Car buyers are lining up at their local Dodge dealer to get their hands on a 707 horsepower tire burning monster. The problem is there are way more buyers than available cars. Now Fiat Chrysler is warning consumers about "unscrupulous" Dodge dealers that are taking money for vehicles that won't be delivered.
Automotive News spoke with Gualberto Ranieri, FCA's senior vice president for communications, who says that a "handful of dealers" have accepted a large number of orders for Hellcat cars, but are not disclosing their allocations, nor are they telling consumers that their orders may not be filled. Such behavior by dealers may be illegal, he warned.
"We believe such a practice may constitute a breach of the Dealer's Sales and Service Agreement with FCA US LLC and a violation of other applicable laws... Accordingly, we wanted our customers to hear directly from us how we are allocating Hellcat vehicles and we hope that you will bear with us as we, in conjunction with our supply base, continue to balance the supply and overwhelming demand..."
Before the ordering process started, Dodge created an allocation system to discourage markups. However, Ranieri says that despite Dodge's efforts to minimize the typical "market adjustments" that happen when limited edition cars hit the lots, he admits that the allocation system - "can be an even greater opportunity for unscrupulous businesses or individuals to take advantage of customers."
The current chairman of the National FCA Dealer Council warned that some dealers may be taking too many deposits on Hellcats to keep buyers from going to competitors down the street, behavior he said was "just wrong."
Ranieri tells potential car buyers to ask specific questions at their dealerships in regards to the dealership's allocation, deposit requirements, and whether or not that deposit can be refunded. He encourages consumers to check with their local laws that cover the return of deposits for vehicle orders.
So if your local Dodge dealer is only going to get 30 Hellcats this year and you are number 70 on the list, chances are they won't be able to sell you one. This is why it might be best to wait and have the first batch of buyers pay the premium.
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