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Old 03-27-2009, 02:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Chrysler Uk's Response To The Wheel Corrosion Problem

As most of you will know I contacted Chrysler UK on your behalf regarding the issue we have with persistent corrosion of the road wheels of the 300C. I was, in turn, contacted by Mr John Bailley, Service & Parts Director for Chrysler UK this afternoon. We had a pleasant, interesting and I trust informative talk on the telephone. While things are not, as yet, finally settled he gave me some, what I consider to be, good news and he would appreciate our feedback before finally committing Chrysler to a course of action.

What is being proposed, at least for the UK, is that instead of replacing wheels which have corrosion with new replacement wheels under warranty, that your existing wheels be refurbished by Pristine which apparently is a well known wheel refurbisher, their website being at http://www.pristinealloywheels.co.uk/ (however the website is temporarily out of action due to their bandwidth being exceeded – having experienced this problem with my own website I imagine the site will remain down until the end of the month). The refurbished wheels, which I am assured would be to a high standard, would be covered by a two year warranty. Obviously we have to thrash out details such as what happens if your original wheels require replaced prior to being one year old as a two year wheel warranty would be less than the vehicle warranty issued by Chrysler. It would be hoped that given the standard of finish which Pristine achieve the period of time that the wheels would continue to have good appearance would be well in excess of the two year warranty period.

We are invited to supply feedback on this issue and apparently the dealership network will also be involved in the discussion prior to a final decision being made regarding road-wheel “survival”.

I also mentioned to Mr Bailley the Swirl Chamber issue and was assured that this is also the subject of on-going concern although it is apparently now resolved – instructions and details will be going out to the dealership network in the very near future on the permanent resolution of this problem.

In my opinion this fix for the wheel problem is an excellent step forward for Chrysler UK to be taking in consideration of customer care and I would think it should be acclaimed by us. However you may well have differing opinions and I would be pleased if you would post either way so that I may contact Mr Bailley and give him an indication of your feelings.

John Baird.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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thanks John...I presume we drive in & they swap pre-prepared ones for ours. My query would be, whats the benefit? - we get 2nd hand refurbished wheels rather than new, or do they come out & polish ours in situ? - in other words, what is it we're being offered that improves the situation we're in now? - My guess is that theyre hinting that Pristine's finish on refurb wheels is better than DC's on new ones, thus saving us multiple trips for exchanges?
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think the method of exchange has been thought through as yet however it would appear that the Pristine service is not merely a polish up which can be carried out in-situ. It involves machining the wheel prior to re-coating. As to what we get out of it - given an ideal scenario whereby as your car approaches the end of warranty at three years of age you are given a replacement set of road-wheels. You know from previous experience and from what you have read on here that within a matter of months the wheels will be corroding again. Under similar circumstances with what is being proposed you would have a set of wheels warrantied for a further two years and which were anticipated to survive longer than that. Chrysler UK know that the present situation with road-wheels cannot carry on indefinitely, primarily as it is costing them a great deal of money with supplying replacement wheels. They are hoping that this proposed solution will appease us and at the same time reduce their overall costs with the resulting win-win conclusion. Perhaps once the Pristine website is back up and functioning we will have a better idea of what their treatment involves.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good news John. However, a few questions.

Is it proposed they refurb our own wheels, how long would this take?
Or will it be a like for like swap ?, will they have others in stock.?
Google would indicate that Pristine are based in Milton Keynes.
Would we be expected to travel to MK for a refurb, or have our vehicles stood on axle stands for a week..
The possibilities are endless.

So while I agree that it's a step in the right direction, I think I'd want to know the logistics before I committed my vote, so to speak.
And in all honesty, It would be nice to have some assurances that they will last a lot longer than 2 years.
I have a 9 year old Megane, the wheels are in better shape than mine after only 1 year.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well done John

My questions are much the same as Bill's, in principle the deal sounds good in practice how will it work. I suspect the refurbished ones be sent to the dealer for the replacement, but it would be nice to have this clarified.

Also the finish will this be standard, or will alternates be offered?
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi John, I myself is waiting for new wheels coming, but my issue is as follows if Chrysler UK know these wheels are an issue, why offer the same wheels as a replacement if they know they are faulty and I might have to return to have them replaced again but most likely to have a refurbished set installed. Also the problem with the Swirl Chamber I might be unlucky and sail through the warranty period then bang several weeks later out of warranty sorry sir your Swirl Chamber needs attention, I think these issues will be left to the dealerships to deal with as they see appropriate.
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well done John, your efforts seem to have been worthwhile, even if what they offer isn't suitable for everyone, at least they have communicated with you and appear to want to resolve the situation.

My take on the situation is that whilst re-furbed wheels would be better than new wheels corroding again, I feel a little short changed, I don't expect a car of this value to have corroding wheels, and i also, would feel disappointed to have a 12 month old car with refurbed wheels.

IMO, a better option would be to replace the current wheels with replacements that will not corrode, it seems the startech wheels do not have the same problem, and as yet, I am not aware of any SRT Design wheels corroding.

Given what i paid for the car, and that they have admitted the wheels are faulty, I would accept a set of 20" SRT Design wheels, with replacement tyres, this could be cheaper than replacing the standard wheels several times, and i think would be a very good way of appeasing their customers
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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John,

All though this issue no longer affects me as the SRT8 alloys seem to be fairly robust, I must thank you for your continued effort and hard work on behalf of all of us UK 300C owners on this matter as it seems something that Chrysler cannot get right!

You are a true gem John, thank you.

Stef
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks John, for all the work you've put into this and for the feedback from Chrysler.

I would agree with you that having faulty wheels professionally refurbished might be the answer. However, this does beg the question about what is going wrong with the original manufacturing process that cannot be resolved by Chrysler. I doubt that Chrysler actually produce the wheels themselves, so why aren't they hammering the wheel manufacturer, who ultimately should bear the costs of warranty claims?
Some time ago, I happened to park my car at the dealership, next to a wheel-refurbishing company van. I asked the driver/technician to have a look at my wheels and offer an explanation as to why they might corrode prematurely. He quickly explained that the polished finish was protected only by a very thin lacqeur coat which could be easily damaged. His solution would be to finish the wheels with several coats of tough metallic paint and he showed me a set of wheels which had been so treated. These wheels looked pretty good, but were not identical to our wheels.

With regard to the Swirl Chamber problem, I made a comment on another post that I believed this issue should be covered under the 5 year emissions-related warranty, but nobody came back with any further comments.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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First of all, many thanks John for your efforts on behalf of the ownership. In principal, this all sounds very good - mine are corroded after only a year, and at the moment I have no desire to get them changed only for it to happen again - accepting that there may be a difference in the finish, I would be happy with a permanent solution. The logistics will need to be agreed, but the supplier we've previously discussed on eBay ship the refurbished wheels to a fitter of your choice - so I guess the same would happen with these - they would need to keep a small stock and send them to the dealer, yours would then be sent back to them for the next refurb.

Thanks again John.
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