U.S. reviews 15,000 Chrysler convertibles

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday it is reviewing then-Chrysler Group LLC’s decision in 2011 to limit its extended warranty coverage for back windows falling out in 2005 convertibles originally shipped to some warm weather states.

NHTSA said it is reviewing a consumer petition seeking a formal investigation into the decision by the company, now known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, to limit repairs of the 2005 Crossfire to vehicles originally shipped to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

“Owners of the vehicles in the covered states were provided an extended warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. The petitioner's vehicle experienced a separation of the rear glass however it is not covered by the extended warranty.”

NHTSA has received at least 158 complaints of rear glass separation, but there are no allegations of injury or a related crash.

Automakers typically have included both vehicles sold and currently registered in either warm or cold weather states when conducting regional recalls or extended warranty claims. Fiat Chrysler’s warranty extension wouldn’t cover a vehicle bought in California and moved to Texas later.

Some owners said they also had to have the roof replaced and that the repairs for very new vehicles cost $1,400 or more or to pay $2,800 or more for a new top. Other owners said Fiat Chrysler referred owners to upholstery companies. Many of the vehicles had less than 30,000 miles at the time of the incidents.

One owner said the black glass came apart and hit the driver causing her to nearly crash into a truck.