Tomorrow morning (7/27/15) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will announce the largest fine in U.S. Auto history against FCA/Chrysler revolving around some 23 recalls which either lacked proper notice to consumers, suffered delays in recall repairs and other related violations.

Last month FCA/Chrsyler was called before the NHTSA to answer questions centering around certain recalls and numerous consumer complaints, including often being told that the delay in recall repairs was a result of parts being on back order, whether they actually were or not.

While the timing chain recall for the Challenger was not part of this particular recall investigation, the excuses given by dealers for the delay in timing chain repairs were similar to the excuses being told to consumers for other FCA/Chrysler recalls, i.e., the parts were on back order, etc.

As a result of the NHTSA investigation, FCA/Chrysler has agreed to settle the matter and pay $105 million in fines and penalties for its lax attitude toward addressing safety issues in millions of vehicles and slow completion rates of repairs affected by its recalls. FCA/Chrysler will also have an independent monitor appointed to monitor its future recall performance and compliance. as well as having to buy back millions of vehicles from consumers, mostly Ram trucks and Jeeps. Other affected owners may have their vehicles repurchased for higher than Blue Book value or receive other incentives.

NHTSA said the action taken was due to a concerns about slow completion rates on recalls, slow or inadequate notifications to consumers, inadequate approaches to fixing safety related issues and improper actions by dealers.

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After a few glitches, the ordering desk for the long awaited Supercharged Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat opens today.

Dodge Challenger Hellcat

The super high performance model of the Dodge Challenger is rated at 707 horsepower, the most powerful car that Dodge has ever put into production, and which is well above its pony car rivals, the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. The Hellcat carries with it a reasonable MSRP of $60.000.

One of the glitches with pre-ordering was that many dealerships nationwide, who were slated for an allocation of Hellcats, went online to advertise them for $30,000 over MSRP, and that seemed to set the initial market price. This caused Dodge to put the pre-ordering on hold and to re-think the way it allocates the Hellcat. To these dealerships’ dismay, Dodge has announced a special allocation for the Hellcat. The more Dodge cars that you sell for them, the more Hellcats you will get allocated, but a second and third tier allocation will depend on how long a Hellcat sits on your lot. The longer one sits, the less you get. This will force the price back down closer to its MSRP, which is good news for buyers.

The President of Dodge, Tim Kuniskis, said.

“If you want to market-adjust the car, that’s your right. But if your days-on-lot goes above what the other guys that are selling them at MSRP is, they will end up earning the allocation because their days-on-lot will be lower.”

“Some dealers are going to have heartburn with that,” Kuniskis said, “[We] worked hard to price the Challenger SRT Hellcat at an attainable $60,990, but that all goes out the window if this car ends up with $20,000 market adjustments on it.” We suspect he’s right.

Kuniskis wants the Hellcat out on the streets and in the hands of enthusiasts so that somebody is sharing it with their friends and elevating the Dodge brand. “That’s what I want, not sitting in your showroom with a rope around it.”

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Continuing our trending growth, West Coast Challengers broke its monthly record for new club membership applications in the month of August.

“Just when you think the bar had been set for us and that our previous record would stand forever, we break our record for new membership applications once again,” said the club’s President. “The new membership applications for the month of August rival the entire membership base of many clubs across the nation, which is simply mind blowing when you sit down and really think about it.”

West Coast Challengers is a professional car club that was founded on a set of principles and rules, and we have held true to our founding. Many of our members have said that they chose our club as the one to join because our rules are not simply posted on the wall to throw darts at, but rather we enforce them.

Further, our events are fun and unique, and not simply the same event regurgitated over and over again through the years. We like to mix it up and do a wide variety of events, all member suggested and many of which aren’t even related to our cars. Check out some of our past events. We feel that they speak for themselves.

Sound interesting? Have a Dodge Challenger and want to get in on the fun? We invite you to join the club and participate in the next event and make new friends.

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