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.