can’t really tell you if you overpaid by $500 or by $1500. You could try talking to some of the mega warranty dealerships like Ziegler (866.943.7778) and see what they would gustimate you paid. You can also go back to the finance department and try to claw back some of the money.
My guess though is the finance department may not offer much unless you have an email from Ziegler or someone else. And even then, they’re going to “remind you” of all the people who would kill to buy that warranty and missed the boat.
Here’s my advice: If you plan to keep the car permanently, don’t cancel it. $4,500 is a lot, but I have no idea if something like it will ever happen again.
Oh, and one other thing, make sure you got Lifetime Maximum Care, and not some other type of Lifetime policy. If you paid $4,500 for only Lifetime Powertrain, or some policy in-between, then yeah, you paid way too much.
My 2006 Pacifica has the Lifetime Maxicare and has 262,000 with all servicing done at dealer (except for a few minor cosmetic items and non-covered i.e. brakes). It has come to the end needing 2 cylinders, fuel injectors, front motor mount and a catalytic convertor (not covered). (Since I recently put new tires, I am having my mechanic sell it out by parts.) Looking for a replacement, we were thinking of a Jeep. But, now that the lifetime extended warranty is no longer available, we won’t necessarily be true to Chrysler. The car will be driven about 30,000 a year- freeway and about town. Any recommendations? BTW – we had a 2006 Chrysler 300 that was driven well over 300,000 (accident took it away) and we also currently have a 2012 Chrysler 300 with 152,000. Thanks!
If they haven’t cashed it out yet – you do have the right to have some repairs done yourself. I would quote out what each repair would cost and see if you might want to pay for some repairs… and only claim ones that won’t cash the vehicle out with Mopar.
For instance you may want to pay for the catalytic converter, and fuel injectors – and have Mopar claim the cylinders and motor mount. It’s possible the cylinders and motor mount won’t cash the vehicle out. You’ll have to pull the Blue Book and see.
This is a cautionary tale to care for the car, even with Lifetime Max Care. Had you claimed each of these separately over time – it probably wouldn’t have totaled the car out even with those miles.
Disappointed that they killed the lifetime warranty… I was planning to buy my wife a 124 Spider in January, and we were looking at the 124, specifically because of the available lifetime warranty (I already have the lifetime on my ’16 JGC Summit). Unfortunately for FCA, the 124 wasn’t my wife’s first (or second) choice, but she was willing to forego #1 and #2, in order to get the lifetime warranty… I guess we will be re-looking at her other choices after all.
“One thing that could help keep it going, is a sales surge to demonstrate pent-up demand. So if you think the industry should have products like this (ahem), and you have a FCA car, go to the finance department at your dealer and ask for a quote.”
Not likely to make any difference now, after the fact, and FCA was nice and quiet about doing it so there wouldn’t be a surge or public outcry before it happened. Wish I had known this was happening before 11/30, the two Jeeps in my garage would be out there a lot longer than they now will be.
Keep in mind that twice now FCA has pulled Lifetime Max Care, and had to return it from dealer pressure. Many dealers rely on Lifetime Max Care as a sales tool, so they’ll use spikes to raise fury back in Detroit.
At the end of the day, if dealers aren’t happy, they’ll push other brands. If you want it to come back, talk to who owns your dealer. Tell them what sales they’re missing.
Excellent idea, as soon as I finish my letter to Mopar Vehicle Protection, I’ll drop one to the General Managers of the two Jeep dealerships I’ve bought vehicles at in the past 2 years.
For anyone interested in letting FCA know how you feel about this, I’m told the best way to express your displeasure is to send a physical letter to:
Mopar Vehicle Protection
P.O. Box 2700
Troy, MI 48007-2700
Certainly a disappointment with me as FCA’s track record, or that of Chrysler isn’t that great with vehicle/component life expectancy.
I have three Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicles now and when it comes time to replace them will go with another brand, possibly Ford and Land Rover which I would prefer to anything FCA sells.
The Lifetime Unlimited Max warranty was the selling point which cost right around $3000 per vehicle. And for the poor soul who paid $4500, never trust a card dealer ! If their lips are moving, they are telling you lies for sure !
