Chrysler extends guarantee, after-sales service on new cars

by Hiroko Nakata

Facing fierce competition from Japanese automakers, Chrysler Japan Co. said Tuesday it will improve its after-sales service beginning Friday by extending the guarantee on newly purchased models to five years from three years.

Under the new program, after-sales service will also be provided to the cars for up to 100,000 km. Until now, the mileage limit was 60,000 km.

Chrysler Japan will provide the service, including exchange of engines, transmissions and other parts, and 24-hour assistance via a call center, on condition that newly purchased Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge cars have gone through inspections required by Japanese regulations.

The better after-sales service program for the Japanese market aims to improve the image of U.S cars here, where they are sometimes viewed as prone to breakdowns and too costly to maintain, said Christopher K. Ellis, president of Chrysler Japan.

“This (image) comes from distrust of the past quality (of Chrysler cars),” Ellis told reporters in Japanese. In reality, Chrysler’s global guarantee costs have been reduced by about 45 percent since 2000, he said.

It was Ellis’ first news conference since he was assigned to the post Nov. 1 with the launch of Chrysler Japan. Its launch followed the breakup of Daimler and Chrysler in August.