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What about Chrysler owners?

Warranties still good; prices likely to fall

David Colker Los Angeles Times

The Chrysler bankruptcy is financial news with international repercussions, but if you own one of the beleaguered company’s cars, it gets personal.

Here’s a look at what the Chrysler bankruptcy means for consumers:

Q. Will my warranty still be honored?

A. “All vehicle warranties will be honored without interruption,” said Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli. His personal warranty is used up, however – he’s leaving the company.

Q. Will an extended service contract stay in force?

A. In-house contracts will be honored. “People should continue to send in their payments, because it’s a valid contract,” said Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham.

Q. If my car loan is with Chrysler, will it be affected?

A. No. Chrysler Financial will continue to oversee current contracts. New in-house loans will be made by GMAC.

Q. What if I’ve purchased a new Chrysler but it hasn’t been delivered?

A. The bankruptcy won’t affect the deal. But if the car hasn’t come off the manufacturing line, there could be a long wait. The company is shutting down its plants for at least a month.

Q. Will Chrysler’s new car prices go down due to the bankruptcy?

A. Probably, according to Edmunds.com senior analyst Jesse Toprak. “I think there is a huge psychological impact to the bankruptcy announcement,” he said. “Chrysler will probably have to compensate.”

Q. Will it affect resale prices on Chrysler cars?

A. “Unfortunately, yes,” said Toprak. “The only good news is that Chrysler resale values are some of the lowest in the industry, so they don’t have a lot more room to go down.”

Q. How about car parts?

A. “If the bankruptcy has a negative effect on suppliers who happen to be exclusive makers of certain parts, that could have an impact,” Toprak said.

Q. Will my local Chrysler dealer go out of business?

A. Maybe. Some of Chrysler’s more than 3,000 dealers will be closing, but the company wouldn’t say how many.

Q. What if my dealer goes out of business?

A. Then for warranty work you have to find another. “The customer can go to any of our dealers for service,” Graham said. Here’s hoping it’s within the towing distance allowed by your insurance.

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