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Report: Chrysler's questionable practices in Detroit area

by Nick Aziz

Yesterday, Leftlane received an anonymous tip about some troubling practices of the Chysler Group regarding new car storage and transportation in the Detroit area. While we cannot confirm the authenticity of these reports, we feel this information could be useful to consumers in ensuring their new vehicles are in good condition upon taking delivery. See the full story after the jump...

The first concern, according to our tipster, has to do with the storage of new vehicles before they arrive to dealers. His sources indicated that thousands of Chrysler vehicles were stored in less-than-ideal conditions, due to space limitations and cost cutting.

"Thousands of Chrysler vehicles were stored during the last 12 months, many times in wet muddy fields with brand-new $30k products buried up to their axles," the tipster writes.

"The practice has currently been discontinued as the mud-caked cars were infuriating the dealers. Mud was coating the exterior, clogged in the undercarriages and slopped into the fresh interiors."

"Buyers should be aware to thoroughly inspect their purchases (including underneath) before accepting delivery," he advises.

The second issue is ongoing and "appears to be getting worse," according to the tipster. "Beginning somewhere around the middle of last summer, Chysler Group, with storage and transport costs soaring, released product to an upstart driveaway service for short hauls to outgoing railheads."

The cost-saving measure meant that the majority of stored units in Detroit are now moved over surface streets, typically twenty to thirty miles, the source said.' Driveaway workers are typically younger non-professional drivers or older retirees usually working for minimum wage. Vehicles are driven from yard to yard by the dozen.

Those who have seen these "new car caravans" report of reckless driving, racing, and eating and/or smoking in transported vehicles, our source says.

"Again, it is highly recommended that buyers preparing to take delivery of new Chrysler products do an extensive inspection of their purchase before leaving the dealership."