Wow. I was just cruising the web looking to purchase a new 2019 Ram Truck with all the bells and whistles along with the Hemi. This would have nailed the deal. But leaving the warranty out especially with a first gen remake certainly has me thinking about purchasing a $70k truck.
From my perspective many owners of the big three experience some major power train issues around 75k. Might hold off on a purchase to see it’s first year reliability.
Thanks for the write up.
Brandon, There is no way I’d spend that kind of money without a very serious lifetime warranty. I’m not buying a minivan without one. I’ll go Japanese for reliability’s sake, or buy one a year or two old Chrysler product and bank the difference for inevitable future repairs.
Agree. I did not know that they were going to end the Lifetime warrant until I recently went to look at a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited X and Note that I have been a Loyal Jeep owner since 1989 with my First was a New 89 Wrangler then 95 Cherokee then the 2001 Grand Cherokee and when the 4 door Wrangler came out Oh Ya Had to have it so I bought the 2007 unlimited and finally the restyled Grand Cherokee was Awesome so I bought the 2012 Limited and loved the comfort and Quiet and yes the Maxi Care warranty just because the vehicles are way to complicated to work on and the peace of mind knowing it’s covered was nice. Now I will have to re-think the purchase of my next vehicle.
I bought my 2018 overland aug. 11th 2018. I asked about the life time warranty. They told me I had 12 months or 12000 miles to do this. So I waited so I didn’t have to add the cost to my loan and could save up for it. The other day I was going to purchase the warranty and they tell me it’s not available any more. So now did the dealer I bought it from know this was going to happen? It was only 3 months after I bought it. Why didn’t Mopar honer there 12 months or 12000 miles to the customers who bought before the dead line. I wasn’t even notified of the warranty being discontinued. I feel the dealer and Mopar took advantage of me, lied and disrespected me as customer just to sell the vehicle. That’s not how you build a good following of customers.
The dealer did not mislead you. In August of 2018 there was no indication the lifetime option would be removed. Many of us bought the lifetime policy at the time of purchase because we knew it was always on shaky ground. But at that time there was no indication that MOPAR would pull it.
The dealer only got about 10 days notice, and there’s no way dealers could call every customer and try to sell them on the lifetime extensions (arguably they weren’t allowed to).
The only people that had bona fide recourse were people who were waiting to take delivery of vehicles, that were intent on paying for the lifetime policy as part of the purchase. In my view, those people should still be allowed to sign lifetime policies, because they clearly wouldn’t have purchased the vehicle otherwise.
If you feel this way, you should write to MOPAR Extended Service complaints, at the address posted by another commenter. Tell them you’re not happy and that you want them to return offering the lifetime extensions… but that’s all you can do.
I’m a recipient of one of these “Lifetime MaxiCare Warranty’s” and if I hadn’t purchased it when I purchased my 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited New I would be taking the bus because I’ve had more issue(s)/repairs than one would’ve ever thought possible.
I have 2 separate 2-inch binders of repairs (ALL DEALER SERVICED) since I purchased it new in 2014. I was about to purchase the new 2020 Jeep Gladiator but promptly pulled the plug on the sale because they’re not offering the Lifetime Unlimited Mileage Warranty any longer. Lost a sale on that blunder, thanks MOPAR for that little explosion.
Thanks for your story, I hope to learn in the future that you’ve written another article indicating the deal is back on but I’m not holding my breath!
Glad I got in while the getting was good. 2017 Pacifica Limited, and got a good deal on the maxcare lifetime with $100 deductible from Zeller in Kansas. But I don’t see buying another one unless the lifetime comes back. Finding this write-up was a surprise to me. I hadn’t heard *anything* about it.
I went to look at a new RAM 1500 .. and the lifetime warranty I read about was a huge factor (wanted this to be last truck I ever bought.) Informed the lifetime warranty was no longer available. Needless to say, we were many thousands apart on a deal because of trade value and the fact I could not also purchase a lifetime warranty I thought might still be an option. I still own my current 2012 Toyota Tundra instead of a new 2019 RAM 1500 Limited. Oh well, I can walk away and be comfortable in my decision.
Heck, this shot my plans to buy a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. I have a 2015 Wrangler Sahara with the lifetime warranty and had planned on buying that for the new Jeep too. I guess the 2009 Z06 Corvette that I was going to trade in stays in my garage.